How Is Your Abdominal Training  Plan Working? 

Mention abdominal training or core exercises and most people immediately think of sit-ups. Traditionally the go to move to flatten your belly and trim your waist. However, sit-ups are probably THE single worst exercise known for this purpose. 

Rather than balancing the muscles that surround and support your spine the wrong kind of training can cause more muscle imbalances. 

Another visible effect of unbalanced core strength is a pot belly. Yes! Training your abs wrong actually makes you look fatter!…

When you train your abs the wrong way you over-tighten a set of muscles called your hip flexors…

One of the hip flexors — the psoas major — originates on the vertebrae of the lower back and inserts on the top of your thigh bone…

When you shorten and tighten your hip flexors with the wrong kinds of abs training you actually pull your pelvis forward and down. This gives you a sagging belly that makes you look like you’re 5-10 lbs heavier than you actually are!…

And not only will you look fatter than you are… your distorted pelvis will give you serious back pain. Yet the danger to your back can be much more severe…


Here’s where your quest for flat abs can be dangerous!…

Most abs exercises force your spine into extreme flexion – bending or curling forward. Yet we now know this increases something called intra-discal pressure. Basically this is like pressing on a tube of toothpaste and increasing the pressure on the paste inside.

If you press hard enough the toothpaste will squirt out. And that’s exactly what happens to the fluids inside your disc when enough pressure builds up — causing what’s called disc protrusion or worse… disc hernias…

It can take months of careful treatment to recover from disc damage. Pain and discomfort  can stop your normal everyday activities and definitely put a stop to your flat ab dreams. 

So to find the right way for you to train your abs that gives you a healthy core, beautiful posture, and a stunning midsection you have to consider lots of of different factors. 

        Rectus Abdominis

The rectus abdominis is the long muscle that runs from your rib cage to your pelvis. It’s dissected vertically by a thin sheath of connective tissue, and horizontally by tendinous attachments that create six pack abs most guys are looking for. In my experience most folk have to focus completely on reducing bodyfat to get the ‘6 Pack’ look. 

The rectus abdominis helps to flex – bend forward – the spinal column. More importantly it stabilises the trunk  by balancing the back muscles and controls the trunk during movements involving arms and legs. This is the secret to way I train the core in both my Fitcamps and Pilates sessions. 

    The Obliques

The internal and external obliques work like a corset to define your waistline. These cinch you up and give you that V-tapered and slim-waisted look that is hardwired to be attractive to both men and women.

Pilates activates your obliques in a way that “wraps” your core in a protective sheath that will open up a whole new world of abs flattening exercise that’s been shown to work 3x faster than traditional training…

I include a 360′ approach to core or trunk training.  The result is a strong, mobile functioning spine in all directions of movement 

    The Posterior Chain

The posterior chain is simply the backside of your body. Its primary muscles include the lower back, gluteus maximus (butt), hamstrings, and spinal erectors

You may be scratching your head wondering why it’s included in the three Abdominal Fields of Action. Here’s why..

The Posterior Chain is the glue that binds your core together and will allow you to achieve the “spinal neutral” position – or the Natural Arch you’ve heard me talk about in class, that is central to the way your healthy spine works. 

So, when you next think about doing some exercises for your core remember it’s not just sit-ups and crunches you need a 3D approach to balance your posture and protect your spine. 
Train Hard, Eat Clean, Expect Results 
Jax 

Advertisements

#3 REASON TO STOP DOING CRUNCHES

#3 STOP DOING CRUNCHES
Rock Hard Abs- at any age? Yes it is possible….
But probably not with the training you’re doing now

REASON #3: They Cause Wear & Tear on Your Spine and Neck

20131026-161130.jpg

Crunches repeatedly flex and extend the spine, which is comprised of a series of interconnected small joints. Much like any piece of complicated machinery, the spinal discs are subject to wear and tear—in other words, they are only able to support a certain number of bending motions over the course of a lifetime.

Subjecting your discs to the excessive wear and tear of crunches can reduce their ‘shelf life’ and result in nerve damage, a disc bulge or herniation, all of which are difficult to treat.

The other problem with crunches is they encourage a breathe pattern that is unnatural and almost trains your body to relax your abs when you inhale? Not so good when you need to support your spine movements at ALL times no matter what your breath is doing.

If you have ever tried Pilates you’ll know how your abs feel after class and sometimes for days after – contracted. The other important thing in a Pilates or any other ab session is the shape of your spine…. I used to ask clients to keep ‘neutral spine’ but I prefer ‘normal’ spine now when training abs. That’s because when your spine is in it’s normal shape it’s safe because your back and abdominal muscle will work together.

20131026-161700.jpg

Once in this ideal position, moving arms and legs will trigger deep muscles to fire just to keep your ‘normal’ spine. You can get a strong torso without straining your neck too. If you have a rounded upper back or difficulties with your neck or shoulders you can train abs with your head on the floor or supported with pillows.

So, there you have it – 3 very good reasons NEVER to do crunches ever again!

Like my blog? Please follow, thanks Jax.