Exercise of the Week: "Arkansas Abs" Circuit

October 19, 2011


Every Wednesday, STACK features an Exercise of the Week to help you improve your overall sports performance—including strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week we highlight Arkansas Abs, a circuit designed to increase core strength through four different exercises.

Who’s Doing It

  • Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions DT

Muscular Benefits

  • Increases overall core strength, specifically in the abs, obliques and hip flexors

Sports Performance Benefits

  • Improving core strength helps you maintain balance and control when throwing, shooting, changing directions and executing many other sports skills
  • Improves the transfer of power between the lower and upper body so you can throw faster, hit further and tackle harder
  • By strengthening the core, you stabilize and protect the spine to prevent low back injuries

How to Perform Arkansas Abs Circuit

  • Straight-Leg Raise
    • Lie with back on ground
    • Hold med ball overhead with arms straight
    • Flex hips to raise legs until perpendicular to ground
    • Contract abs to lift hips off ground and pulse feet toward ceiling
    • Lower legs with control until six inches off ground
    • Repeat for specified reps
  • Toe Touches
    • Lie with back on ground, arms straight and legs perpendicular to ground
    • Contract abs to lift shoulders off ground; touch toes with hands
    • Lower with control
    • Repeat for specified reps
  • Impulse Crunches
    • Assume sit-up position holding med ball at chest; position partner at side near hips
    • Contract abs to lift shoulders off ground; pass med ball to partner
    • Lower with control
    • Repeat crunch; receive med ball from partner
    • Repeat pattern for specified reps
  • Twist and Touch
    • Sit on ground with knees bent and heels off floor
    • Hold med ball at chest
    • Rotate left until ball touches ground outside hip; quickly release and bounce med ball on ground
    • Rotate right until med ball touches ground outside hip; quickly release and bounce med ball on ground
    • Repeat pattern for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2-3x12-18 each exercise

Coaching Points

  • Circuit exercises with minimal rest
  • Use 10- to 25-pound med ball
  • Straight-Leg Raise
    • Keep core tight and stomach pulled in
    • Keep legs straight and toes pulled up
  • Toe Touches
    • Keep legs straight and touch ball to toes each rep
  • Impulse Crunches
    • Raise shoulder blades off floor with each rep
    • Hand ball to partner or receive it on every rep
  • Twist and Touch
    • Keep knees together and toes pulled up
    • Touch ball to ground and quickly release it on each side
    • Keep pelvis straight and core tight

Do you have an exercise that you want to see featured as an Exercise of the Week? Tweet us at @STACKMedia to let us know.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,265,894
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 197,143
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 396,957
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,189
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,354,155
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,209
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,894
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,134,125

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Strength Isn’t Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Strength Isn't Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Build Powerful Muscles With Velocity-Based Training

Build Powerful Muscles With Velocity-Based Training

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

Building Brakes for More Speed

Building Brakes for More Speed

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

There Might Be a Good Reason Tim Tebow Looks This Ridiculous

There Might Be a Good Reason Tim Tebow Looks This Ridiculous

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

YardBarker