Muscles Targeted: The Giant Zeros exercise is a movement that targets the abdominals and the oblique muscles. These are muscles that extend across the anterior surface of the body from the superior border of the pelvis all the way to the inferior border of the rib cage. These muscles include the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, external obliques and the internal obliques. These muscles are important as they support the trunk while also allowing movement and holding the body’s organs in their natural position by regulating internal abdominal pressure. The abdominal muscles are a key part of the core muscles together with the muscles of the back as they keep the body stable and balanced while at the same time protecting the spine. A strain on an abdominal muscle can come from overstretching or overuse. A good prevention strategy for abdominal muscle strain is regular stretching.
Exercise Advice: Grab a medicine ball with both hands and hold it high above your head. With your feet just beyond shoulder width apart, slowly move the medicine ball in the continuous motion forming the pattern of a giant number zero. Repeat the movement for the desired amount of repetitions.
Things To Avoid:
- Do not stand with your feet too close to each other. Instead, place them slightly farther apart than shoulder width to ensure stability.
- You must make sure that you contract your abdominal muscles during the entire exercise. The main goal of the Giant Zeros exercise is to improve your abdominal muscles and if you relax them, this exercise will not provide maximum benefits.
- You should stay in a fixed position with your feet and legs throughout the entire range of motion.
- Hold the medicine ball with a slight bend in the elbows and a firm grip.
- Make sure that there is a slight bend on your knees which assists in making you stable when moving the medicine ball around.
- For beginners, avoid using a medicine ball that is too heavy. Start out with a very light ball to get the technique down and then move to a heavier ball.
- You should not rotate the medicine ball in only one direction. Always change the direction of the motion at the end of every rotation to complete a full set.
- Do not perform the Giant Zeros exercise without first warming up.
Reps and Sets: The Giant Zeros exercise is a movement that focuses on strengthening the core muscles. Begin with 10-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets with a workout frequency between 1-2 days a week. As you become more conditioned, increase the number of reps to 30-40 reps for 3-5 sets.
Other Exercises To Use: Some of the other exercises that you can combine with Giant Zeros to really target the muscles of the abdominals and obliques along with the overall core area include the Starfish Crunch, Russian Twists and the Elevated Leg Curl Up movements. As you progress, combine a few different exercises to create a complete core workout that hits all of the key areas. Targeting the core muscles from different angles using a combination of various exercises really helps to increase strength, stability and power in your core muscles!