Abs training – what should you know?

 

A better looking stomach is something both men and women typically desire, whether they are just starting working out or training regularly, no matter the age. However, the road to achieving a sleek tummy is full of traps and obstacles. To help you with them, I will take you through the risks and tips for abs training.

 

Find a balance

Let’s start with the anatomy. Abdominal muscles cover the front, back, and side walls of the stomach. The front abdominal muscles include the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, pyramidalis, and internal and external oblique muscles. The muscle situated at the back of the stomach is called the quadratus lumborum muscle. 

All of these muscles need to work together and have a balanced tone to support the breathing, digestion, and core stability.

 

Exercise your core muscles

The bending forward movement significantly increases the pressure in the abdominal cavity. This also puts a lot of strain on the pelvic floor muscles. If you have ever been pregnant, crunches may weaken your pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to urinary incontinence or flatulence, haemorrhoids and even sexual dysfunction. In some people, crunches can also cause pain in the lumbar and cervical spine. 

A sleek stomach requires strong core muscles.These muscles are working even when you’re standing still or doing a crouch.

Keeping your pelvis and rib cage in the correct position and lower costal breathing will help you achieve a sleek tummy. Add some limb movements, an extra load, and reduce your stability (by standing on one foot, for example). As you exhale, pull your pelvic floor muscles upwards and see how the lower part of your tummy disappears. Well-functioning pelvic floor muscles largely contribute to your stomach’s appearance.

 

Exercise your diaphragm

 Never pull in the belly button when exercising your stomach! By doing this, you over-activate the transverse abdominis muscle which affects other abdominal and spinal muscles. This reduces diaphragm expansion and causes the upper costal breathing pattern to prevail. Limited diaphragm movement means worse digestion, reduced stability of the trunk, deteriorated pelvic floor function, reduced oxygen efficiency, and worse sports performance.

Remember, your stomach is not meant to be flat!

For anatomical reasons, a woman’s belly is not meant to be flat. Physiologically, women have a fat cushion in the lower part of the abdomen. It’s normal to have some fat tissue on the hips, stomach or thighs (although its distribution depends on the body type). It has to be there because of its physiological functions. This is also the reason why excess fat leads to disrupted metabolism and organ function. If you’re dreaming of a beautiful tummy, make sure you eat healthy and stay active, while avoiding any exercises that can do more harm than good.

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