Day 26 – continuing with our more advanced drills. You’ll need a pull up bar and a Swiss Ball 🙂
Today helped and supported by our lovely and colourful Ms Veronika we do 3 sets x 30sec/10sec of
Hanging Leg Raises or Hanging Knee Raises and “Stir The Pot” or Swiss Ball Planks
I have to say, NONE of our abs drills are easy. Really squeeze your quads, glutes and abs – and your 30sec plank becomes a full body burner. Hold yourself tight in your Mermaids – you’ll FEEL your obliques on every reach. The last few days with sliders were very tough, today it’s gone another level up – in set 1 second exercise I felt stable and “stirred the pot” as far as I could but past 20sec my abs started to scream, so 2nd set onwards I didn’t have the strength to stop myself from swinging and create enough stability for the leg raises, had to continue with knee raises and then hold the Swiss Ball Plank rather than stir.
Without further ado:
Hanging Leg Raises or Hanging Knee Raises:
Hang off a pull up bar, I suggest thumbless grip, tighten up and lift your legs parallel to the floor creating L shape (or to your nose!), then lower with control and minimum swing of the body. Pointing your toes helps with tension. It IS difficult to keep your core solid in a hanging position. Hey, I find it difficult to squeeze my legs when hanging off a bar! Give it a go nevertheless. If you find yourself swinging here and there like a sausage, it is best to stop, re-set and continue with knee raises and no swinging.
Aim to raise your knees to your chest.
After the bloody “stir the pots” it was increasingly difficult to stop the body from moving 😀 As hard as it is hang off a bar, so you do not touch the floor or bend your knees, then raise them 🙂 That’s what Veronika is doing next! Mwahahaa…
Do not worry if your grip opens up and you cannot hang for 30sec. Just practice hanging. Find the thinnest bar and hang from there, then add knee raises, then add leg raises.
“Stir The Pot” or Swiss Ball Planks:
Place your elbows on the ball, get into your elbow plank (yes, legs still tight, etc, etc) then extend your arms from the waist and roll the ball in a circle. Legs and glutes strong to help maintain a flat lower back. Creating hollowed abs helps with this.
You can do “Stir The Pot” from kneeling position, same technique applies.
Start with a small circle and once you get more confident with the move, increase the size gradually. Once you are very confident working off your knees, ask a training partner to gently(!) shake the gym ball and once you’re even more confident than that, you can do this from a standing position!
Here we went for planks because they work really well with hanging raises setting your body into the stable mode 🙂 Next time will be aiming to extend the stirs, in fact, might schedule a day of STIRS ONLY 😀 😀 😀