We all know very well that the plank is the golden path to the realization of the dream of abdominal plates and to strengthen all the muscles of the body at once. Probably we all combine it with exercises with our own weight on the mat, so that we can both lie down and work on our abdominal muscles at the same time. It’s easy and practical, just a few minutes a day are enough to get impressive results.
But if you want to try something new, we offer you the 17 most effective exercises to strengthen the middle part of the body, which will brighten up your training routine. The strong middle part serves as a support for the spine and is very important for preventing accidents. If you work regularly on strengthening the muscles of the middle part of your body, this will make it easier for you to do other physical activities and thus you will achieve your fitness goals and the tummy tuck you dream of faster.
You do not need any special equipment, it is enough that every good gym has – a lever, a multifunctional fitness device with a lower pulley, a balancing pad, a TRX suspension strap system, a belly wheel, a fitness pad and a barbell. Therefore, in the next workout, aim to try at least 3 of the following exercises. Do 2 to 3 sets with the recommended number of repetitions, which is indicated for each exercise. If you stick to this, you will burn fat and achieve visible results. Let’s do this!
1. Circles with legs
Make sure the lever is placed high enough so that your feet do not touch the floor when you hang. Hold the lever shoulder-width apart with both hands and hang. Involve the abdominal muscles and lift the legs at right angles. Then start making circles with your feet clockwise. Try to draw an imaginary big circle in the air with both feet. Remember to keep your abdominal muscles tight at all times. Do 8 to 10 repetitions, then start making circles in the opposite direction. Repeat 8 to 10 times on each side.
Simplified version: Rest with the forearms of both hands on the handles, which are located on both sides of the multifunctional training device. This will give you more stability than if you are hanging on a lever.
2. Riding a bike in the air
In this exercise you will look like you are running in the air. Hold the lever with the palms of both hands shoulder-width apart. Raise your legs at a 90-degree angle parallel to the floor. From this position, start simulating riding a bike. Turn on the muscles of the middle part of the body and step firmly on the “pedals”! Ride the bike as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
3. Raise your knees to both sides
Hang on the lever, tighten the abdominal muscles and raise the knees to the right side of the body. Try to bring your knees as close to your chest as possible, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise on the other side, turning your knees to the left side of the body. Raising the knees to both sides of the body is considered a repetition. Do the exercise 8 to 10 times.
Exercises with a pulley
4. Isometric pulley pulling
Do not be afraid of this exercise, it is easier than it seems. Choose a small weight, start with the least load and place the pulley at chest height. Stand next to the appliance with the right side of your body facing the appliance. Grasp the handle with both hands and take a big step away from the appliance. Stretch your arms forward and hold them at chest height. Stand in a comfortable squat and keep the weight in balance. Turn on the middle part of the body to be able to keep the arms with the handle stretched. Focus on the correct body position and do not lean towards the appliance. Stay that way for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
5. Tilt to the side of the lower pulley from a standing position
Select a medium weight and place the pulley in the lowest position of the appliance. Stand with your back to the appliance and hold the handle vertically with your right hand. Bend your left arm at the elbow and place it behind your head. Tighten the abdominal muscles and lean to the left, in the opposite direction to the pulley. Return to starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times. Then switch sides.
6. Side plank with handle in hand
Choose a lower weight, place the pulley in the lowest position and stand two steps away from the appliance. Grasp the handle with your left hand and take the side plank position. Lean on the forearm of your right hand, stretch your body and keep your feet on top of each other. Hold your left hand with the handle high above your head so that your body assumes the T position. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
7. Hold the pulley handle above the head from the knee position
Choose a lower weight and place the pulley in the lowest position. Stand two steps away from the appliance with the right side of your body towards it. Step on the floor with your right foot and rest your left knee on the ground, as if you were attacking. Grasp the handle with both hands and lift them above your head so that they touch the scalp. The purpose of these techniques is to tighten the muscles of the middle part of the body, maintaining an upright position. Do not lean towards the appliance. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides – stand with the left side facing the appliance. Repeat the exercise for another 30 seconds.
Balancing pad exercises
Place the balancing pad with the rounded side facing the ground. Grasp the ends of the flat side of the balancing pad with both hands, straighten your legs, and stand on your toes as you would in a plank position. Start imitating climbing by bringing your right knee closer to your left elbow, then your left knee to your right elbow. Repeat this movement as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
Simplified version: Bring your knees only to chest level, instead of your elbows.
