T-Tapp Hoe Downs are one of the most powerful and effective abdominal exercises I’ve ever done! Despite looking like a square dancing move, they pack a powerful punch to your core. Here is Teresa Tapp showing us how to do them.
ACE (American Council on Exercise) performed a study a few years back and determined that the Bicycle Move and Captain’s Chair were the two most effective core/abdominal exercises for both the obliques (side abdominals) and rectus abdominus (center abs).
Both of these exercises involve moving the legs while holding the core stable. It was somewhat surprising to an industry stuck on crunches and sit ups to hear that these simple exercises had a greater impact!
Fitness instructor Nancy Fable says on the ACE Fitness Trends Blog to “get off the floor” to create toned abdominals! “Workouts that ask you to balance, flow and move in a variety of positions will do more for you [than crunches]. Core work is less about feeling the burn and more about learning how to move efficiently from the inside out.”
And this is exactly how T-Tapp Hoe Downs pack such a punch, utilizing similar bio-mechanical movements as the above two favored ab exercises, but with a LOT of extras thrown in…
* Hoe Downs teach you how to ‘hold’ your core during any activity
* Create neurokinetic flow (brain/muscle connection) through proper alignment
* Hoe Downs pump your lymphatic fluids
* Hoe Downs build cardiovascular strength
* A study done on T-Tapp Hoe Downs at The Cooper Aerobic Institute in 2000 showed a marked decrease in blood glucose levels when two sets are performed (not unlike many aerobic moves using the large leg muscles)
Maximizing Your Hoe Downs
First learn the correct form. It is important to follow Teresa’s form tips to maximize the effectiveness of the move.
Once you have the move under your belt, you can then start focusing on consciously activating the core muscles as the initiator of the move, tucking your core, rather than simply yanking up the legs as you do the move. This is where you start to really feel the power of Hoe Downs.
With any abdominal exercise, you won’t generally see the visual effects of the move unless you can decrease you body fat levels around your stomach. Being a gardener, I like to use this metaphor of the core ab muscles become the ‘hard pan’ or clay, and the layer of fat on top is like the ‘topsoil’. Without dietary adjustments and a well rounded fitness and wellness routine you won’t generally reduce your topsoil levels.
But even if you can’t shake those extra pounds, it’s still very important to maintain a strong core in order to protect your back as you age. The benefits of a strong core, regardless of your body fat levels, are many.
You can find detailed and invaluable instructions on Hoe Downs in Teresa’s Basic Workout Plus or the Total Workout. But at least get started with the above free video and see the results for yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Jump in and get Hoe Down-ing!
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