You can’t have truly great legs unless you have great abs (and a great booty). They all just work together to make it happen. Sooooo you’re probably wondering…how do I get great abs.
Glad you asked. This one exercise is something you should be doing regularly. Can’t make it to the gym today? A few sets of these with some squats and push ups is a great at home ad hoc workout to get in some good work for super busy days.
Exercise of the Week – Bicycles
Rumour has it that this was Muhammad Ali’s favourite ab exercise. Probably because it hits every muscle in the abdominals and the results are hard to beat. I think if this exercise is good enough for the Greatest Of All Time then it should probably go in your bag o’ tricks as well.
How To Do ‘Em
Lie on the ground. Extend one leg and pull the other knee up towards your chest as much as you can. Now put your hands by your ears and touch the knee up by your chest with the opposite elbow.
Really important…reach with that extended leg.Think of it as working towards being long a graceful. Think of a dancer and how straight and elegant they hold themselves. That is because when they practice dance they practice reaching and extending their whole body. So as you reach with your leg feel as if you are elongating your whole body from the crown of your head to your reaching foot.
If you do regular bicycles reach with your toes. But if you do reverse bicycles, and this is my favourite version, push you heel of your extended leg and “bicycle” with your legs as if you were pedaling reverse on a bike.
One Word Of Caution
If you have back trouble you are probably not ready for this exercise yet. A good rule of thumb is to be able to hold a plank for 2 minutes and a side plank for 90 seconds before moving on to advanced leg raise exercises such as bicycles. Now when we talk about planking we mean not only holding the position but flexing your abs and glutes as hard as humanly possible for the duration.
If you can do that for the above times you have a pretty darn strong core. As always, check with your doctor or physiotherapist before trying any new routine.
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