The Best Way To Hit Your Core On The Total Gym

Why the AbCrunch is More Effective Than Traditional Crunches and Ab Machines

Hey Total Gym team! This video demonstrates my favorite accessory to get a flatter stomach, a stronger core, and six-pack abs: the AbCrunch for the Total Gym.

As you will see, it easily attaches to your Total Gym, high on the rails, near the tower so that your forearms rest on the AbCrunch and your knees or toes will be secured on the glide board. From this position there are a variety of options to get a great abdominal workout for all fitness levels. It will not only strengthen and tone your abs, but it’s a great workout for your entire core.

A Definition of the Core

The best definition I have heard to describe the core is from my physical therapy and Pilates colleagues. Your core is every muscle that stabilizes, protects and moves the spine. Picture a big rectangle from the top of your shoulders to the middle of you pelvis, but not only the muscles you can see in the mirror. The muscles in the back of this rectangle that support your spin are equally if not more important.

Traditional crunches and most ab machines I see in the gyms target only those six pack muscles. Sure it’s great to have a nice six-pack. We all have a six-pack but you can only see them if you have very little body fat. It is much more important to train the entire core which best supports your daily, functional movement, everything from sitting at a desk for 8 hours, standing, walking, playing sports and shopping. Or in other words, literally everything you do!

Advantages of the Total Gym AbCrunch

There are several advantages of training the entire core using the AbCrunch accessory:

  • It starts from a plank position. This requires strengthening and stabilizing through the upper back, mid-back, lower back, obliques (the muscles around your love handles).
  • As you see in the video, when we add movement we will then begin to engage the six pack, the lower abdominals – all those muscles that give us a flatter tummy.
  • As with all exercises on the Total Gym, you can easily adjust the level according to your current level of strength. I recommend a level where you hit fatigue between around 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • With simple, slight changes of your body position you can change the intensity and the focus of the exercise. I will also demonstrate this in the video.
  • The AbCrunch truly articulates the spine much more than traditional ab machines or crunches. A healthy, supple spine will enhance any movement you do in life.

I recommend starting each workout on your Total Gym with 3 to 5 minutes of core strengthening moves using the AbCrunch. That way your spine stabilizers will be warmed up and active during the rest of your workout. Another idea my clients enjoy is to slip in some AbCrunch moves in between working other muscles.

Enjoy the accompanying video and then order the AbCrunch for the Total Gym. You and your body will love it!

JayDee Cutting III, MBA

JayDee Cutting III, MBA is an Educator for the American Council On Exercise and holds 12 fitness certifications including Pilates, yoga, personal training, lifestyle and weight management. JayDee is a Total Gym master trainer and spokesmodel since 2004. He lectured and taught wellness at Rancho La Puerta Fitness Spa and is featured in over 10 fitness DVDs and over 40 fitness television programs. He developed his own Coregolf Fitness Program and founded the NiceDogYoga Company. His mission statement is: “My passion is inspiring people to enhance their lives through wellness, creating healthier, happier, higher qualities of life.”

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Is it possible to speak to you about my workout on Total Gym?

    1. William,

      If you’d like to contact JayDee about a personal matter, I suggest doing so through his professional website.

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