Do you want smokin’ HOT abs?

Abdominal Crunch with Oblique Twist 1

Abdominal Crunch with Oblique Twist 1 (Photo credit: Scott & White Healthcare)

Muscles of the trunk

Muscles of the trunk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world seems to have an endless array of workout equipment to get smokin’ hot abs, but most people still don’t do enough activities each day to actually get the results they want. Back & abdominal muscles are referred to as your core muscle group.  This is an area that will weaken as we age if they are not targeted routinely with exercise.

What is a strong core really good for?

  • A strong core reduces back pain
  • A strong core improves athletic performance
  • A strong core improves postural imbalances
  • Core muscles add strength and stability to the spine, arms and legs.

The muscles of the core run the length of the trunk and torso.

The list below names the most common and generally accepted group of core muscles.

It is hard to target the core muscle group during regular daily activities.  You need to pay specific attention to them with targeted exercises. Exercises that Build Core Strength The most effective core strengthening exercises are when the torso works as a solid unit & the front & back muscles contract at the same time, multi joint movements are performed & the spine is stabilized. Abdominal bracing is an important basic technique used during core exercise training. To correctly brace, you should attempt to pull your navel back in toward your spine or pretend that someone is about to drop a heavy weight on her abdomen and you need to tighten up. This action primarily recruits transverse abdominus. You should be able to breathe evenly while bracing and no hold your breath. Some of the best core exercises are simple bodyweight exercises. What Are the Best Core Exercises?

  1. Bicycle Crunch is the #1 ab exercise if done right.
  2. Ab Crunch on an exercise ball.  Dust off that exercise ball and put it to work.
  3. Single leg bridge exercise. The best unknown exercise for the core.
  4. Vertical leg crunch. Killer!
  5. Long arm crunch. This will get amazing results and I LOVE it!
  6. Reverse crunch. Keep torso steady and lift up the feet.
  7. Plank (Hover)
  8. Side plank. Add extra oomph by crunching your top leg up in this position.
  9. Basic crunch
  10. Crossover crunch
  11. Seated oblique twists on a medicine ball
  12. Oblique Crunch
  13. Plank on a balance ball
  14. Alternating superman
  15. V-Sit exercise
  16. The basic push-up. You heard me right. The push up is great for abs.
  17. Hip lift
  18. Back bridge

Perform several (3-5) abdominal exercises 3-5 times a week. Start with exercises and repetitions that are comfortable for your fitness level and as you improve increase the number of repetitions. You do not need to do all the exercises; simply select those that work well for you and vary your routine over the months.  To get an extra bang for your buck add a form of resistance to your workout. This can be done by using resistance bands or adding a weight to your moves. For example, place a light weight on your upper abdomen, creating some resistance. Another option is wrapping a resistance band around your feet and holding the handles while you perform your exercises.

About anitakellam

Wife-Mom-Health Care Provider-Fitness Junky- Gluten/Dairy Free Foody, Aspiring Techno Geek My name Dr. Anita Kellam, DNP, FNP-C. I am a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and maintain a practice in rural Montana. When I was a kid I was a competitive swimmer and even swam at the master's level until I had my first child. I have spent the past 15 years pursuing my professional degrees, raising 3 children and devoting myself to my family. Over the years I saw the pounds slowly creeping up. Once I completed my doctoral degree I made the decision to improve my health and fitness. Beachbody has provided excellent tools that helped me turn my house into a gym. It has been an amazing resource to help me achieve my goals and I am addicted to the products. I would love to help others on their journey to be in the best shape of their lives no matter what age or fitness level. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or like me on my webpage

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