Six-Pack Sizzle Can Be Yours
By Jerry Kindela | Photography by Cory Sorensen | Fitness model: Alicia Marie | Hair, make-up and styling by Nancy Jambazian | Clothing by Rogiani
Sometimes a road less travelled leads to surprises, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to abs training. Take the workout here: an unusual all-cable adventure not generally taken but sure to surprise your abs into quicker development.
First of all, we’ve chosen to give you an all-cable variation for a simple reason: unlike most other more standard abs moves, cables maintain stress on your abs from the start to finish of each rep. This continuous tension enlists a somewhat greater number of fibres than more traditional moves. The greater the number of muscle fibres engaged during a workout, the better the results (assuming of course that you change up your workouts every so often to prevent exercise staleness and quick muscle adaptation to a routine).
Another great benefit of continuous-tension training has to do with intensity. When you keep a muscle even mildly contracted during an exercise, there are no ‘dead’ spots during the course of the repetition – no opportunity to rest, however brief. For example, when you do a floor crunch, the abs generally get to relax just a bit between reps (unless you maintain partial contraction at all times, something that’s not always easy to remember). You get no such relief with abs-cable work. Since the muscle is under tension at all times, some of the abdominal fibres are always engaged, always firing, to some degree.
What this simple but effective technique comes down to is this: your muscle tissue experiences contraction in varying amounts throughout the range of each repetition, and this leads to enhanced growth. And that’s what can happen when you embark on a different road. End of story, but only the beginning of your journey to fabulous abs.
Lying cable knee raise
TARGET MUSCLES: rectus abdominis, lower section
Set-up: Position a bench several feet away from a low pulley. Attach an ankle strap to the cable and then around each ankle. Lie back along the length of the bench, grasping the head end with both hands for support and extending your legs at the other end. If the bench has been positioned correctly, there will be no slack in the cable.
Action: Keeping your lower back against the bench, bend your knees, pulling your thighs toward your chest. Stop when your thighs are perpendicular to your pelvis, and contract the abdominal muscles, before slowly returning your legs to the extended position.
HOME OPTION: Leg lift off the floor
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