Lying on the floor for crunches, lying on the floor for planks, lying on the floor for hollow-body holds… Even if you don’t find all of that lying about boring, this two-move standing ab workout from trainer Paul Sklar, C.S.C.S. is a great way to up the challenge on your core while you’re up on your feet.
By alternating between two standing moves—the cable core rotational punch and the suspension plank with lunge—you hone rotational core strength and stability and teach your abs how to work in tandem with the rest of your body.
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For the first exercise, get in an athletic stance to the side of a cable machine with a D-shaped handle in one hand and both hands near your shoulders in a guard position. Rotate your torso, pivot your feet, and punch. Do so in one fluid motion, keeping a nice, steady cadence as you return to start and perform the next rep. Focus on maintaining total-body tension and using your abs and serratus, which sits below your armpit, for power. Complete all reps, then switch sides.
For the second exercise, set up a suspension trainer so that the handles are at about knee height, then get into a suspension plank on the balls of your feet, arms extended in front of you. Tighten your abs and squeeze your glutes and maintain tension in your shoulder blades. Extend your arms as far as you can while still keeping tension in your shoulder blades; this will be different for everyone. From here, take a giant step forward with one foot (place it directly below your wrists) and lower into a lunge. Keep your body weight shifted forward so you’re your core holds your weight and prevents you from falling forward to the floor. Alternate sides.
Here, Sklar performs 10 reps of each exercise back-to-back. Rest for 60 seconds, then repeat for a total of 5 rounds.
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