MPOWER ABCHALLENGE – THE WRAPUP & TOP 3 MOST EFFICIENT AB EXERCISES

WHAT

The Mpower AbChallenge lasted for 5 weeks. This time we created the program ourselves by studying many programs online and combining those with our own previous experiences and knowledge. We created the program so that the workouts were different for each day but weekly programs were the same. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday were straight abs days and Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday were focusing on obliques. Friday was our rest day. Our experience from the BootyChallenge was that it may not be all feasible to workout the same muscles everyday and that’s why we alternated abs and obliques. That is also why we agreed that we’d each do optionally all six workouts a week but at least 3-4 workouts minimum. The muscles need also time to recover to improve and get toned.

WHO

In the AbChallenge we had the same gang as in the BootyChallenge i.e. two generations of women, one sports enthusiast – Mia – playing baseball in a team and two fitness enthusiasts – Isabella and Minna – who exercise to look and feel good.

WHY

The three Abs ladies agreed on the goals and targets for the challenge. They all wanted to improve their athletic performance, help to fix with their back pain and last but not least to get their abs in shape and posture improved!

 

MOST EFFECTIVE ABS EXERCISES MEASURED BY MPOWER

Our muscles are unique and activation levels measured by Mpower are not comparable as such. Mpower tells you however how your individual muscle respond to the specific training and helps you find the most efficient exercise. In this AbChallenge we noticed bigger differencies between each participant and there was only few similar exercises in the TOP 5 lists. Mia’s and Isabella’s TOP 5 lists included more of the similar exercises as for Minna’s TOP 5 list was most different of all, partly due to the fact that Minna couldn’t perform all exercises with the same technique. Technique has a big impact to the level of activation achieved. Mpower helps you find the right technique to get the most out of your exercise. Mpower also shows which exercises works best for you whatever your strength training targets are.

We made comparison between each lady’s TOP exercise lists and this is the conclusion:

 

STRAIGHT ABDOMINALS (ABS) – TOTAL ACTIVATION -TOP 3 MOST EFFICIENT EXERCISES:

1. Bottoms up
2. Seated leg tuck
3. Jacknife sit up

What comes to the exercises providing best activation on FAST muscle fiber:

1. Seated leg tuck
2. Bottoms up

 

OBLIQUES – TOTAL ACTIVATION – TOP 3 MOST EFFICIENT EXERCISES

1. Side jacknife
2. Mountain climber
3. Bicycle crunch

What comes to the exercises providing best activation on FAST muscle fiber:

1. Side jacknife
2. Mountain climber

 

WHAT DID WE LEARN?

1. Good muscle strength of abs is vital for your overall performance and to keep your posture and energy going all day. This will have direct impact also to the way your back feels at the end of the day
2. We learned from BootyChallenge that its important to workout different muscles each day and have rest days – we applied these learnings to the AbChallenge! As a result we were able to recover properly from each training before the next and felt much more motivated going through all five weeks.
3. Stretching and maintenance – the importance we learned already from the BootyChallenge and have remembered during AbsChallenge.
4. We all have the sixpack – but it takes more than just Abs training to make them visible. Its important to check your dietary habits if you really want to show off your sixpack!

 

Mia has again best results of the ladies in terms of physical appearance. She lost several centimeters of her waist. Isabella and Minna has also lost some around the waist and all the ladies feel that the posture has gotten better. Mia might be most ambitious of us all as she has been doing the workouts all six times a week!

Below the ladies reflect their experiences and feelings on the AbChallenge:

ISABELLA:

