The power tower is a powerful and very valuable machine suited for both home and gym use. The allure of the power tower lies in the fun it adds to workout routines and of course, the tower’s effectiveness.
The overhead bar, vertical knee raise, dip and push up stations will help you achieve a ripped midsection. You can get exceptional results by significantly increasing muscle activation and hit muscles at a variety of angles.
Vertical Knee Raises
Vertical knee raises focus on both the abs and obliques. It is often one of the first exercises done when you begin training with a power tower. The effectiveness of vertical knee raises is based on proper form, technique and raising your knees high enough for optimal activation.
- Position the body against the back pad using the vertical knee raise station to elevate yourself. Legs should dangle off the floor and your back must rest firmly against the pad.
- Bend the knees and slowly raise them vertically until thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the abs tight to control each movement.
- Slowly return to the starting position. Keep this very controlled as well.
- These can also be done on the dip station.
Hanging Leg Raises
Hanging leg raises are more challenging than knee raises. Fortunately, the results they deliver reflect the effort required making them totally worth it. Leg raises work all major muscles in the abdomen including those that support healthy spine alignment.
- Hold on to the overhead bar of a power tower with palms facing forward. Feet should be off the floor.
- Inhale as you slowly rotate the hips, bring your legs up and towards the body (keep your knees straight as you do this).
- Pause when your fingers and toes are level.
- Exhale and slowly lower the legs to return to the starting position.
People think the push up station on a power tower is designated for arms only but it can whip your core and abs into shape as well. We have all tried shoulder taps but shoulder taps on a power tower are way more intense.
- Kneel before the push up station on a power tower.
- Bend towards the handles, grab the handles and enter a plank position (keep your back straight).
- Stabilize the body with your core.
- Remove your right hand from the handle, tap your left shoulder and return it to the handle.
- Remove your left hand from the handle and tap your right shoulder.
Alternating Straight Leg Raises
Alternating straight leg raises, also called scissor kicks, target the transverse abdominis, the deepest muscle in the abdomen. This muscle is usually hard to target but a power tower makes it easy. A strong transverse abdominis improves balance, posture, stability and due to its location, the muscle actually pulls in the abdominal wall resulting in a flatter appearance. When doing alternating straight leg raises, always pause at the peak of each rep for the best results.
- Using the knee raise station, brace your body against the back pad using the arm pads to elevate yourself. Legs should hang straight down.
- Grip the bars.
- Elevate the right leg, as you hold the abdominal muscles tight, until it is parallel to the floor.
- Lower the right leg and repeat with the left.
- Continue in succession until failure or desired number of reps are completed.
For a list of great power towers, be sure to check out our top list.
The Role of Dieting
Working out is a must for strong, well defined abs but diet plays a significant role as well. Abs do begin in the kitchen so in addition to the exercises above, feed your body well. The easiest way to eat for abs is committing to a clean diet.
Eating clean means removing processed foods from your diet and consuming only fresh, whole foods. Meals included in a clean diet are composed of lean meats, whole grains, vegetables and fruit instead of frozen foods, prepackaged snacks, pastries, and potato chips.
Watch Your Macros
Macros (macronutrients) are crucial. In addition to building the abdominal muscles, body fat must decrease in order for those muscles to show through. To get your body fat percentage low enough while remaining in a healthy range, the ratio of protein to carbs to fat you consume matters. Start with a 40:40:20 macro split. This means your diet consists of 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat. Additionally, you want to eat small frequent meals to keep your metabolism revved throughout the day.
For well-defined abs worthy of showing off, you need a power tower and a good diet plan. That dynamic duo combined with hard work will produce amazing results.
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