People tend to use short, isolated movements to condition their abs without realizing that shortening them under a load often leads to poor (forward head) posture.
In this video, I’ll show you how to perform the Ab Clock, an exercise I created many years ago when I was developing multidimensional core conditioning techniques, along with some precautions you need to consider as you’re learning it.
This exercise is one in which you imagine that you’re standing in the middle of the face of a clock drawn on the ground. You’ll flex your trunk and move your body so you can get as low to the ground as possible and move toward each position on the clock. (It’s a good idea to start with a light weight because, for most people, these are unusual movements.)
The goal of the exercise is to train the core muscles to work with the body and a wide variety of movement patterns that can be functional to many working and sports situations.
Pay attention to your breathing. Whenever you’re moving to the fetal position — that’s adduction which brings your arm in (flexion and internal rotation) — you should be breathing out.
When you’re coming out of the fetal position — extension and a-deduction away from the middle and external rotation — you should be breathing in.
As you’re pulling the cable down, be sure to exhale through pursed lips which maintains tone in the inner unit.
Two caveats to consider:
- If you already have any kind of an injury or health issue that worsens by flexing your body this way, don’t do it.
- If you have rounded shoulders and problems with forward head posture, you shouldn’t be doing this exercise. In fact, you should be doing the mirror opposite of it, which would be to do everything with the cable down and pulling up into all of these positions, avoiding any flexing exercises until you correct your posture.
Love and chi,