4 Core Exercises To Work On Your Abdominal Muscles

Abdominal crunches have long been a favorite with fitness enthusiasts trying to get rid of belly fat, get a six pack, and for core training. If you’ve been relying primarily on crunches to strengthen your abdominal muscles and find yourself getting nowhere, it may be time to rethink your strategy. Crunches only help to a small extent, as they do not target all of the abdominal muscles. A study conducted by researchers Auburn University-Montgomery in Alabama demonstrated that Pilates abdominal exercises are actually far more effective at strengthening these muscles.

Try Out these Abdominal Exercise for Stronger Muscles

Abdominal exercises in Pilates target various muscle groups, including the internal and external obliques, erector spinae, and even your deepest abdominals, the transverse abdominis. Crunches and situps on the other hand, only focus on the rectus abdominis muscles, while neglecting all others. If you’re intent on strengthening your core, the transverse abdominis is particularly important, but it’s very likely that this is just the muscle you’ve been neglecting. It’s not easy to work on this muscle, but strengthening it brings instant benefits, as it reduces the risk of back pain and poor balance.
Instead of practicing crunches you should try out these core exercises to work on the abdominal muscles:

Front Planks

Unlike crunches, the entire core is stabilized in planks, minimizing any risk of injury. You start in the pushup position, resting on the forearms, with elbows bent. Your body must remain completely straight and you need to suck your belly in as you hold your body up. Maintain this position for as long as possible. You can even try other variations of planks.

Dolphin Push-Ups

You begin in a forearm plank, with your back stretched and tummy sucked in. You then raise your hips upwards as you inhale, by almost walking your feet forward, and bring your hips back down as you exhale.

Pendulum / Windshield Wipers

You start this pose by lying flat on your back, with arms outstretched to form a ‘T’ shape. Raise your legs so that they are perpendicular to your body and keep them together. You can then allow your legs to gently drop to either your left or right side, bringing them as close to the ground as possible. Your back, shoulders, and arms should remain firmly in place. Alternate lowering the legs to both sides of your body.

Twisting Mountain Climbers

This is slightly more challenging, but it will leave you feeling great. Start in the plank position keeping your palms placed firmly on the floor, with your shoulders directly above the wrists. Your arms support the weight of your body. Draw your right knee up beneath your body as you would in a standard mountain climber, but twist your hips and exhale as you do so, in order to bring the right knee up towards your left elbow instead. Then return to the starting position and switch sides.

Just remember to repeat as many repetitions of each of these exercises as you are comfortable with. If you experience any discomfort or are unable to get the full range of motion, do not push yourself. An injury can put you out of action for several days and will set you back considerably. You don’t need to be reminded about how frustrating that can be!


Source: thehealthorange.com

Skip the Crunches- Here are 4 Better Core Exercises To Work On Your Abdominal Muscles


4 Core Exercises To Work On Your Abdominal Muscles

Abdominal crunches have long been a favorite with fitness enthusiasts trying to get rid of belly fat, get a six pack, and for core training. If you’ve been relying primarily on crunches to strengthen your abdominal muscles and find yourself getting nowhere, it may be time to rethink your strategy. Crunches only help to a small extent, as they do not target all of the abdominal muscles. A study conducted by researchers Auburn University-Montgomery in Alabama demonstrated that Pilates abdominal exercises are actually far more effective at strengthening these muscles.

Try Out these Abdominal Exercise for Stronger Muscles

Abdominal exercises in Pilates target various muscle groups, including the internal and external obliques, erector spinae, and even your deepest abdominals, the transverse abdominis. Crunches and situps on the other hand, only focus on the rectus abdominis muscles, while neglecting all others. If you’re intent on strengthening your core, the transverse abdominis is particularly important, but it’s very likely that this is just the muscle you’ve been neglecting. It’s not easy to work on this muscle, but strengthening it brings instant benefits, as it reduces the risk of back pain and poor balance.
Instead of practicing crunches you should try out these core exercises to work on the abdominal muscles:

Front Planks

Unlike crunches, the entire core is stabilized in planks, minimizing any risk of injury. You start in the pushup position, resting on the forearms, with elbows bent. Your body must remain completely straight and you need to suck your belly in as you hold your body up. Maintain this position for as long as possible. You can even try other variations of planks.

Dolphin Push-Ups

You begin in a forearm plank, with your back stretched and tummy sucked in. You then raise your hips upwards as you inhale, by almost walking your feet forward, and bring your hips back down as you exhale.

Pendulum / Windshield Wipers

You start this pose by lying flat on your back, with arms outstretched to form a ‘T’ shape. Raise your legs so that they are perpendicular to your body and keep them together. You can then allow your legs to gently drop to either your left or right side, bringing them as close to the ground as possible. Your back, shoulders, and arms should remain firmly in place. Alternate lowering the legs to both sides of your body.

Twisting Mountain Climbers

This is slightly more challenging, but it will leave you feeling great. Start in the plank position keeping your palms placed firmly on the floor, with your shoulders directly above the wrists. Your arms support the weight of your body. Draw your right knee up beneath your body as you would in a standard mountain climber, but twist your hips and exhale as you do so, in order to bring the right knee up towards your left elbow instead. Then return to the starting position and switch sides.

Just remember to repeat as many repetitions of each of these exercises as you are comfortable with. If you experience any discomfort or are unable to get the full range of motion, do not push yourself. An injury can put you out of action for several days and will set you back considerably. You don’t need to be reminded about how frustrating that can be!


Source: thehealthorange.com

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