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Double Dumbell Swings For Total Abdominal Training
Swing, swing, swing your way to better abs! Sure, it sounds like a late night informercial but in this case, it's actually going to get you an extremely intense ab workout! I'm going to tell you how to use momentum to cinch up your core like the steel corset I mentioned.
Imagine a cross-country skier. Now focus on the alternating action of the arms. When the left one goes forward, the right one goes back. Then the right goes forward and the left goes back, all in a very rhythmic movement.
Plant that image of the skier in your head. Now put a couple of dumbells in that skiers hands instead of poles!
In a nutshell, with this exercise you're going to be doing cross-country skiing with your arms while holding dumbells in your hands. Sounds easy, right? On paper, sure. In reality, you're going to be in for a shock!
So why is this weighted skiing movement good for the abs?
Well, first think about where the tension (from the dueling momentum of the dumbells moving in opposite directions) is going through: the core. As one dumbell is swinging down, the other is swinging up and it falls to the deep muscles of the core to not only stabilize the spine and body but to also provide muscular force to help keep those dumbells swinging.
This opposing torque on the abs results in a TREMENDOUS tightening of the deep muscles of the core, especially when both dumbells are at the bottom of their swings and heading back up. All the momentum in those dumbells is now going to go directly through your core.
The bonus: when you do the exercise, it will affect your ENTIRE body (I can promise you that!), giving you the benefits of interval training in addition to the direct effects on the abs.
Increase Your Chest Growth Zone Training For Dumbell Bench Press
You may or may not be familiar with a very cool training concept called "Zone Training". The concept was originated by Brian Johnston of IART and it's VERY effective for completely overloading the entire range of motion of an exercise.
At it's simplest, you basically break the range of motion of an exercise into two or three segments (i.e. zones) and work on those segments SEPARATELY, focusing on the first segment, then the second, then the third.
Brian has a book that describes Zone Training (also called JReps) in much greater detail. You can read more about Zone Training by clicking here.
I HIGHLY recommend grabbing this book if you're interested in the technique. Brian explains the hell out of it and it's excellent stuff :)
And since I'll be demonstrating this technique with bench press, we'll use bench press for the example!
It's a KILLER technique and, believe me, it will put TREMENDOUS overload on your muscles.
Basically, the problem with regular reps over a full range of motion is that your leverage changes of the range of motion. When doing a full-range bench press, you can only use as much as weight as you can get past the very WEAKEST point in the range of motion.
So THAT is the only point of the exercise that's getting fully loaded. When you're at the top, you could really use a LOT more weight because the leverage is better. That's what cam-based machines try and do - change the leverage of the exercise match the strength curve of the exercise (the strength curve is a chart of that change in leverage, if you're not familiar with the term).
It's also what partial training accomplishes. By focusing only on a specific range of motion, you can target your weights to that specific range of motion. It's how I can do 600 lbs on the top few inches of the bench press but have to use a whole lot less when doing full range reps.
What Brian has done with Zone Training is allow you to focus on those specific range of motion in the exercise but WITHOUT changing weights. He uses fatigue principles to change the resistance.
What THAT means in English is that you'll do partial reps in the weakest range first then in the middle range then, when you're most fatigued, you'll do partials reps in your STRONGEST range.
It may sound a bit confusing but once you see it in picture and video, you'll be able to get the meaning pretty quick. It's a great concept and VERY effective.
So the first Zone that you start with is the WEAKEST segment of the range of motion of an exercise. With the bench press, that's the bottom third of the range, from the chest to just a few inches above.
Use a moderate weight the first time you do this type of training. It's tough stuff and you'll burn out faster than you think.
You will be doing a total of 24 REPS of this Zone Training exercise - 8 reps in each segment of the range of motion.
So get the dumbells into position like you were doing a nor...