Training Tip of the Month
Via: Rodney Burton
Your abdominal muscles, otherwise known as your abs, are extremely important in your physical health. Your abdominal muscles are at the very core of your body and can help the rest of your body stay healthy. Studies have shown that those with a “spare tire” around their waist are more likely to get health related medical illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and others than those without that spare tire hanging around.
Studies have also shown that those with strong abdominal muscles are less likely to suffer from a back injury. This is because your abs are strong and by working your abs, you are usually working your back muscles at the same time and you might not even know it! You can even improve your posture with strong abs.
1) Description of the various ab muscles – You have more than one ab muscle in your torso. There are six abdominal muscles in your body. On the sides you have what are called your internal and external obliques. You also have transverses abdominis, which actually goes all around the front of your stomach to your back. There is also the rectus abdominis, which is right in the middle and lower parts of your abdominis. When you see someone with a “six pack” that is their rectus abdominis. There are muscles that actually help your spinal cord that are called spinal flexors.
2) Exercises that target each area – Crunches are the first obvious exercise to help you lose weight and gain muscle in your ads. Crunches only target your front abs and not your “spare tire” abs or obliques. To target your obliques, you can do crunches, but instead of coming up straight, move to the side with your elbow touching the opposite knee. To get that spare tire muscle, you can do what I call reverse crunches. You lay on your stomach, put your arms down at your sides and pull your head, shoulders and chest off of the floor. You will feel it working mostly in your lower back.
3) Dieting strategies – Your diet can have a direct effect on your midsection. Foods with a lot of saturated fat, carbohydrates (that you don’t use) and other things can create that spare tire look around your waist. Drinking beer can have a huge effect on your stomach. First, you should choose a good multivitamin that you can take daily. Stay away from beer, potatoes and other fattening foods. Stick with a healthy variety of foods and drink lots of water.
To get the best abs you can, you need to maintain your complete program, including your diet, resistance training, supplement, weight training and aerobics or cardio. All of these truly help you create great ab muscles and keep your core healthy and strong. If you want that great six-pack-ab look and feel, you need to maintain all of these components of your health regimen.