Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Personal Trainers with Real People, Real Situations


TO DO OR NOT TO DO? ? ABS

TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO WRITING ARTICLE:

Jeanne is a client I have worked with for a number of years, and through a couple of births with very quick recoveries. She is naturally tall and thin with wide hips and very flat abs. She has that perfect body for wearing couture as you can see from her Vogue magazine write up in October of 2003. She is the type that doesn't want muscle showing at all, just long sleek 'feminine' lines. We have stepped up her workouts of late because she is getting stronger and we do need to keep up the challenge to maintain that high metabolic burn rate for caloric expenditure, without creating muscle definition. Jeanne doesn't like doing cardio so that's not a solution.

Recently when beginning our workout Jeanne stops, pulls up her t-shirt and shows me her abs. Iam very pleased with what I see, which is the definition of where the lower obliques end and the rectus abdominus (your quadrants, also known as '6 packs') begin. There was strong deliniation indicating the muscles beneath. Jeanne points to it and says " I don't want this." In my shock the only thing I can think to say is "If there were a group of women in hear watching us, they'd all groan at you."

Everyone is different and has different goals. So Jeanne now thinks that she should just not do abdominal exercises and asks "Why do I need to do them, my abs are fine the way they are? Can you write about this in your next newsletter so I better understand why I need to do abs."

I then launch into an explanation of the importance of core work(abs). About how your abs stabilize you and help prevent injury by bracing and tightening. The brain sends a message to the transverse abdominus (remember that girdle muscle we all spent time on, with the breathing exercises) before it tells any other muscle to move. For example, the mind tells the knee to lift but before the quadricep muscles initiates the lifting response the transverse abdominus recieves the message to react by tightening for balance, control and strength. So essentially you brace yourself from your abs and then you initiate the movement, braced and centered. Which is why I constantly repeat "pull your navel in and wrap it around your spine." The more this response is practiced, the more proficient, balanced, coordinated, centered and strong you are plus the flatter your abs are.

There is a highly credentialed school of thought that advocates: "Every exercise, every movement and every activity you do is an abdominal exercise if you draw your belly button in and brace your abdominal muscles. Sit-ups and crunches waste your time and do not produce results." I personally believe that there is not one formula for all bodies. For those that have no lower back problems, ever, plus perfect balance, coordination and that conditioned response to pull the navel in to the spine, I say yes, you don't need to do abs. But for us mere mortals who at times twist, bend and pull things (or children!)and forget to brace?well you still need to do your abs. Remember practice makes perfect and that bracing response at varying resistances and degrees is not innate but practiced. So based on this article I will let Jeanne be her own judge and in an informed way let her decide whether she needs to do her abs or not.

PS. If she decides to not do them I will monitor carefully her balance, strength , coordination and lower back response and if I do see any signs of weakness I will discuss with her the need to suffuse an ab workout intermittently.

TWO WEEKS LATER

Jeanne has since clarified that she doesn't want the muscle definition but most of all she doesn't want any roundness of the belly. So, we entirely ommitted crunches. By eliminating the crunches and working the abs through whole body movements and engaging the twisting and bending movements her abs have flattened out entirely again. She has not lost balance, strength or coordination and her conditioned response is now to pull navel in and brace her abs. She will not have that 6 pack definition that is so sought after, but that is her personal choice. For myself personally and all clients who choose to do so I will continue to do crunches, coming up and working only to the point where the navel can stay in towards the center of gravity(spine). If the abdominals pop out at all the belly will develop roundness, and that conditioned response to pulling in may be weakened. But isn't it great to know that you can be working your abs all day long, in whatever you are doing, just brace them and pull in! Voila! Flat abs.

DEBORAH is a highly respected authority in personal training for overall health and fitness, with more than 22 years of experience and success. Her credentials include...

Currently licensed Registered Nurse specializing in Rehabilitative Nursing

Medical Exercise Therapist: certified by AAHFRP, an internationally recognized physical rehabilitation certification

Maternity Specialist Pre & Post Natal certified by Maternal Fitness

Personal Fitness Specialist: certified by NASM, an internationally recognized certification

Yoga Teacher

Professional Health Member, National Organization of Fitness Instructors (IDEA), a leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals Deborah Caruana RN, AAHRFP, NASM, ACE,

http://www.vitalsignsfitness.com

deb@vitalsignsfitness.com for fitness needs including personal training, books, vitamins and supplements, and information resource.


MORE RESOURCES:

How to Get Fit Like a Marine
STACK News
With all the hard work you're grinding out in the weight room, you'd better learn how to build muscle in the kitchen with a proper diet. Check out the video player above to see an example of what your plate should look like if you're trying to build ...



5 top tips to get fit in 2015
Tampabay.com
The best way to build muscle is to pump iron — and you may not need much of it to help you tone and build muscle. While some people like to lift weights while watching television, Hudson recommends finding a quiet place where you can focus on form.



Virtual welder saves metal, money at CCC
Daily Astorian
Afterward, the welder gets a score outlining all their strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, Fulton can also monitor how the student is welding, where they're standing, how they're holding the gun. While it helps build muscle memory and basic techniques ...



Stretch and strength class planned
Swnews4u
This class is for people of all ages and will consist of a variety of exercises using elastic tubing, small balls, body weight and aerobics to build muscle strength, range of motion and cardiovascular endurance. The six-week class will be held ...



Prescott Daily Courier

Prescott bodybuilders a perfect match in & out of the gym
Prescott Daily Courier
Josh and Christen say they enjoy INBA bodybuilding because the organization requires their bodybuilders to build muscle using natural methods. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) monitors INBA events. INBA bodybuilders undergo drug tests before ...



Culture24

Archaeologists use ancient teeth to find evidence that humans drank milk 5000 ...
Culture24
“It seemed too good to be true,” admits Jessica Hendy, a lead author on the research working in York. “Beta-lactoglobulin is the dominant whey protein - the one used by bodybuilders to build muscle mass - and therefore the ideal marker for milk ...



Yahoo Health

Barre Method: What's True, What's Hype & How To Stay Injury Free
Yahoo Health
Contrary to what experts once thought, research has now shown that it is possible to build muscle with a high number of repetitions and light resistance (as you do in barre). It's just not the most efficient approach. “Time is valuable, and we all want ...

and more »


MassLive.com

Chicopee Recreation Department offers fitness classes for the New Year
MassLive.com
The class is designed for men and women and combines cardiovascular exercises with those to build muscle. Registration and payment is held on a pay-as-you-go. The cost is $4 a class for residents and $5 for non-residents. Learn to swim classes for ...



I Lift Weights But Can't Build Muscle. What's Wrong?
STACK News
The best diet to build muscle requires a calorie surplus of at least 15 percent of what you eat to maintain. Your diet must also be balanced. I learned protein is not the only essential thing we need to build muscle and be healthy. Do not neglect ...



Daily Mail

Gymnast with Down syndrome, 22, overcomes low muscle tone and poor ...
Daily Mail
A 22-year-old gymnast with Down syndrome has, against all odds, become a four-time national championship winner at the Special Olympics. Chelsea Werner, from San Francisco's Bay Area, started gymnastics at age four as a way to build muscle tone and ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.