Fitness with Zamo Nene
(15 May 2014)

Zamo Nene hails from KZN. She is 28 years old. Zamo is a qualified Sports Scientist and a personal trainer by profession. She currently works at Body Excel at the Waterfront in Cape Town as a Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor and Sports Masseuse.


This workout shall focus on the abdominal/core muscles. These series of exercises differ from the conventional supine floor exercises because firstly some are done while standing, and secondly some do not require flexion and curvature of the spine in order to activate the abdominal muscles.

It is a common assumption that in order to obtain strong abdominal muscles one needs to just do many crunches and sit ups. This is not true, as though your abdominal muscles are responsible for flexion of the trunk and spine, the abdominals are also responsible for stabilization and preventing over curvature or flexion of the trunk and the spine. This is why one needs to train both the movers and stabilizers of the trunk region to obtain optimal functional abdominal strength.

The benefits of training the abdominals/ core while standing is as follows:

  • Less chance of straining your neck
  • You can do it anywhere, you do not need to find a mat or a soft surface to do the exercises
  • Its more functional as it is important to have a good center of gravity and core control when you are doing your daily activities such as picking things up, running, and reaching for things behind you.
  • Its practical for sports as core stability is important when your sport requires you to perform single leg balancing movements or to perform impulsive actions while mid-air.
  • Some may find it more comfortable if your vertebrae protrude more than others and doing crunches on the floor is not ideal or of excessive curvature of the spine is discouraged by your doctor.
  1. Plank and progressions
    1. Standard plank either on forearms or on hands with arms straight
    2. Leg lifting progression
    3. Open and closed leg sequence
    4. Standard side plank
    5. Side plank dips both left and right with knees down and with legs up.
  1. Mountain climber variation
    1. Same knee to same elbow alternating
    2. Alternate knee to elbow alternating
    3. Same knee to same elbow one side repeat
    4. Alternate knee to elbow one side repeat

Standing abdominal/core exercises

  1. Rotation side crunch
  2. Alternate knee lift with elbow cross
  3. Side crunches in sagittal plane
  4. Alternate straight leg frontal raise with toe touch
  5. Boxing dodging crunch with weight held to chest
  6. Self-administered knee raise push down

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