Your Abdominal Muscles
Eliminating Hip Flexion
Exercises Click to go to:
Trimming Off the Fat
LOVE HANDLES! Those stubborn pads of fat that widen your waist and never seem to vanish, no matter how much you exercise. Well, you don't have to be saddled with love handles. Trade them in for a smaller waist, etched with rows of toned muscle...a 6-pack! This program will show you how to do it. It emphasizes the anatomical and functional aspects of your abdominal muscles. The more you understand how your abs are constructed and how they function, the better you will be able to shape them up.
Your Abdominal Muscles
There are 4 layers of muscles in your abdominal region:
All these muscles are connected between your pelvis and your ribcage. They all help to compress your abdominal contents; in other words, they contract when you suck your stomach in.
Additionally, the rectus abdominis, and the external and internal obliques flex your spine. This movement occurs as you bring your rib cage closer to your pelvis. However, just slumping in a chair will not develop your abdominal muscles. In order to develop these muscles, spinal flexion must take place against resistance. In freehand abdominal exercises, this resistance is provided by the force of gravity, usually as you are performing spinal flexion while lying flat on your back.
In addition to spinal flexion, the external and internal obliques laterally flex your spine, as when you bend your torso sideways. Finally, the internal and external obliques also rotate your spine, as when you twist your torso in a circular movement to the left and right.
In general, when exercising their obliques, bodybuilders do not place much emphasis on lateral flexion because it tends to build up the width of their waist. This means they tend to avoid side bends, especially while holding on to heavy weights. Instead, they concentrate on exercising the rotation function of the obliques by performing seated twists and bent-over twists.
Eliminating Hip Flexion
A common problem when trying to isolate the contraction of the abdominal muscles during spinal flexion is that the hip flexors join in the movement. The hip flexors are the muscles in your hips, thighs and along your spine that raise your thighs. So, when you are doing standard abdominal exercises like situps and leg raises, your hip flexors are doing much of the work instead of your abdominals.
The solution to eliminating hip flexor contraction while training your abdominals is to do crunches and reverse crunches with your knees bent, your feet elevated, and your heels resting up on a bench. This position causes your hip flexors to slacken and relax, thereby placing all your effort on your abdominal muscles.
Crunches with Feet Raised
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet raised up on a bench. Notice the muscles running along the front of your hip, your hip flexors, feel loose in this position. Keep your lower back flat on the floor while raising your ribcage up and toward your pelvis. Lower and repeat until tired. You may support your head with your hands, but do not pull on your neck! Keep your elbows out of your peripheral vision.
To perform reverse crunches for your lower abs, keep your upper back flat on the floor while raising your pelvis straight up. Do not push up with your legs. Imagine a string is pulling your lower abs up. Lower and repeat until tired.
This movement works the rectus abdominis as well as the obliques, making it a great all-around 6-pack shaper!
Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. As you bring your left knee up toward your head, twist to touch your knee with your right elbow. Don't pull on your neck with your hands. Return your knee and elbow to their starting positions. Repeat this movement, this time bringing your right knee up to touch your left elbow. Continue alternating elbows and knees in this manner until tired. Do not strain. If you can't touch your knee with your elbow, just go as far as you comfortably can.
Stand with your hands behind your head. Bend forward at the hips keeping your
knees slightly bent. Twist your upper body until your right elbow is pointing
straight up. Then immediately twist in the opposite direction until your left
elbow is pointing straight up. Keep your abdominal muscle pulled in tightly as
you twist from side to side. Continue until tired.
Developing your abdominal muscles plays an important part in creating a 6-pack. However, superbly developed abdominal muscles lose their visual impressiveness if they are covered with a thick layer of subcutaneous body fat. Attempting to spot reduce body fat off of your abs will not work! You can only remove body fat systemically, that is, over your entire body at the same time.
Think of reducing body fat as snow melting away. The snow all melts away at the same rate, but areas where it is piled up higher will take longer to completely thaw. The same is true with the body fat on your abs. It may be piled up thicker than in other parts of your body, so it may take longer for this area to thin out than for other areas.
It is strongly recommended that you learn how to stop gaining body fat before you attempt to lose weight. The Body Fat Guide - Download FREE E-Book, by this author, will show you how to permanently control your weight. It teaches you how to balance your energy output with your calorie intake—your Energy Balance.
It is also important to be able to tell whether or not you have gained or lost muscle or body fat. The Body Fat Guide - Download FREE E-Book contains pages of Body Composition tables that can quickly tell you what kind of changes are occuring in your body fat and muscle levels. Using these tables, you can often measure your results in as little as 2 days!
The best type of diet to follow when losing body fat is one high in fresh raw fruits and raw green vegetables with balanced amounts of concentrated fats and carbohydrates. Protein is not required in high amounts. For maintenance, the typical adult needs but 25-30 grams of protein a day.
The best type of exercise for reducing body fat is low-intensity, long-duration aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise allows your body to breath in plenty of oxygen as it burns fat for fuel. Fat can not burn without this oxygen. Walking is probably the best exercise around for losing body fat without sacrificing muscle. Walking a mile burns as many calories as running a mile— it just take longer to walk. Most people can walk farther than they can run, so they wind up burning more calories by walking!
The Body Fat Guide - Download FREE E-Book is filled with diet and exercise tips that will help you reshape your entire body, including your abs. To get the results you want, how much you exercise and eat is not as important as balancing your exercise and eating. Don’t waste any time or effort—click on the link and get this book.
Also check out: I Walked My Way to 4.3% Body Fat