Hello my friends! One of my fabulous blog followers has asked me to write about how to work out those difficult "lower" abdominal muscles...so today's topic is: how to work out your abs! Now before I get into four ab exercises I absolutely live by on a daily basis, I would like to explain what your ab muscles are exactly. So if you don't mind me educating you for a minute...here you go! First, let me tell you what CORE means...I know most of you hear people talk about how they love doing "core" exercises or only do "core" training...well, let me tell you, your CORE is not made up of just your abdominal muscles. Your core is made up of essentially two layers of muscle. The deepest layer is called the "inner unit" and consists of muscles that help stabilize the spine. Then there is the "outer unit" which are the "movers" of the body...Erector Spinae muscles. These muscles run up and down the spine and their job is to help extend the spine. So when you hear someone speak about their "core," they mean their abdominal/back muscles. Contrary to belief, the abdominal muscle is one long muscle, not eight individual muscles, and it helps us flex our spine. The muscles you see on the side of the rectus abdominis are the external obliques. They sit on each side of the rectus abdominis, on top of the internal obliques, and they help us turn or twist our torso, among other things. Let me explain alittle bit more of what each of those muscles do to help make up our ONE long abdominal muscle. The Transverse Abdominus is the deepest abdominal muscle which truly affects your posture, Internal Obliques are a pair of ab muscles which resides on each side of the torso which also are a big part of the rotation and lateral flexion of the spine, External Obliques are a pair of abdominal muscles which also reside on either side of the torso and are also involved in rotation and lateral flexion of the spine. External Obliques also run in a V in front of the pelvis and function during breathing; particularly when exhaling. Lastly is the Rectus Abdominus which is the most superficial...this is the most IMPORTANT abdominal muscle to most people because it's responsible for the SIX PACK or in some EIGHT PACK abs look in most fit people. So...how in the world do YOU get the TIGHT...TONE...SIX PACK AB look?!
Proper Nutrition is the first and truly REAL answer in getting the tighest and tonest abs you could ever want. Believe me, I wish I could tell you "oh just do 200 ab crunches a day and you will have washboard abs." Sorry it STARTS with proper nutrition...once you've got your nutrition dialed, here are some exercises that you MOMS and Non-Moms should try to do at least 4 to 5 times a week. Lower abs are usually the hardest to tighten up (especially after having kids!!!) but here are some good ones for you to try. #1...Prone-Iso Abs also known as the plank. Lay down in a prone position (facing the floor) and bring both arms in front of you with your forearms down and hands in a blade, keep your neck straight as your eyes look down to the floor, slowly rise up on your toes with your back nice and straight. Hold this position for 10 seconds...then try again for 20 seconds...then for 30 seconds...eventually I want you to hold for 60 seconds. While holding this position, ENGAGE YOUR ABS...meaning, pull your belly button directly towards your spine and squeeze your glutes as you continue to hold this position and BREATHE! Did you do it??? Great job! #2...Lay down in a supine position (on your back) and gently rest your arms underneath your lower back, when you are ready...keep your legs straight and together and gently lift your legs off the ground, bring them up straight but don't lift your hips off the ground, bring them back down as low to the ground as you can but DON'T TOUCH...do 10 reps...then 20 reps...then 30 reps. Good job! #3...Ball Crunch. If you have access to one, get on a physio ball and place it mid-back and crunch up with your hands gently supporting your neck and knees bent, push your belly button into the ball and exhale while you crunch up...do 15 reps...20 reps...30 reps. Good job! Lastly, lay in a supine position with your knees bent and hands behind your head, with your elbows OPEN, crunch up while bringing your knees to your chest at the same time...LOVE THE BURN! Embrace it! 15 reps...20 reps...30 reps! There are tons and tons more ab exercises that I can tell you about but for now try the 4 listed today. If you can, do at least 3 sets of however many reps you can do with PROPER FORM. Pick whichever set of reps work best for you that I suggested. I hope these ideas help! And remember EAT HEALTHY! How important is it to you to have a nice, flat stomach?! If you put in the work by doing these exercises, then treat yourself right by eating nutritously as well.
Okay, let's get into today's VIDEO...I'm taking you outside today! In the video, we are working out at a basketball court, however you can use your drive way and instead of cones...use rocks. But please, use the ideas I give you in today's video and get outside and MOVE with your kid(s)!!! If you ain't moving...you ain't losing! :-) Please feel free to send any comments or questions you may have my way and enjoy today's video!
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As Always...Stay Fit and Happy!