Are there more efficient exercises for the abdominals than others? How many repeats must I do? How frequently?
Let’s start off by saying that the abdomen is a muscle that easily adapts to work, it also recuperates quickly, thus calling for constant work and variable executions. It might also seem small in front of other sections that we have, let’s not forget though that it is made up of various muscle components, the transversal (the most internal and deepest part of the abdomen), rectum and oblique and every one of these have needs for different exercises. This however is not enough… first of all we need to debunk one of the many myths, that which says that doing abdominal exercises is the best way to get a flat and defined abdomen. To tell the truth, just exercising is not enough to burn the right amount of calories to allow a significant reduction in abdomen fat. A fat abdomen, even if it is held up by a muscly structure, can never be sculptured. The only advantage to get from selective training of these muscles is to tone them, something that would contribute in making a kind of ‘natural corset’. The aesthetic aspect depends on other factors that are much more important than just exercising for toning purposes; in first place, obviously, we have genetics because abdomen muscles are in themselves very sensitive muscles for that which is written in our genetic code. Throughout the population you can come across numerous differences, those who have symmetrical abdominals and others asymmetrical, just as some have muscular insertions deeper than others. The genetics also influence the hormonal equilibrium, the metabolism and tendency or not to accumulate fats in that area. Now let’s get back to the operative part and underline that the muscle that guarantees the famous ‘six pack’ is the rectum. Its look is made up by three or four transversal tendon inscriptions and a vertical that separates it from the contralateral rectum… we have to remember that it is just one muscle though, high and low abdominals just don’t exist! Every exercise brings about different stimuli, the muscle that is trained though is always the whole abdominal rectum. Saying that, to look after your back and improve your posture we recommend that in every work out that you do there should be included stabilizing/isometric exercises also like Plunk for the transversal, closing off with the Crunch (lifting from the bust) for working in a more ‘northern’ region of the rectum and the inverse Crunch (lifting from the legs) to work more down ‘south’, there is also an exercise that foresees the temporary closure of the bust and lower limbs; in the end torsions, that way you can include the oblique and the loins area. It would obviously be best that every time you changed the scheme through different angles or exercises. In conclusion, if the genetics are on your side we recommend that you treat the right muscles as though they were maybe ‘chest and back’, utilising different resistance and weights in such that you will have the possibility of making them even more in evidence. If the excess fat that has accumulated around your waist hides your abdomen, ideally you should work in other more metabolic exercises where on zone ‘fat burning’ would call for more of a free body workout with the help of slight resistances. Let’s leave all those ideal phrases to the various magazines and gossip, we need to get into our heads that the secret to getting a good flat abdomen is alimentation; the physical actions then follow just as your lifestyle and posture.
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