Alright, so you’re over 40. Listening to your body is not just optional, but mandatory. And whether you’ve been very active in the past, or are just starting out, remember this, core training is a crucial element of any good program, and you need to take the time to develop it properly. This is especially true for men over 40 as it is going to make you stronger, more athletic, and less prone to injury as you age.
Now, many guys think that the core refers to the abs and the obliques. But that’s not the whole truth:
Your core is comprised of your rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, erector spinae, and diaphragm. Its function is to provide stability to the spine and your body as a whole.
To train your core effectively, you need more than just ‘crunches.’ In fact, when done incorrectly, crunches can do more harm than good.
Today, we’ll take a look at the best exercises you can add to your core training regimine to develop a strong core and a killer set of six-pack abs well past the age of forty.
Men over 40 Top 5 Ab Exercises
This is one of the safest and most effective exercises you can do to strengthen your abs and transverse abdominis. To perform it, get on a captain's chair, grab the two handles and support your body weight by fully extending your arms at your sides.
From there, simply lift your pelvis up in a posterior tilt (aim to raise your tailbone toward the ceiling without engaging your leg muscles).
Unlike regular crunches and sit-ups, this movement hits your abs very effectively without incorporating your hip flexors.
This is a relatively simple move to perform. Grab a heavy dumbbell with one hand and start walking in a straight line while doing your best to keep your shoulders level. By resisting the weight, you are going to train your entire core musculature and grip strength.
The heavier the dumbbell, the bigger the resistance. But don’t get greedy. Good form comes first.
3.Oblique Twist Woodchopper
The oblique twist woodchopper is a great movement that should be a staple in any core training routine that develops a strong set of obliques and improve your rotational stability. To perform it, raise a cable pulley to roughly hip level. Then:
- grab the handle with both hands by interlocking your fingers;
- extend your arms fully;
- take two steps back;
- stand with your side facing the cable machine (toes pointing slightly away).
From there, engage your obliques and twist your torso to a point where your arms are in line with your feet. Then, slowly return to the starting position.
4.Hanging leg raises
To perform this exercise, either hang from a pull-up bar or support your body weight on a captain’s chair. From there, slowly raise your legs until they form a 90-degree angle with the torso.
Then, slowly lower your legs back to bottom position.
If this is too difficult for you, start by raising just your knees. If the movement is too easy, aim to raise your legs as high as you can (to a point where your toes almost touch your arms). And if even this becomes easy, you can always attach ankle weights for extra resistance.
Lastly, we have a movement for torso stability, the side plank. To perform it, start on your side with the bottom elbow directly below your shoulder to support your body. Keep both legs straight and feet together.
From there, contract your core muscles and raise your hips to form a straight line throughout your body. Hold the position for as long as you can and repeat on the other side.
To challenge yourself, even more, raise and lower your top leg while maintaining the side plank position.