Do This BEFORE Every Ab Workout (GET BETTER ABS!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Today I want to show you one thing to do before
every one of your ab workouts. Especially if you’re someone who has a hard
time either A) feeling your abs work when you are doing your ab exercises; or B) you
tend to feel it more in your low back because you’re relying too much on your hip flexors
to do your exercises. That’s something we have to fix right now. We do that with reciprocal inhibition. Now this little, fancy word is just something
that really means, if we can activate, or contract a muscle that acts on the opposite
side of a joint than the one that we don’t want to work, then we can reciprocate it,
or at least turn it down a little bit so the other muscles can do the job. That’s what we’re trying to do. If your hip flexors are initiating too much
of the movement when you’re trying to crunch, or do any other ab exercises that we’ll show
here, then what you want to do is try to get them out of the equation so the abs could
do more of the work. The hamstrings are able to do that because
of their function as hip extenders. What we can do though, is also rely on the
glutes, too because we know that they can also extend the hip. So what you do is take this foam roller, put
it behind your ankles, and up against your butt. Then you squeeze your glutes together, and
your hamstrings at the same time. Everything should be squeezed up, and under. When we do that now the hip flexors have to
shut down a little bit. When we have that done, now when we initiate
an ab contraction it’s happening more from the abs instead of the hip flexors over dominating. So you want to do a levitation crunch. You squeeze here, keep that in place, and
we just lift the shoulders up, off the ground. Just like that. Immediately you should feel a much stronger
contraction in your abs because they’re being demanded to work harder. We do 10 reps of that, then we come across
our body, and same things. Squeeze, come up, and twist just a little
bit. Up, and twist a little bit. Here you go five on each direction. So now you’re up to 20 reps. Finally, we do some kind of bottom-up movement
here. So we squeeze with the foam roller back, and
then we initiate the lift. Just like that. Again, with the hamstrings actively engaged
in the glutes, squeezing from underneath, the hip flexors can’t contribute as much to
these lower ab movements as they tend to. And this is where a lot of the low back pain
comes from. So we go 10 reps here. So now, when it carries over to the full ab
workout the one thing I want you to realize is anytime you’re going to do a lower ab movement
where the bottom comes up here, then what you want to do is make sure that the hip flexors
are not doing that work. You could do that by actually limiting the
range of motion. A lot of times what people will do is, they
think that going all the way down is a great idea because you’re increasing the weight
of the legs, increasing the moment arm, making the exercise more difficult. But what that’s promoting is, that’s making
you move your hip flexors to get back up to the point where your pelvis moves. I have to go all hip flexor here to be able
to get to the point where my pelvis can then lift, and go through the movement. What I’m saying is, ‘don’t go down that
low’. Go down so the pelvis and legs move together,
all the time. When it gets down to the point where the pelvis
no longer moves, then you’re done with that rep, and go back up again. Here. So I’m never in a position where the pelvis
is stable, and that you’re moving on it. That would be hip flexor. But if I can get the pelvis and the legs to
move together then I’m doing it right. You’ll be able to do that a lot more likely
now because you’ve allowed the hip flexors to butt out, and get out of the equation. I’m going to give you a bonus here, too. What’s the one thing you should do after every
ab workout? You really need to stretch them, guys. People don’t stretch their abs nearly enough. They are muscles. They need to be stretched and again, if this
is going to be a static stretch you do it when you’re done with your work. Preferably, I like to do this at night, but
certainly not before we do our training. But a nice ab stretch is literally keeping
the lower pelvis in contact with the ground, and then just coming up for a stretch, and
hanging out here, like that. So there you go, guys! One thing to do to start getting those abs
to feel more of every ab workout you do by activating them more properly, and getting
those muscles that we don’t want to be contributing out of it. If you’re looking for a program that puts
the science back in strength – not just on ab training, but in everything we do – head
to right now and get our ATHLEANX training program. In the meantime, if you’ve found this video
helpful leave your comments and thumbs up below. Let me know what you want me to cover in a
future video and I’ll do my best to do that for you in the days, and weeks ahead. All right, guys. See you soon.

100 thoughts on “Do This BEFORE Every Ab Workout (GET BETTER ABS!)

  1. what a great tip for working the abs, Jeff!! how often should one stretch any given muscle? thank you so much for sharing my friend, with love from Wes!! hugs!!!

  2. Hie Jeff, can u make a video about mind muscle connection to glutes. I do pre exercises to fire up the glutes and hamstrings before my leg workout, however when it comes to crunch time i find myself more reliant on the lower back and most of the time u have to stop my workouts. I can activate the hamstrings but cannot activate the glutes. (FYI i had a minor lower back surgery 3 years ago. Is this the culprit?). So would appreciate a booty workout for men.

