Abdominal exercises (Abs) are part of the basic training of Weights and every physical activity.
Is there any other body part that connotes a lean and fit physique like a well-defined set of abdominals? Abs are an incredibly popular muscle group to train and there is no doubt why. Everyone seeks a six-pack and in the case of women a flat stomach.
But not only your abs participate in core movements. To build a strong core and reduce the accumulated fat in the abdomen you need to exercise a variety of muscles from your hips to your shoulders. The "core" actually consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis, and run the entire length of the torso.
When these muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and create a solid base of support. When this happens, we are able to generate powerful movements of the extremities. These muscles help control movements, transfer energy, shift body weight and move in any direction. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back. Core conditioning exercise programs need to target all these muscle groups to be effective.
Abs and core are sustaining our body every move we make: lift, run, jump and even sexuality. In brief a strong midsection increases your athletic ability and definitely your appearance and self-esteem. So, the stronger the abs and core are, the better.
Planks Workout / Core Training
Abdominals and Core Exercises Anatomy
Here you can identify the Muscle groups, the Primary and Secondary muscles that are stressed during an exercise and its level of difficulty of each exercise
Core strengthening exercises are most effective when the torso works as a solid unit and both front and back muscles contract at the same time, multi joint movements are performed and stabilization of the spine is monitored.
To train them properly you must:
Breath: Inhale at the bottom or “relaxed” portion of each rep and exhale as you contract your ab muscles, holding your breath for a second at the top of the rep as you forcefully contract your ab muscles.
Speed: Do some workouts with fast reps and other workouts with slow and controlled reps. Let your instincts dictate the pace.
Frequency: Your abdominals are just like any other muscle in your body so to get results and prevent over training, focus on hitting your core two to three times a week post-workout.
Variety: As with other muscle groups, vary the exercises and intensity to constantly see results, aim to include a variety of core exercises – not just crunches.
Remember that a well-trained Core contributes to substantially improving your athletic ability.
Think of Cardio and Diet as the keys to stripping away the bodyfat, and the focused abs workouts as your method for carving out your abdominal muscles.
That’s why Abs and Core exercises means a basic workout for me and is definitely part of my weekly training. For me these workouts can have a duration from twenty to forty minutes and I trained them three times a week minimum. After several years of training and study, I identified a large number of exercises that enable to vary the workouts and exercise the abs and core muscles in different ways, using only a mat or by incorporating a bench, the exercise ball (Swiss ball), the medicine ball, the abs wheel and bars.
Ten years ago when I watched a Men's Health magazine, the models on the cover showing their six-pack were an aspiration for me. Today, with my training level my abs look ripped as I´ve ever wanted.