I have to say, this
is one of THE strangest abdominal exercises you'll
ever see...but also one of THE most effective!
You're not going
to be doing any crunching or twisting or squeezing.
There are no machines involved...no need to even
focus on contracting the core muscles.
once you start doing this exercise, your body
will have NO CHOICE but to fire the abs HARD in
order to do it!
For this exercise,
all you need is a pair of dumbells and a floor.
The dumbells should
be a moderate weight - something you'd use for
sets of 5 reps on dumbell curls, perhaps. In the
demo, I'm using 65 lb dumbells and those were
a good weight for me.
This exercise is
going to teach you what core strength and stability
are REALLY all about! First, I'm going to explain
how to do it, then I'll give you the full rundown
on why it's so good.
How To Do It:
You'll need some
open floor space for this exercise - preferably
where you have about 10 to 15 feet of unobstructed
space to move. Set the dumbells on the floor then
get down in what looks like the top of a close-grip
push-up position. Your hands will be on the handles
of the dumbells and you'll be up on your toes
(not kneeling). Try to visualize the "start"
position that sprinters are in when they're about
to take off out of the blocks - THIS is what the
position looks like.
you're going to CRAWL forward in that position...move
the LEFT dumbell forward a few inches and step
your RIGHT foot forward a few inches.
easier to "get" this one when you see
it done on video (which, of course, I'll be posting
a link to at the end of the article).
going to be crawling on the floor with your hands
weighted by the dumbells. Crawl forward about
10 feet like this then stop and crawl BACKWARDS.
Sound easy? Think
Why Dumbell Crawling Is So Effective:
is a VERY effective core exercise because of the
uneven tension you get through your core with
every step forward you take.
Think of it this
way...when you're lifting up your left hand (with
the dumbell) and the right foot, what is supporting
your body? The support is coming from your OTHER
hand and foot. Your core is, in an instant, going
from 4-point support to 2-point support and all
the tension is going diagonally through your core.
It doesn't seem like much when you're crawling
without weight, but add a dumbell to the mix?
You'll be singing a different tune...
In addition, while
crawling, you're also supporting your bodyweight
in a pike position, working the entire abdominal
area isometrically (which means without movement
- just acting to stabilize and brace your body
position). It's a two-pronged attack on your core
that will pay off BIG.
One of the great
things about this exercise is that the
strength you develop is EXTREMELY functional.
Forget standing on a BOSU ball on one leg and
catching a beanbag...THIS exercise will build
functional power through the core.
The diagonal tension
of crawling exactly mimics the natural diagonal
tension that goes through the core when walking,
running and jumping. Think of it as "force
transfer" strength, meaning you'll be better
able to transfer force through your core when
moving (i.e. running, jumping, etc.).
in this very targeted way will have an IMMEDIATE
and powerful carryover to sports performance.
And when you start
moving BACKWARDS...you'll be in for a shock! It's
actually quite a bit tougher moving backwards.
The co-ordination can be a bit tricky but with
practice, you should do fine.
When you're doing
this exercise, start with a light to moderate
weight but don't be afraid to increase the weight
here. You may not feel it so much in the abs until
you move up in weight. THAT is where the real
benefits of the exercise will be felt.
If core strength
and performance are important goals in your training,
DEFINITELY give this exercise a try. As strange
as it may look, it's actually EXTREMELY effective
for working the core. In a nutshell, it's going
to TRASH your abs!
the start position - you've
got the dumbells on the
floor and you're in what
looks almost like a sprinters
you move one dumbell forward
and step your opposite
foot forward. The first
time you do it, it'll
take a little getting
step the other dumbell
forward and the other
you go forward about 10
feet or so, stop then
start moving yourself
backward. This is actually
a lot tougher than going
forward and backward until
you can't hold yourself
up or can't move the dumbells
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