  3. Thanks Jeff for this video. I have massive low back spondylosis pain all day everyday and I have to work my abs and my hip flexors do this work and I was wondering how to take them out of it!

  4. Hey Jeff, I really appreciate what you are putting out. I started my lifestyle change late October this year and only started strength training again early December. I watched a few of your videos and I love how you approach this healthy lifestyle. But I'm wondering if the tips you gave to lose fats also applies to losing visceral fats. Thank you for the videos!

  5. ATHLEAN-X Hey Jeff! I love your videos! I watch them constantly and I learn so much from you! I've been working out for a couple of years now and this year I've been trying to focus on weight training. A few months ago I started to have pain in my left hip and my right knee from time to time and I've been going to the chiropractor over it. She reset my atlas a couple of time and she resets my hips and knees. My atlas was tilted my 4 degrees which was making me be unbalanced. But the thing is that I get better for a few days and then it goes back to hurting and she has to reset me again. So now I've started to take it easier at the gym because I don't know if I'm doing something there that could be harmful. Is there anything that you could tell me that could help know what kind of stuff I should stay away from because I'm kind of afraid to train my legs. Right now I'm just doing cardio, light weight workouts, and stretching.

  6. Please do a behind the screen video for this new year. The camera, the editor and other stuff that u do for YouTube. Will be a inspiration for beginners

  7. Thank you I have been doing years of ab workouts and my right hip flexor hurts a bunch, I have started doing this the last 3 gym sessions, thanks again Jeff C!

  8. One shouldn’t be discouraged by how ripped Jeff is. That guy is a master of functional exercise. No juice, just dedication. If you learn from him, you’ll get stronger. No-one on Youtube, as far as I’ve seen, gives as good advice.

  9. How to fix when my neck usually try to engage more than abs during the abs exercises especially crunches? I notice that my head always has to go upward before in order to raise my upper back off the ground. (I also have a chronic neck pain from an office syndrome)

  10. Another great tip from Athlean X,Iv'e tried it and for the first time in a long time I can feel my ABS after workout. I also tried this method throughout my floor crunches and cross body crunches not just as a warm up and I really feel the benefit but Is that a good or bad idea long term ?.

  11. got best results last past weeks following this steps, also i drink a protein shake after workouts so my muscles are healing faster. Best of the best (updated)

  12. thanks again Jeff, you nailed MY problem with the lower back pain. doing the 22 day ab and I think lowering my feet to far on the first one has affected the last four. I been going till my back can't handle it. Now I can go to true ab failure.


  14. I just wish he’d wear shorts more often when talking about leg/hip stuff so we could see the difference in muscle engagement

  15. Thank you your videos are awesome and so very helpful. You are very clear on what to do and how to do it. I came across your channel 3 weeks ago the results have been unbelievable!!!!

  16. Jeff.. hope you make another xtinction ab workout. the first one you made was great though.. first time i reached failure on every ab workout

  17. Jeff brings the brains and the healthy brawn to exercises. I've had 4 c-sections and by using his Ab Exer-Science I have been able to strengthen muscles I thought were ruined forever.

  18. Watching and learning from your videos is fast becoming my latest addiction.  I have been working out for years now and have seen the most improvemnt in my body since I have been following your methods .  Keep up the good work.

  19. Hi Jeff ! Thanks for your tips ! Just one question: Should I stretch my abs after the workout even if I have an anterior pelvic tilt ?

  20. Actually I did the ab exercise where l would elevate my legs up I did it on a bench. I can't hang from one of those pull ups I tried. I'm the only one at to different gyms that did that actually l saw it on a vhs tape but the wemons legs were bent.My first gym I did it at some people were wow Cathryn. And I'm a woman I'm going to try again with my legs straight hopefully I'll be able to do it this time bye.

  21. I just hold a plank for s long as possible then add knee-ups while I hang from a pull up bar in my doorway. That has flattened my abs better than crunches while just holding my weight up has added muscle to my upper body and shoulders. Less chance of injury, too

  22. Wondering how to take the hip flexors out of the workout when doing hanging leg raises. I guess squeezing the glutes and hamstrings would suffice here as well?

  23. I like your reciprocal inhibition principal to tone down wrong muscle working. I usually am aware now working the right muscle but every so often doing something new this method could be beneficial its a principal that you can apply to not only abs but any muscles of the human body pretty much.

  24. Jeff I kid you not I was just thinking about this exact problem (which I had been experiencing) and moments later this video was recommended to me and it solved my problem! Love you Jeff you are the best !

  25. Huh. I have a strained psoas (hip flexor) right now, and I guess this is why. Looks like I will have to change my workout.

  26. You are awesome. At 62 I have never looked and felt better. I have basically stopped watching tv. This is far more important.

  27. Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

  28. I have never watched one of your videos and felt it was a waste of my time. I always pick up a new thing, or 3 from you, Jeff. Thanks a bunch man.

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