We all want nice abs and a strong core. All it takes is training smart and eating healthy. So here is how to strengthen and flatten your Abs.
First of all ask yourself what is moving and what is stable. In most strength exercises, we draw our attention to what is moving. However, our deep core muscles are tonic muscles and have to be trained differently. Unlike large muscles like the quads and glutes, deep core muscles like the TVA (transverse abdominis), don’t move us. Rather they stabilize and prevent excessive motion in the joints of the spine.
The TVA is the deepest layer of abdominal muscles and runs between the ribs and the pelvis, horizontally from front to back. When activated, the TVA muscles create a deep natural “corset” around the internal organs and lumbar spine. This activation flattens the abdominal wall and helps to protect the back.
In order to work the core and not hurt the back, you want to move from a place of stability. To do this, think about what is moving. For example, you can focus on holding the space between the floor and your low back tight while performing toe taps on your back or doing single leg lifts in a plank. Make sure you do not completely flatten your back against the floor and pay attention to your upper body. Make sure you are not lifting your shoulders and holding your breath.
Pay attention the next time you are working abs to see if you’re able to perform a sit-up or an oblique twist while maintaining a neutral pelvis.
You know you’ve lost your position if, as you curl forward, your low back pushes into the mat or your neck tenses up. You know you’ve nailed it when your hips and shoulder blades remain still and you feel your abs flatten in and down.
While doing planks, see if you can lift an arm or a leg without changing your upper back or hip position. You’ve found your core if you feel a little shaky or burn deep in your fr-meds.net.
When starting out, it can be difficult to maintain a neutral pelvis. You may catch your low back arching off the ground or feel tension in your low back. You can modify by making your range of motion smaller.
As far as when to work your abs in a workout, DO NOT work your core in the first half of your workout. I have my clients work them the last 15 min. of the workout. If you are working your core hard in the beginning of the workout the core will be fatigued (unless you are using machines – they stabilize for you and do not let you use your core). With a fatigued core you are more likely to have an injury. An example is, If you are doing a cable press and your core is tried you will not be able to go heavy because your core is too tired to stabilize.
If you are looking for a 6-pack 80 – 90% of that will be your diet. So good luck and work smart strengthening and flattening your Abs.