The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.
Everyone wants a nice tight tummy or well defined abs, and some will go to great lengths to achieve this, sometimes doing hundreds if not thousands of sit ups daily. However, sit-ups alone will not solve your tummy troubles. Although they may help to strengthen your abs, diet and aerobic exercise together will help get rid of your unwanted fat and provide you with the results you desire.
The abdominal muscles give a considerable amount of support to your spine and help to protect your internal organs. Abdominal muscles are the center of your body strength. Your ab muscles include the Rectus Abdominis, external and internal obliques.
The most popular abdominal muscle by far is the Rectus Abdominis, and it gives the abdomen that distinctive washboard look. It has a right and left half separated by a tendinous strip about one half inch wide. The external obliques are located on the side and front of the abdomen while the internal obliques are located directly underneath the external obliques.
The abdominal muscles are layered and directed in a way that provides a variety of movements and functions. They help your torso to move forward, to swing from side to side and to twist. With this in mind it’s important to include twisting exercises in your routine as well as forward crunches. There are two great ab routines described in detail in the book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’.
Your abs also have a narrow range of motion.
If you lie flat on your back with your legs extended, your abs have the capacity to raise your shoulders about 30 degrees off the floor. Any further than this, the Psoas Magnus and Psoas Parvus muscles will be doing most of the work and not the abs. The Psoas muscles run from the front of your legs up through your pelvis and connect to the lowest six spinal vertebrae. They pull your trunk toward your legs as do your abs but their range of motion is huge, in fact they can pull you forward all the way from a full backbend until your chest touches your knees.
The abdominal muscles are also different because they do not attach to the bones like many other muscles do. So to develop your abs you do not have to exercise with weight the way you do with the other muscle groups.
While training abs, many people like to hold their hands behind their head. By doing this, they have a tendency to yank or pull at the head to get more force in the sit up. This puts a great deal of stress on the cervical vertebrae and can be very dangerous. If you cannot get used to putting your hands across your chest, try holding your hands at the side of your head. The important thing to remember is to let the abs do the lifting.
Never hold your breath during ab training. This increases the frigidness of the spine that your trying to flex. Slowly breathe out on the way up and inhale on the way down. Also when training abs, it’s very easy to get into a groove and just go through the motions, however for better results you should concentrate and feel your abdominal muscles contracting. The harder you concentrate the tighter the contractions and the better your results. This works with all muscle groups that you train. You should think about and concentrate on the muscle group you are working. By doing this you will be able to receive unbelievable results.
I know you want to get in shape and look great. Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !