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My Latest Article – The Best Exercise for a Smaller Waist

Best Exercise for Smaller Waist

Just like the headline says, my latest article (the first in a couple years) is LIVE over at T-Nation.com.  In fact, it was posted this past Monday.  The repairs on DrClay.com were just completed today, however…so this is my first chance to let ya know ;)

The caption they give it pretty much sums up the topic of the article – “These five vacuum exercises will narrow and tighten your waist by training the transverse abdominis.”

As you’ll read in the article, when I say ‘narrower waist’ I’m talking about front-to-back, not left-to-right.  The width of your waist left-to-right is determined by body fat and genetics.

However, if you tend to have a distended abdomen (aka Pot Belly), then you’ll really dig the article.

Or even if, like me, you have a tendency to relax your midsection, allowing your belly to stick out a bit, then you’ll enjoy finding the fix to that in this article.

Lastly, if you have back pain, I’d also highly recommend the article.  That’s because training the TVA (transverse abdominis) has been shown to often help those with back pain.  (Note: back pain suffers tend to have a weak, hypotonic TVA that doesn’t contract when it should…thus it fails to stabilize the spine as it should.)

Anyway, hope you enjoy the article :)

Your friend in fitness,

Dr Clay

 

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Are Planks the Best Ab Exercise?

Question: What are the best exercises to do for abs?

Someone told me that planks were better than anything. I have tried and tried to do that and get nothing from them. I think that I am doing them right. I have watched tons of examples on you tube. I still can’t get anything out of them. Maybe I’m not doing them right. I don’t know.

ab plank 2x3

Answer: Planks are not really very good for abdominal development. Consider them more of a core stability exercise.

A number of studies have shown that bicycle crunches and hanging leg raises activate more motor units (muscle fibers) than other ab exercises.  So these are obviously a great starting point.

Likewise, one of my personal favorites is decline crunches.  As you get stronger you can easily add resistance to these by holding a weight (plate or dumbbell).

I hope that helps a bit.

All the best on your journey to washboard abs,

Dr Clay

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Episode 29 of the Dr Clay Show is LIVE!

In this episode I show you how to do Hanging Leg Raises for Abs.Hanging Leg Raise finish

Sure, they are one of the toughest ab exercises around, but they are also one of the BEST! 

Sadly, most people don’t do them them right way.  That’s why I want to make sure you’re doing them properly!

If your ab strength isn’t up to par just yet, no worries… I have you covered.  In the same episode I show you how to do an easier (but great) alternative.

Go check it out!

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Medicine Ball Twists for Abs & Core: Video How-To

Just the other day, out of the blue, I came up with a new exercise.  Well, it’s actually a variation or improvement on an old exercise.

First I sat down in the floor with both feet on the ground and leaned back about 30 degrees.  Then I grabbed a 12 lb. medicine ball and rotated the ball from side to side, while trying to minimize the actual twisting of my spine. 

Keeping your chest or sternum up (back arched, not rounding forward) and minimizing the twisting of your spine is key to making this exercise safe (and more effective). 

After my training partner and I each did one set, we couldn’t believe how well it hit both the rectus abdominus (six-pack abs muscles) and the obliques (the muscles on the sides in the love handle area)!  It’s incredible!  Sometimes I surprise even myself with the nifty tricks and modifications:)

Enjoy the video.

PS – I’m not sure why it sounds like I’m talking in a can. I’ll try to fix that next time.

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The Ab Triad: Dr Clay’s infamous abdominal superset

At some point, all of my personal clients learn about my (now infamous) Ab Triad.   People have a love/hate relationship with this superset of three ab exercises – they love it because it works to build killer abs; yet people hate it because it’s TOUGH!

If you’re ready to get a killer ab workout, then give my Ab Triad a whirl.  I’m sure you’ll love/hate it as well!

1) The first exercise is the V-up done on theV-up (ab exercise) Start Position ground.  V-up (ab exercise) Finish Position

The V-up works both the upper and lower abdominal regions very well.  For this reason, it’s tough!  And that’s precisely why I put it first in this ab triple superset.

 reverse-crunch-start-500.jpgreverse-crunch-end-500.jpg

2) Next up is the Reverse Crunch

This exercise targets the lower abdominals which are weak in most people.  Since the reverse crunch is harder than regular crunches, but not as hard as V-ups, it comes 2nd.

3) You’ll finish the Ab Triad with regular CrunchesCrunch startCrunch end

Crunches target the upper abdominals and are typcially fairly easy to do.  They won’t be so easy after doing the other two exercises – trust me!

 Sets and Reps

Do as many reps as possible* of each exercise back-to-back with no rest.  After completing one set or round of the Ab Triad, rest about 45 seconds and repeat two more times.

*If you can do 20 or more slow and controlled reps of each exercise, then you’re a stud – so considering using a medicine ball to add resistance.  You can hold the ball with your hands or between your feet (as you’ll need to do on reverse crunches).

Train hard and expect success!

~ Dr Clay

Click on any of the photos to enlarge.