All About Abs

Regardless of gender, I think the top concern for most people is looking leaner through their midsection.

Doing crunches alone doesn’t make your waist smaller.  You need to build more lean muscle for a higher metabolism, do cardiovascular exercise to burn fat, and watch your overall diet.

A Quick Lesson

How your core muscles move your body:

  • rectus abdominis:  spinal flexion
  • spinal erectors: extension of spine
  • obliques muscles: rotation and lateral flexion
  • transverse abs:  stabilization of spine

Every move you perform initiates from your core.  For that reason alone, you should be incorporating at least a couple of core exercises in weekly.

I usually have beginners start with stabilizing moves (like plank and deadbug) to develop a base level of strength.  From there, you add in mobility exercises (sit ups and rotation) to further increase your strength.

A great beginner exercise is alternating knee ups (transverse/lower rectus abdominus):

  1. Lay in a supine position with your knees bent.
  2. Press your arms into your mat with your chest open and abs pulled in.
  3. Slowly alternate knee ups without moving the upper body at all. Upper body strong and stable.

Below are three beginner to intermediate exercises:

1.  Quarter Sit ups

Which way to do you perform your crunches (upper rectus abdominis)?  Hoping it’s with your elbows back and your neck in a neutral position.  You can also reach arms out forward, or cross your hands over your chest to make it a little easier.

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2. Supermans

You can either hold “superman” for a period of time or you can perform repetitions of the exercise for lower back (erector spinae) strength.

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3. Deadbug variation (total core exercise):

  1. Start with both legs up
  2. Lower right leg down
  3. Bend right knee in towards chest as much as you can
  4. Straighten right leg back out
  5. Lift right leg back up to starting position (focusing on abs – not hip flexors).
  6. Repeat with left leg.
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26 thoughts on “All About Abs

  1. THANK YOU! I need work on my core it’s horrible. Slouching sitting at a desk all day is not helping me either. I can’t wait to try these.

  2. I think I understand now. Whether we’re doing a physical activity or sitting eight hours a day, our core muscles need a workout. Thanks for the pics. I have “Faved” them.

  3. I’m back here again and I guess I got another e-mail for this post because someone just replied to your post yesterday. I’m glad for it too because even though I have read your entire post, I didn’t think further about some other things you talked about in here. I’ll be researching the Internet about building lean muscle for a higher metabolism. My metabolism rate is normal. I wish it was high. I so want to be those people who can eat whatever they want and how much without packing extra fat on my body. In yesterday’s post, I have an image that I downloaded from the Google Images for abdominal fat. That isn’t me but the fat that’s on my body is close to what I have on me now.

    It’s awful!

  4. I hope you don’t mind…I think it would be better for me to print your May 3 post on the crunches. To have it in my room to refer to quickly and sooner.

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