For your abs
Best Exercise: Lying Bench Hip Rollup
The Expert: Ron Matthews
The lying bench hip rollup strengthens your deep core muscles—the transverse abdominus and obliques— says Ron Mathews, trainer to celebs like Joe Manganiello and Hugh Jackman. The two primary functions of these muscles are pulling the ribs down and stabilizing the spine. Why is this so important? Because if your rib cage raises, it forces your back to arch excessively, which isn’t efficient for transferring force and can lead to injury. Strengthening these muscles will help your posture, protect your back, and minimize lost force across the core.
What to do
Lie down on a bench, reach over your head, and grab hold of the bench with your elbows pointing up. Raise your legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your shins are parallel, creating a 90-degree angle at your hips and knees. Press your lower back flat into the bench and don’t let it arch at all for the entire exercise. While keeping your back flat, extend your legs out straight. Slowly bring your legs back in to the starting position and then continue to roll your hips off of the bench one vertebrae at a time. Slowly lower your hips with control. Perform 10 full reps, then another 10 with just the hip-roll up and down but not the leg extension.
Place your ab training at the beginning of your workout if abs are top priority.
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