Tutorial: SummerABS Series of Pulses
The “Series of Pulses” is the second part of my SummerABS workout, and when executed in proper form, will take your abs from flat, to flatter, to flattest.
During this exercise, we are going to put emphasis on deepening the abdominal cavity, finding a feeling of concavity in the abdominals, while continuing to elaborate on the methods we discussed in the prior SummerABS tutorials.
The results speak for themselves; flatten that lower pouch and define your midriff.
I spent a fair amount of time in earlier SummerABS videos going over the proper form and posture on the physio ball. If you are unfamiliar with the earlier exercises, I strongly recommend you watch them first and learn the foundation that is being used in all further exercises, including this one. By thoroughly understanding the SummerABS methodology I have developed not only mentally, but physically, you will achieve the greatest of results in the shortest amount of time.
Make It Work for You
You are where you are. Therefore when starting out, it is best to focus solely on a clean form. Quality always over quantity. Ideally start with ten repetitions in each arm position, and work your way up to doing the whole program in one sitting with as many reps as you please while keeping form.
Stand up between each set and see if you feel a “drawn-in, taller” sensation from deep inside. If so, you have found that SummerABS feeling.
In the video, we are demonstrating this exercise on a Physio Ball (Also known as an exercise ball, fitness ball, stability ball, etc.). If you find yourself feeling a little anxious due to instability, you can substitute the exercise ball with a Bosu-ball instead.
While it is not ideal to do this exercise on the floor without an exercise or Bosu-ball, you can still use it as a means to practice proper breathing techniques for when you do not have access to either. If you have a folded yoga mat, a large pillow, etc. you can position yourself on it as if it were the ball or Bosu; it not will be the same, but it will still provide results.
Proper Posture, Technique and Tips
- Take a seat on the ball, and walk forward until your lower back is on the ball. Lie on your back over the ball from your buttocks to head, making sure your back stays flat along the curve of the ball, so that your abs are isolated.
- Relax your neck and upper shoulders; pull the outside of your shoulder blades down towards your waist.
- Position your legs slightly wider than your hips, with your knees tracking directly over the middle toes, at about a 90-110 degree angle.
- Lift both arms up, reaching directly towards the ceiling, with your palms facing away from you.
- By squeezing your buttocks and contracting your abdominals, come into a flat contracted position, keeping only the top of your shoulders off the ball and placing the rest of your back and shoulder blades on it. Allow your pelvis to stay as neutral as possible.
- While holding the contraction in your abs, elaborate on the scooping of your abs so that you pulse slightly. Keep the focus of this exercise solely into your abs; try not to move the rest of your body or shrug your shoulders to achieve the motion.
- Keep pulsing while reaching up. Keep movement to a maximum of 20 degrees above the flat contracted position, exhaling on the upward pulse and inhaling on the downward.
As you keep doing this motion, change the position of your arms at a set interval. Start at 10 repetitions for each variation, and over time you can work your way to 20, or even 30. I like to mix and match, here are some of the arm positions:
- With both arms reaching directly up towards the ceiling, pulse in the direction of your fingertips. If you have shoulder issues, you can work with the direction your palms face to find a comfortable position to do this exercise in.
- Put your arms at a 45 degrees angle from the floor, and pulse in the direction of your fingertips.
- Position your arms almost horizontal to the floor and pulse in the direction of your fingertips.
To get back up from the ball when finished with a set, reach your arms forward and walk your way back up. Watch the video to get a very clear visual for this.
Summer: Juicy Couture
Solange Ross: H&M
“It’s a lifestyle – train like there’s no finish line.”
Steve Katai, Author