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

Ab Sculpting Exercise - One Of The Most Productive Exercises For Your Abs That Is Hardly Ever Used


Before I talk about one of the most productive and forgotten Ab Development exercises ever developed, you will need to know how your abdominal muscles actually work. I know for a fact, if I don't offer some pretty convincing evidence, it will be very difficult for you to believe such a claim so here is where a little education will go a long way to prove my point.

Your abdominal muscles are really one big muscle called the Rectus Abdominus. You do not have upper, mid and lower abs unless you have some genetic anomaly. This is really critical to understand because the long muscle fibers in the abdominal muscles start at ribcage and ends at the pubic region.

So, when you contract your muscles during a curl-up or crunch, the two ends of the muscle fibers move toward each other. It is impossible for the lower portion of the Rectus Abdominus (abs) to function without equally "firing off" all the other muscle fibers in the abs.

Once the muscle relaxes and allows its two ends to move apart and reach its original stretched position, you will complete the full range-of-motion of an abdominal exercise,

I am not forgetting the external and internal Obliques because they are directly and indirectly involved while performing any abdominal movement so it's really not necessary to hammer out your Obliques regularly. In fact, since the only thing a muscle can do is shrink and grow (atrophy or hypertrophy), you probably will not want to overly develop the Obliques because it will create a thicker looking waistline.

That means the key to creating great-developed abs is to use exercises that fully contract the abdominal muscle until it is fatigued and that will take the muscle through it's full range-of-motion, just like any other muscle you build in your body.

Remember though, you will not see your abs if they are hidden under a layer of fat and you cannot spot reduce the fat from waistline by training your abs for hours on end. Simply doing hours of abdominal exercises may develop your abs but you will still carry that layer of fat around your body if you aren't burning the appropriate amount of calories. If you are trying to lose body fat, there are much bigger and better exercises than abdominal exercises for burning calories and body fat.

Now that you know how the abdominal muscle works, it's time to discover, "The most forgotten productive exercise for your Abs."

Reintroducing, TADA - The Sit Up.

Wait! Don't go yet. It's really, really important for you to know how to properly perform a Sit Up. If you perform the Sit Up like you did in Gym Class, you are reducing the Sit Up's effectiveness by almost 50% and you could cause some serious low back pain for yourself.

I know; if a personal trainer or non free-thinking exercise physiologist is reading this section right now they are going to tell me I am crazy for recommending Sit Ups. Here again, it is important to understand the rules behind Abdominal-development and the Sit Up exercise really qualifies as a very effective movement.

Remember, when the abdominal muscle is working, "Two ends of the muscle fibers must move toward each other and be able to fully contract".

Does the Sternum and Pubic area move toward each other when performing Sit Ups?

Does the Abdominal Muscle bend and stretch the spine in its full range of motion in a Sit Up?

Does the abdominal muscles reach full extension to full flexion?- YES, if you perform the exercise correctly! So, why does the sit up exercise get such a bad rap?

Primarily because the old style Sit Ups you performed incorrectly in gym class put too much stress on the lower back and hip flexors. But, do you know what is really crazy about that logic? If more muscles than one are involved, it is called a compound or multi-joint movement. You won't hear me saying compound movements are bad. Are these supposed experts trying to get people to actually believe that compound movements are great for every muscle except the abdominal muscles?

If I remember correctly, didn't these same exercise physiologists claim squats and Deadlifts put too much strain on your knees and back and that we all needed to stop doing those exercises too? Just a few years later, most of the experts are now eating their words, aren't they?

Description of Exercise - Here is the appropriate way to perform an effective Sit Up.

Lay flat on your back with a rolled up towel under your lower back. Bend your knees about 45° with heels on the floor and keep your toes pointing up. Do not anchor your feet.

Spread the knees apart approximately 6-8 inches to prevent the hip flexors from contributing too much to the exercise.

Next, extend your arms between your legs and keep your hands between your legs throughout the movement because it will help keep you in the proper position.

Now, exhale and lift your shoulders off the ground, keeping your neck in a neutral position. Concentrate on trying to force the lower portion of your ribcage into your knees by curling the spine upward into the sit up position. (DO NOT CURL YOUR NECK). Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position by uncurling your spine and you are finished with the repetition when you feel the rolled up towel supporting your lower back again.

Notice how both ends of the abdominal muscle fully contract together and are stretched through its full range of motion. When you perform a Sit Up with proper biomechanics, your next crunch exercise will pale by comparison.

(c) 2003 - 2004 Randall T. Gartman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Randall Gartman, "Certified Personal Trainer and NLP Practitioner," is author of "eMpowering Physical Mastery" and "eMpowering Pain-Free Living - Life Without Obesity." To learn more about his books and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit his site at http://www.stopbeingoverweight.com


MORE RESOURCES:

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 ...



4 Ways to Build Muscle as You Age
The Epoch Times
Pretty alarming, eh? Though it certainly explains why Granny needs help carrying the groceries. On the upside though, while Gran's got her challenges, you've still got time to slow the muscle mass slide and even build muscle mass, and, as my buddy says ...



Build Muscle Faster With This Simple Weight Room Trick
STACK News
If you're not seeing the gains you want from your workouts, it may be time to challenge yourself with an intensity booster. The two most popular types of intensity boosters are the Rest Pause and the Drop Set. If you're doing a Rest Pause set, you take ...

and more »


Yahoo Health

Is Training At A High Altitude The Fastest Way To Lose Weight And Build Muscle?
Yahoo Health
Now the benefits of mountain living are becoming more readily available to mere mortals at sea level who want to burn fat and build muscle faster. In April, the Quad fitness club near San Francisco launched Air Fit, a 1,000-square-foot space filled ...



One Green Planet

How to Build Muscle Slowly With Your Plant-Based Food Choices
One Green Planet
There is plenty of evidence that a vegan diet actually promotes lean muscle mass and muscular growth. Nevertheless, there are some strategies you can use to build muscle slowly over time, boost your metabolism, and keep you in shape all year long.



Yahoo News

An Intimate Conversation with UFC Fighter Ronda Rousey
Yahoo News
When I am in MMA training camp trying to build muscle, I am eating differently toward the end of the training camp when I am trying to keep my weight on. BB: So what advice would you give to all of us women who are reading this article who are ...



Healthbeat: Use it or lose it
Seacoastonline.com
Recent studies suggest that as we get older, our protein needs increase in order to sustain and build muscle. They specify the more high quality proteins β€” meat/poultry/fish/seafood (each ounce has 7gm protein), eggs (7gm protein each), and dairy (see ...



The-review

Stark County Junior Fair includes barnyard menagerie
The-review
"You make obstacles for them to build muscle,' he said. His market lamb, Bahhab (Get it, like Bob but with the sound lambs make?), took third place. Logan Skolosh, 17, a Stark Junior Showmen 4-H Club member, made the switch from dairy heifers to beef ...

and more »


Finding fitness motivation in U.S. Open star Serena Williams
NJ.com
The new routine improved her endurance and flexibility, strengthened her core and helped to build muscle in her famous legs, butt and arms. As an athlete who has always worked out, Serena credits the work with her trainer as getting her into her best ...

and more »


Home News Logan's Hope: Surgery offers chance for...
Caledon Enterprise
β€œHe wasn't able to build muscle before,” Visentin said. β€œIt was like starting with a baby from scratch. They have to develop.” Aidan was the first child in Ontario to undergo the surgery. His family also faced the task of raising the $100,000 for the ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.