There are a ton of exercises you can and should be doing to strengthen your abs, and lately my favourites have been antirotational (no twisting of the spine) core exercises. Antirotational moves like stir the pot, bottoms-up kettlebell carries, and side planks have become my go-to ab exercises because they strengthen your core and stabilize your spine.
Another move that will achieve both of these benefits is the Pallof press. It can be done at the gym or at home with a resistance band and will really fire up your abdominals. If you're currently experiencing lower-back pain, or want to prevent it, begin incorporating antirotational moves likes the Pallof press into your workout.
Here's how to do it:
- Lower the carriage of a cable machine so that it's about chest height, and attach a D-handle to the pulley. Adjust the weight so that it's at 10 pounds. If this is too heavy or too light, feel free to change the weight.
- Standing with the left side of your body closest to the machine, grab the handle with both hands and take two or three steps out so that there's tension on the cable. Hold your hands at your sternum, and make sure that your body is square. If you feel like you're getting pulled to the left, this is an indicator that you should lighten the weight.
- On an exhale, press the cable straight out in front of your body. Be sure not to rotate towards the machine. Hold for two seconds before returning to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
- Complete three sets of 10 reps on each side.