Everyone wants a 6 – Pack and talks about training the “core”.
Your core is more than just your abs, it is your entire torso, including your spine and internal organs. The primary job of the core is to protect the spinal cord and internal organs. Your core muscles provide a stable foundation for movement of the arms and legs. Abs provide protection against external trauma, they shield your internal organs. In addition to the abdominal muscles the core consists of the multifidus muscles that run along the spine, the diaphragm and the muscles of the pelvic floor.
The specific role of all these muscles is too complex for this blog. This blog will address just the abs and getting that 6 Pack everyone wants!
The abdominal musculature consists of 3 muscle groups:
- Rectus Abdominis – the muscle that gives you that washboard cut look
- Internal and External Obliques
- Transverse Abdominis – your internal weight belt providing support and key to having flat abs
Whether your goal is strength or getting that “cut” defined look, the abs should be trained just like any other muscle. You can train the abs everyday but you should not train each of the 3 muscles that make up the abs everyday. The reason for this, is results come when a muscle is at rest. For example if you do crunches everyday, that muscle is never at rest and will not ever change.
When designing an exercise program of the abdominal musculature, these muscles should be worked last and in order of importance. Train the rectus first, the internal external obliques and the transverse abdominis last. You can do this all in one day or train one a day.
Each of these muscles has a specific job and should be trained accordingly, simply doing crunches does not address the job of the other muscles. Crunches really only work the rectus abdominis.
It is really important to understand that doing endless crunches a day will not give you a 6 Pack. In fact all this will do is cause poor posture and a paunch! And no one wants that!
Another key aspect of getting that 6 Pack is your diet..which I will address in another blog.
There are so many ab exercise, the success of any exercise depends on frequency and rest. My advice when trying to get those awesome abs is to do your research or perhaps hire a personal trainer to teach you how to train your abs so you can be ready for bathing suit weather.
I would love to hear any additional ideas that you have on this topic. Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.
Be Healthy for a Lifetime,
Linda DeFever, CPT