9. Seat in the shape of the letter V.
Place the balancing pad with the flat side facing the ground. Sit in the middle of the rounded part with your back straight and your feet on the ground. Start slowly raising your knees to your body. Keep your balance with your hands, if necessary you can hold on to the balancing pad behind your back. Once you maintain balance without holding on, begin to gradually move your outstretched arms forward so that your body forms a V shape and remain in this position for 30 seconds.
10. Lateral lifts from a bed on a balancing pad
Place the balancing pad with the flat side facing the ground. Lie with your right thigh and waist on the rounded part of the pad, legs should be stretched forward. Bend both arms at the elbows and place them behind the head (if you need more stability, place the right forearm on the ground and keep only your left hand behind the head). Start to the left. Tighten the abdominal muscles and try to touch the left thigh with the left elbow. Do 10 to 12 repetitions, then switch sides.
Exercises with a wheel for the abdomen
11. Lateral rotations
If you’ve never used an abdominal wheel to strengthen your muscles, now is the time to change that. Try this exercise. Squat on a fitness mat with your knees together. Grasp the handles of the belly wheel with your hands and turn it forward. Tighten the abdominal muscles and turn the wheel forward, your body should acquire the shape of an arc. Go back slowly. Repeat once to the right, then to the left. Be careful that your hips do not touch the ground. Repeat 10 to 12 times on each side.
Exercises with TRX tapes
12. Relax and pull with outstretched arms
Lower the TRX straps so that they reach the height of your waist. Stand facing the strips and spread your legs a little more than the width of your thighs. Grasp the handle of the straps with both hands and squeeze your hands together with your fingers intertwined. Take a few steps back from the TRX and release your weight back, arms should be stretched forward. Tighten the muscles of the middle part of the body and pull yourself to an upright position, moving your outstretched arms to the right. Return to starting position and repeat the exercise, this time moving your arms to the left. Do 10 to 12 repetitions on each side.
Simplified option: Stand at such a distance from the TRX that your body is at a smaller angle to the straps.
13. Pulling the knees
Lower the TRX straps so that they reach the height of your knees. Get on your knees with your back to the bars. Place your feet in the handles of the TRX straps and stand in a high plank position. Transfer the weight of your arms, your legs should hang on the straps. Bring your legs together and try to bend them at the knees and pull them to your right elbow. Return to starting position. Repeat the exercise so that you pull your knees to your left elbow. Repeat 10 to 12 times on both sides.
Simplified version: Pull your knees to your chest one by one.
Start in the same position as in the previous exercise. Tighten the abdominal muscles, keep the legs straight in a high plank position. Start gradually pulling your feet towards your head so that your buttocks and thighs are up until your shoulders are literally above your wrists. You will feel as if you are doing a handstand, but your body will take the shape of an arrowhead or the roof of a house. Return slowly to a horizontal position and do 10 to 12 repetitions.
These exercises are suitable for intermediate and advanced fitness enthusiasts. If you are just starting to train, it is enough to use the barbell lever during these exercises, but without weights.
15. Lifting the legs from the leg
Lie on your back on a fitness mat, grab a barbell shoulder-width apart and lift it above your head. Stretch your arms fully. Tighten the muscles in the middle of the body, bring the legs together and keep them as straight as possible during the exercise. Raise both legs to the right hand, pressing the lower back to the mat. Slowly bring your legs back and repeat the exercise on the left side. Do 10 to 12 repetitions on both sides.
Simplified version: Leave the barbell and emphasize the correct technique of performing the exercise. Stretch your arms up, lift your legs and try to touch your toes with your hands.
16. Abdominal presses with weight over the head
In addition to a barbell, you will also need an inclined bench. Lie on your back on the couch and fasten your legs firmly under its handles. Grasp the barbell shoulder-width apart, lift it, and lift it toward your knees, while pushing the barbell over your head with your arms fully outstretched. De facto in this way you do abdominal presses by pushing the barbell over your head. The biceps should touch your ears and your back should be completely straight. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the exercise 8 to 10 times with more weight on the barbell. If you put less weights, do 10 to 12 reps.
Simplified version: Exercise abdominal presses on an inclined bench without a barbell. Feel every muscle and follow the right technique.
17. Lifting the bar on an inclined bench
Start in the same position as in the previous exercise. Lie on an inclined bench, legs – firmly attached, barbell – raised shoulder-width apart. Do a partial abdominal press by lifting your back and shoulders, but keep your butt on the bench. Keep the muscles in the middle of the body tight and lift the barbell above your head. Then slowly lower the barbell to your chest with your elbows wide open. Do 8 to 10 lifts and return to the starting position, lying slowly on the back of the bench.
Simplified version: Do a partial abdominal press and exercise without lifting weights, keeping the abdominal muscles tight.