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...
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