Saturday, June 23, 2012
The Importance of Abdominal Training
Everyone has abdominal muscles, but most are not visible due to lack of exercise or poor diet. The core, more commonly referred to as your abs, is the key to success with every other exercise performed. By strengthening it, you will improve your balance, stability and power during other movements.
Regular exercise, especially abdominal exercise, is the key to increasing your cardiovascular health, promoting better posture, and reducing belly fat. Not to menti
on, consistent workouts that produce muscle fatigue are also a great testosterone booster.
Increasing your heart rate beyond its resting state gets your blood pumping and your metabolism burning, essentially making the body a fat furnace. Remember: your heart is a muscle and needs ample exercise too.The first place in men that fat disappears is the midsection – the all important abs. Over time, the heart will adapt to its training and will no longer have to work as hard to pump the same amount of blood.
Stand up straight!
Let’s talk about posture. A strong core allows you to hold your spine in alignment with the rest of the body. The abdominals are what supports your entire upper half. If the torso is out of alignment, then the lower half will follow, causing knee, ankle and foot problems in the future. If nothing else, the attention you will get with toned abs from on-lookers at the beach will definitely make you hold your head up a bit higher.
Lose the spare tire
Conversely, the abdominal region is also the first place in men that fat rears its ugly head. A high percentage of belly fat can be deadly. Stress contributes to belly fat in the form of a stress hormone called cortisol. Reducing your stress will lower cortisol production, which will reduce belly fat.
What follows are five ways to reveal what you’ve got, accompanied by exercises to help you achieve this goal:
Work your abs first
If you save your ab routine for the last part of your workout, then the likelihood of getting tired and skipping these exercises altogether increases. Instead, use the gut-busting movements as a warm-up.
Exercise: Planks or trunk twisters are good starters to your workout. Trunk twisters can be performed on a machine or with light dumbbells, palms down, arms held out to your side and perpendicular to your body.
When performing a sit-up, don’t pull on your neck
This is an age-old adage, but true. The added stress on your vertebral column is doing nada for the stomach.
Exercise: The classic crunch is performed on the gym floor, palms face down, keeping your back pressed against the floor, lifting the shoulders up and sliding your hands across the mat towards your heels for one rep. A variation of this is to lie on your back, extend your feet straight up, keep your back on the floor, and reach up for your toes and then back down.
Exercise all of the abdominals, at once if possible
The core is made up of upper, middle, lower and side, or oblique, abdominals. A Swiss ball is the best apparatus to use here.
Exercise: The jack knife takes some upper body strength to pull off, but the unlimited range of motion attacks the abs from all angles. Hanging the leg raises also utilize this same range of motion and is a good alternative.
Don’t use the back support on exercise machines
By leaning forward an inch or two, you are forced to engage your core to support yourself during the movement. You will work out your abs while working out other muscle groups, making the most of your time. You will notice the difference.
Add resistance to your ab workout
Take a five or ten pound weight plate and put it on your chest when doing crunches. For added difficulty, hold the weight behind your head with your arms fully extended and parallel to the floor. Ankle weights can be added for hanging leg raises. Resistance training can be great for your abs.
Here’s an extra tip: Eat right to keep a flat midsection. Stick to foods that are low in fat and high in protein. Balance these foods with any rewards (ice cream, cookies) to keep that spare tire off. The importance of abdominal exercises cannot be overstated. At their core – no pun intended – they increase your cardiovascular health, promote better posture and reduce belly fat. Use these tips and tricks for a littletestosterone booster, and to show off what you’ve already got.
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