As we head through March and Spring, it’s starting to get warmer, longer days and Summer is not far ahead.
The quick diets and detoxes will be coming out the box and a million crunches and sit ups will ensue…STOP.
Focusing on training your abs or core is wise, most of us are weak in this area and strengthening it will help with many postural issues and tightness people experience. However crunches and sit ups are not the answer.
If you are looking to lose fat, especially if it’s more than a couple of kgs, then focusing on FULLBODY MOVEMENTS, HEALTHY EATING and DAILY MOVEMENT will help.
Doing a load of crunches and drinking “healthy juice diets” will give you a sore back and diarrhoea.
The core is a term used to describe the trunk of your body, so think of your glutes, hips, lower back, pelvic floor, scapula and abdominal muscles. So a good few muscle groups before we even mention ABS.
When we think core we automatically think Abdominals, crunches, sit ups and plank. While the abdominals do play a large role in the core and stabilising your body, they don’t make up the core by themselves and it’s more than just the “six pack”. By training your core using crunches and sit ups you are missing out on developing a strong core and possibly putting your spine at risk.
BUILD A STRONG BASE…
Sounds like common sense, I mean if your building something then it’s a good idea to have a strong foundation. But when it comes to ourselves we skip the foundation and go straight to the trellis and wall features. Let’s take a step back from what you’ve been doing and see if you’ve been constructive with your core workouts to date, or just slapping paint on a crumbling structure…
To build this strong foundation we need to make sure we include the muscles we discussed above:
Not only do we need to make sure these muscles are working fully, but you need to make sure you work them effectively. Stop focusing on high repetitions and bouncing your way through reps. Keep training focused, controlled and within the 8-15 rep range. Putting these factors in place lets get a programme together to get you started.
BELLY BREATHING – 3 Sets of 10 Deep Breaths
By contracting the diaphragm, we help to promote deeper breathing which helps with bracing our whole core along with improving deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscle function.
PLANK HOLD – 4 Sets of 30 Seconds
During this exercise, your job is to brace your core muscles, create full-body tension and to hold a static position, while gravity and your body-weight try to tell you otherwise. Stop once you are unable to maintain full-body tension.
GLUTE BRIDGES – 4 Sets of 10-15 Reps
Make sure you’re not pushing from your heels, the power comes from the hips and nowhere else. Aim for four sets of ten to fifteen bridges.
AB WHEEL ROLL OUTS – 3 Sets of 8-12 Reps
Rollouts from the kneeling position are highly challenging and they’ll work the core musculature even harder if you squeeze the glutes, which produces a slight posterior pelvic tilt and prevents the abdominal wall from being stretched during the exercise.
PALLOFF PRESS – 3 Sets of 10 Reps each side
This movement promotes core stability, enhance bracing capacities, and decrease the risk of injury due to misalignment and compensation patterning while training.
LEG RAISES – 3 Sets of 8-12 Reps
Leg raises can be performed while lying on the floor or hanging from a bar, these help to fatigue the lower and upper abdominal muscles.
Give these a go and see how they feel, remember if yo are uncertain of any exercise get in touch.