The Ab Challenge was a great experience to challenge myself a bit further after the five weeks of summer Booty Challenge. Again, I greatly enjoyed having a routine, because it helped me to actually motivate myself to go to the gym and get things done. Also doing abs was a nice little extra thing to do before or after a fitness class, so I feel like it helped me to take my training a bit further than usual every time. In terms of quantitative results, unsurprisingly I feel extremely relieved for not gaining weight during this hectic time – final year of University life is definitely not exactly #healthyliving and #cleaneating with all that’s going on. I even managed to lost a few centimetres around my waist, which I’m thrilled about because my diet has not been ideal lately. The main thing for me however was that measuring my workouts and progress motivated me to keep going and maintaining my daily fitness routine, which I highly likely would not have done without the challenge.
The main difference to the Booty Challenge was that while last time I was just basing all my analysis on my feelings about the exercises, this time I used Mpower all the way through the challenge. I definitely agree with the girls that including Mpower and seeing my activation levels motivated me to push harder. And to cheat less! Not that I was cheating before, but seeing my activation levels pushed me to work harder to get the activations higher. It felt like what was earlier just based on my feelings became much more tangible when I was seeing actual quantitative data and results from each and every exercise. It was also interesting to see how those exercises that might feel very effective are actually not as effective as I thought, while quite ’basic ones’ were better than I thought they would be.
I will definitely keep on going with the various ab exercises now after the challenge as well. I definitely suggest you to check out our post, where you can find all the various exercises we used to inspire you to try new ab exercises as well! All in all, this was a great experience, but my abs definitely need some chilling out now. And maybe a little ice-cream treat (just one though).

 

MIA

During The Abs and Booty Challenges I have learned that these type of workouts are just designed for me. My life is hectic, sometimes even chaotic, and there are times when going to the gym seems so overwhelming! (I suppose many of us experience these feelings too!) Therefore, committing to these pre-planned programs seems to work for me. I’m not responsible for the effectiveness of the program (I can loose that burden from my shoulders and leave the decision making tasks for someone else). I don’t have to use my precious time for planning. I just need to stay focused and do the work. Workouts are already planned to focus on certain areas, but they are still training my whole body. In addition, they can be performed at home if needed. They last only 20 minutes which is an optimal time. Not too long to be an excuse for not to start the workout, and long enough to know afterwards that you have really done something. Since workouts were performed frequently, almost every day they were easy to include as part of my daily routines. And best of all is that at some point all the programs will come to an end! I’m able to give a pep talk to myself and get the feelings of success. I enjoy these challenges with diverse program in particular because they work!
During The Ab Challenge I have lost four centimetres from my waist. Still, the biggest change has happened in my posture. Since my core muscles are now stronger and sore all the time due to variation in program, I am more aware of my posture especially when sitting. This is good news for my sedimentary work!
During the challenge I also noticed that my obliques were in pretty good shape already in the beginning compared to my abdomen or transverse muscles. Probably because of my baseball background. I also assumed that it was one of the reasons why I was able to improve my Abs New Max Activation in the beginning of the challenge more often than Obliques New Max. In the end of the challenge improving New Max seemed impossible for me. I think that for the last week or so increasing resistance would have helped to improve my muscle activation since also the overall results stayed pretty much in a same level. However, I was able to identify my progress from the Mpower app during the challenge which kept me motivated!
For me, I think that next challenge could be a variation of these two ab and booty programs since my legs are craving more attention than I have given them lately, but I’m really pleased with the results of Abs Challenge and ready to continue with it!

 

MINNA

I would really fancy to see my sixpack ;). I have noticed how my abs and obliques are tougher and help me keep my posture much better. But I don’t see my sixpack yet as I have not been able to lose fat around my waste and Its time for me to check my basic diet. The weakness in my diet is not healthy basic meals but I like to treat myself for whatever reason 😮 !
Mpower and the team challenge are the greatest motivators to me. I planned in  the beginning that I wont do the Abs workouts on those days I have Fitness Boxing and Kettlebell workouts but I was so excited about the measurement that I put Mpower pods on during those workouts and was thrilled to see how efficient those workouts were and how much muscle activation they provided on my abs and obliques!
I noticed that combining the Abs workouts with the Booty workouts works really well for me. During the AbsChallenge I didn’t have the same back pain what I had doing just the Booty!

 

BOOTY AND CORE ARE IN SHAPE – WHAT NEXT

Our bootys and abs are now strong, powerful and toned. What could be the next challenge. That is something that we will be planning going forward and appreciate to hear if you have some suggestions for it.

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