A new research study showed that doing abs exercises "faster" (aka explosively) lead to more work done by the ab muscles.
Here's what you need to know about this study, and why this info is both good and bad.
First of all, there are two ways to increase the amount of muscle used in any movement.
One is to increase the resistance, and the second is to increase the velocity. Both require more muscle fibers to produce force, and more importantly, recruit your fast twitch muscles.
However, while this is an interesting report about the abs, we have to be careful not to take it to extremes.
First, explosive movements cause more muscle damage, and that means more muscle soreness.
Second, you can't talk about the abs without talking about the low-back and spine. Your low-back and abs want endurance for health and safety, but we want maximum abdominal recruitment for six pack abs.
So here's the best way to keep everyone happy...
a) do only one explosive ab movement per workout
b) do at least one ab endurance exercise per workout
Explosive Abs Exercises
-> Medicine ball slams
-> Sledgehammer swings
-> Kettlebell swings
-> sandbag swings
-> band pulldowns
A Medicine ball slam is just like an angry soccer throw in. Hold the ball at waist height, step forward with one leg while raising the ball overhead (stretching your abs),as you plant your foot, reverse your arm direction and contract your abs and drive the medicine ball into the ground. Pick the ball up and repeat for 6 reps.
After you've done your explosive ab exercise, you can do something like a plank, side plank, or plank with your arms on the ball for your abdominal endurance exercise.
That will help you work more of your abs while supporting your "core" muscles - plus you don't have to suffer the dishonor of crunches.
Use abs exercises properly,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS