The truth behind abs and core
The six pack has long been considered the epitome of physical attractiveness and many people strive to achieve this look. Despite the common belief that getting a six pack requires excessive amounts of sit-ups and potentially causing harm to oneself, it is possible to obtain a nice set of abs without going to such extreme measures. This concept is often perpetuated by media, which creates the perception that achieving this appearance is more difficult than it really is. How?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that having a strong core is not just about having visible abs. A strong core is essential for overall health and fitness. It helps to improve posture, reduce the risk of injury, and increase strength and stability in both the upper and lower body.
Core training should be done regularly and consistently. It’s best to aim for 2-3 core-specific training sessions per week, as well as incorporating core exercises into your overall strength training program.
Another important aspect of core training is proper form. It’s important to engage the right muscles during exercises and to maintain proper alignment and stability throughout the movement. This will help to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise and reduce the risk of injury.
Incorporating a variety of exercises and movements is also essential for effective core training. Different exercises target different muscles and movements, so it’s important to include exercises that work the entire core, including the transverse abdominis, oblique muscles, back muscles, and hip muscles.
It’s also important to include exercises that challenge your balance and stability. This can be done by incorporating exercises that are done on one leg or one arm or even incorporating instability like on a ball or BOSU or TRX .
So, how DO you train your core? To optimally train the core, it’s important that you understand it’s functions: stability (anti-flexion) and anti-rotation. Examples of suitable exercise to train these functions include Plank variations, like:
Unilateral leg exercises, like:
Finally, progressive overload is important for the core, just like for any other muscle. This means gradually increasing the difficulty and intensity of exercises over time. This will help to continue to challenge the muscles and promote growth and strength.
In addition to exercise, it’s also important to maintain a healthy diet that supports your fitness goals. Eating a well-balanced diet that is high in protein and nutrient rich foods (vegetables, fruits etc) will help to fuel your workouts and promote muscle growth. Also, make sure that you are in calorie deficit to lose fat from the stomach area.
In summary, effective core training involves a combination of exercises that target the entire core, proper form, a variety of exercises and movements, progressive overload, and a healthy diet. Remember to listen to your body and adjust your training and nutrition accordingly. Consistency is key and do not get demotivated by slow progress, keep going and you will achieve your goals.
Vispute SS, et al. The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21804427Wahrenberg H, Lönnqvist F, Arner P. Mechanisms underlying regional differences in lipolysis in human adipose tissue. J Clin Invest. 1989http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC548904/Mauriege P, Galitzky J, Berlan M, et al. Heterogeneous distribution of beta and alpha-2 adrenoceptor binding sites in human fat cells from various fat deposits: functional consequences. Eur J Clin Invest.
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