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Abdominal Exercises for Combat Athletes

All fighters from every combat sport all have one thing in common. These gladiators all have a great deal of abdominal strength. Now we all know that muscular abdominals come from hard training and most importantly clean and healthy eating. All of the ab and core training wont give you the six pack of your dreams if you're crushing nachos and going to your local late night fast food joint after a long night of drinking. So before you jump into this hardcore abdominal routine, make sure your nutrition is strong and calculated.

Many successful fighters train this region of the body different. It was said that during Iron Mike Tyson's prime, Mike would perform 3000 crunches a day. While that might sound a little extreme to must of us, championship fighters require more abdominal strength then most athletes. Fighters with a strong core produce more explosive power and can protect their internal organs better when being attacked to the body with power strikes. While having ripped abs is awesome, having functional core strength is the primary goal of every professional fighter. The goals for each fighter are always different. Some fighters may need more work on muscular endurance or explosiveness. Here are a few must have abdominal exercises that can benefit anyone from the average joe to the world champion fighter.

Hanging Leg Raise
This is one of the most popular ab exercises available. Hanging leg raises strengthen the entire rectus abdominal muscle, which is the long superficial ab muscle that makes the six pack. This exercise focuses on the lower part of the abdomen. This helps with absorbing hard body shots and knees to the bread basket. To perform this exercise, hang from a pull up bar with your palms facing forward and pull your legs straight up until they form a right angle with your abdomen. If you're having problems keeping your legs straight, start with bending your knees until you have developed enough strength to keep them straight. If you can perform this easily, then you can add ankle weights and twisting motions.

Walk into any gym and you will see people from all different ages and fitness levels executing planks. This is one of the most effective core exercises for athletes because of the stabilization work. The plank has several variations. One is holding the pushup position with your arms straight and the other is on your forearms. Start in the pushup position with your spine parallel to the floor. Place your hands shoulder width apart, hold yourself up for a desired time.

Medicine Ball
The medicine ball is definitely old school. It has been used for decades to help strengthen fighters abdominals. The exercises for the medicine ball are truly limitless. Individually you can perform an exercises we call knee-shin -toe. To start have your back straight on the floor with your legs straight up in the air similar to a leg raise. Crunch up with the ball and touch your knees first followed with shin to toe as one rep. With a partner you can do decline sit ups using the medicine ball. As you crunch up throw the ball to your partner, as you decline have your partner throw the medicine ball back to you.

When starting your new combat abdominal routine start slowly as these are a few exercises to get you started. Remember its not who trains the hardest, its who trains the smartest.

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