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

Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Exercising the Abdominals


The abdominal muscles are essential for maintaining good posture and core stability, however many exercisers are unclear on the correct way to exercise them. Traditional exercises for the abdominals include crunches and sit-ups also known as trunk curls and curl-ups. The following are ten things to avoid when performing exercise for the abs.

1. Do not use a machine or contraption of any kind to exercise the abs, body weight and medicine balls are more than sufficient. No contraption or machine will ever work as well as a perfectly performed curl-up performed on the floor.

2. Do not pull on your neck with your hands while performing curl-ups this may cause excessive strain on the muscles and vertebrae and prevents the training of the neck flexor muscles. Rather place the fingertips on the ears.

3. Do not hoist your body up by throwing the arms and shoulders forward. Rather imagine having double-backed tape stuck to your spine and the back of your head and peeling the back slowly off the floor. Starting by peeling the back of the head, then the neck and then upper back off the floor. If you find it impossible to curl up to a 60-degree angle from the floor with the fingers touching the ears, try performing curl-ups with hands on the floor by the sides, pointing straight ahead or folded across the chest. Even laying propped up on a gradient of some kind will help, as this moves the center of gravity further towards the muscle origin, making the exercise easier.

4. Do not perform double straight leg lowering exercises for the lower abdominals and never allow them to be thrown down by a partner. This action can strain the lower back and actually stretch the abdominals and make them weaker. Rather perform double-knees to the chest in the lying position: hold the legs at 90 degrees of hip and knee flexion and then gently peel the tail bone off the floor (not the entire back) to cause a posterior tilting of the pelvis. Also, try performing scissor actions with the legs, but only if the low back remains flat against the floor.

5. Do not perform curl-ups with a straight back. This will only focus on the hip flexor muscles (iliopsoas) and may strain the lower back. Keep the spine as round as possible both during the upward movement and the downward movement.

6. Do not perform curl-ups with a "hole" in the lower back - this may strain the back, stretch the abdominals and actually make them weaker. Before starting the exercise, perform a drawing in maneuver and tilt the pelvis posteriorly by pressing the lower back into the floor. (Imagine trying to squash a grape under the low back to make sure the lower back remains flat throughout the exercise).

7. Do not perform curl-ups with excessively bent knees, especially if you have tight hip flexors and an excessive forward tilt of the pelvis. It is a common misconception that flexing the hips puts the hip flexor muscles "on slack" making them less able to contribute to the exercise, and targeting the abdominals more. (This assumption is false since the iliacus muscle spans a single joint and can work quite efficiently even near full hip flexion). Repeatedly, exercising in this manner may cause these muscles to tighten and shorten even more. Flex (bend) at the knee and hip only enough to allow the lower back to flatten into the floor.

8. Do not perform curl-ups on an excessively soft or springy surface e.g. a mattress, trampoline (?) or thick foam mat as this will assist in the exercise or make the flattening of the lower back more difficult.

9. Do not fix the feet under a bed or have anyone hold them when performing multiple curl-ups as this will allow for a majority of the sit-up to be caused by the hip flexor (groin) muscles. If the abdominals fatigue or are not strong enough to hold the back flat, the hip flexors will cause an forward tilt of the pelvis and the development of a "hole" in the lower back as discussed in 6.

10. Do not avoid doing abdominal exercises. Many exercisers are reluctant to perform abdominal exercises because they experience more discomfort in their neck and lower back than in their abdominals.

Follow the suggestions and alternatives presented here (and lose bodyfat) and you'll be well on your way to obtaining the coveted "six pack" abs.

David Petersen is a Personal Trainer/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and the owner and founder of B.O.S.S. Fitness Inc. based in Oldsmar, Florida. More articles and information can be found at http://www.bossfitness.com

NOTE: You're free to republish this article on your website, in your newsletter, in your e-book or in other publications provided the article is reproduced in its entirety, including this note, author information and all LIVE website links as above.


MORE RESOURCES:

Exercise for your good heart health
Toledo Blade
Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, regulate your blood pressure, keep your cholesterol levels healthy, and help you manage other medical conditions, such as diabetes (another major risk factor for heart disease). The good news is ...



Overrated Exercises, And The Moves You Should Do Instead
Huffington Post
No doubt, any exercise is better than no exercise at all. Click Here to see the Complete List of Overrated Exercises, And The Moves You Should Do Instead. So, while it's silly to say that an exercise is "useless," it's not unfair to say that some ...



New York Times (blog)

Ask Well: The Best Time to Exercise to Lose Weight
New York Times (blog)
You might try setting your wake-up alarm earlier and exercising before breakfast. There is some evidence that working out on a completely empty stomach — or, as scientists call this woozy, wee-hours condition, “in a fasted state” — prompts the body ...

and more »


Daily Mail

The Poundland sports kit: NELL MCANDREW asks, is the budget chain's ...
Daily Mail
If you exercise regularly, you'll know that gym gear can take a battering, so investing in quality means it should last. Also, when you're just starting out, treating yourself to a nice item of clothing or equipment can be an extra motivator. With the ...



Bustle

What's the Best Time of Day to Exercise to Lose Weight? Science Says it's ...
Bustle
You've probably heard a lot of conflicting information about when you should exercise if you want to lose weight: before breakfast because your body burns more calories, after a small snack so you have enough fuel, etc. But it looks like you should ...



CBS News

Just how little exercise does it take to get healthier?
CBS News
People who are sedentary should focus on small increases in their activity level and not dwell on public health recommendations on exercise, according to new research. Current targets call for 150 minutes of weekly exercise -- or 30 minutes of physical ...
This Is How Much Exercise Experts Really Think You NeedTIME
Some exercise beats none; more is betterHarvard Health Publications (blog)
Don't worry - 20 minutes exercise a week is enough, say expertsTelegraph.co.uk
Live Science
all 120 news articles »


Marine Corps Times

Marines to kick off month-long exercise with Japan
Marine Corps Times
Sgt. Tayler Jerome gives instruction to Japanese soldiers during a past iteration of Exercise Iron Fist at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Marines and Japanese troops will kick off the annual exercise on Monday. (Photo: Cpl. Brandon Rodriguez/Marine Corps).
Marine From Indiana, Pa. Killed In Helicopter Crash During Training ExerciseCBS Local
2 Marines killed in helicopter crash during training exercise in CaliforniaFox News
Marine Killed In Training Exercise ID'd As Kentucky NativeWTVQ
UPI.com -San Diego 6 -WILX-TV
all 415 news articles »


Philadelphia Magazine (blog)

The Checkup: Is THIS the Best Time to Exercise for Weight Loss?
Philadelphia Magazine (blog)
We've been on the early-morning workout bandwagon for a while now, and if you're looking to slim down, you should probably hop on board, too: Looks like the early morning might be the best time of day to exercise for weight loss. [The New York Times].



PsychCentral.com (blog)

Improving Your Child's ADHD with Exercise
PsychCentral.com (blog)
During exercise, the brain releases several chemicals — dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine — which are all critical for attention focusing in children with ADHD. While you may exercise to keep fit, the acute benefits from blowing off some extra ...



WLS-TV

Doctors: Any amount of exercise is helpful
WLS-TV
Doctors now say any amount of exercise is helpful, even if it's not the recommended 30 minutes a day. WLS. Sunday, January 25, 2015 12:37PM. Doctors now say any amount of exercise is helpful, even if it's not the recommended 30 minutes per day.

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.