Strengthening my abs is one of the most important parts of my training. Not because I want to show off my hard work on a beach in Bali, but because I want to prevent injuries. I learned the hard way how important core strength and stability are when I injured my back and spent a lot of money on physical therapy.
During my physical therapy sessions, I learned that my core — specifically my transverse abdominis — was weak and unstable, which meant my back was paying for it. Since getting injured, I've stepped up my core-strengthening game, and let me tell you, it's made all the difference.
One move that I like to do for strong abs is the hanging bicycle. It targets your rectus abdominis (aka the six-pack muscles), but you'll really feel it in the lower part of your rectus abdominis (aka your "lower abs").
How to Do a Hanging Bicycle
- Start by hanging on a pull-up bar with palms facing out, or use the ab straps and hang with your arms inside of them. Use a box or bench if you need help reaching the bar.
- Pull your shoulder blades down your back to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
- Engage your abs as you bring your left knee up to your chest (or as high as it can go) with control. As you lower your left knee, repeat the same motion on the right side. This counts as one rep.
- Without swinging, continue to cycle your legs. Complete two sets of 15 reps.