I’m often asked to pick my favorite “to do’s” when it comes to slimming the waistline. So here they are:
1. Cut Calories
Cutting calories is the key to maintaining a trim midsection. The only way to see a solid set of abs is in the absence of body fat. To achieve this goal a person must reduce calories. However, what I find is people go whole hog and drop caloric intake too much and too fast. When reducing calories make sure it is not too drastic. This slows your metabolism and allows you to store more stubborn fat. When you reduce calories and increase energy output the body will be forced to burn fat all over, not just in one area. I’m not saying to starve, simply drop the junk food and reduce calories by 10 to 15percent. That may mean cutting out the donuts.
2. Eat at Least Five to Six Small Meals Per Day
Small meals eaten frequently help to keep your metabolism high, allowing you to burn fat, even while you sleep. This approach is in vogue with many fitness authorities. The main reason is stoking the furnace within your body. The more you practice eating small meals more often, the more you will find body fat leaving your body. For more information on this check out “Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle” mentioned at the end of this manual.
3. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake at Night
Since the majority of carbs consumed are complex (slow release), tapering them off toward the end of the day will minimize the possibility of carb-to-fat turnover. This is a proven fact eat, carbs at night and you will gain body fat. Think about it, if you eat late are you ever hungry in the morning? No! Blood sugar levels are still above average. So what happens? You do not eat a good breakfast …and poof you eat like a hog at lunch so you’re not hungry again until late at night….and the cycle continues over and over.
4. Eat a Healthy Serving of Fiber with Meals
Fiber helps with the digestion of protein, carbs and fat. It is the key to burning the sugar from carbs making muscles leaner. Adding fiber to your diet is one of the best things you can do. Also, anything containing fiber is usually going to be low in calories (i.e. vegetables). Get as much of this stuff as you possibly can. Fiber is necessary for a balanced nutritional plan.Continue readingContinue reading Nutrition Secrets for a flat, fat- free tummy
It’s not often that we see our government admit mistakes or change
its policies. Rarer still do we see the government make a change for
the better. Believe it or not, it actually happened. I’m talking
about the new Army physical training protocol.
An article was just published on MSNBC.com, titled, “Army Training:
Bayonets out, ‘ab blaster’ in. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I
read that the military is dumping its 5 mile slow jogs and replacing
it with more functional training methods, including – get this – CORE TRAINING!
If our military leaders had only consulted with me, the Army would
have made this change years ago. But alas, decades-old institutions
change happens slowly. Better late than never – this is a great move
by the military.
As my newsletter readers and “Firm and Flatten Your Abs” ebook
customers know, core training is the real thing – it is not any kind
of a fad. I use these techniques to whip my wrestlers, boxers
and other athletes into shape, and it works like gangbusters.
Functional and core training is not just about looking good – its
about bullet-proofing your your body from injury, skyrocketing
physical performance and even improving your health. The nice side
effect is the buffed body that comes with it.
We are a terribly sedentary society, so as new Army recruits show
up for basic training, they are often as out of shape and overweight
as the rest of us.
Many people think the old training method of jogging miles and
miles would be a no brainer for whipping these grunts into shape fast,
but instead, jogging has gone the way of bayonet drills —
its NOT functional for a solider. Soldiers sprint across streets,
walk with heavy backpacks, pull a comrade out of danger or fight
hand to hand combat. The new training regimen better reflects these demands.
At Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the largest army base in the
country part of the new physical training regime includes what
they call an ab Blaster class, which involves core training. They’ve
also added pugil stick fighting, with the objective to turn soft
recruits into hardened fighting machines.
Some of these recruits have never been in a fight in their lives. I
can attest to this as a 20-year high school wrestling coach. I have
asked my team how many have ever been in a donny brook
(old slang for a fight). Many times not one kid raises their hand.
I’m not condoning fighting among high school kids, but it shows me
the condition of kids in our society; more familiar with facebook
The army has put forward a new agenda I endorse. Get these kids in
shape by strengthening their core and getting them physical. The army
has also noticed that we run naturally to get away from predators.
So instead of long slow distance, they are focusing now on speed
with zig zag sprinting drills. As it was with our ancestors in daily
life, in modern war, physical conditioning can mean life or death.
Over the recruit’s time in basic training, they are now learning
how to move with agility, carry loads the proper way and build solid
muscle through proper nutrition. All of this makes a better
soldier in the battlefield. The training now mimics what happens in
the real world of war.
The recruits are embracing the change. I believe this comes from
the eliminating the monotony of daily grind. By implementing a variety
of drills, the recruits stay fresh both physically and mentally.
Again I commend the Army for making this change and I think there is
a lesson to be learned here for everyone.
Developing your “core muscles” and using real world functional
training methods is the best way to get in physical condition.
It is now endorsed by the finest army mankind has ever seen. World
class athletes use these methods and more and more people like you
are using them and being blown
away with the results.
If you haven’t given serious core training and interval training
methods a shot, give them a try and you will be amazed with the results.
My Firm and Flatten Your Abs program is a superb way to introduce
yourself to core training because my program, unlike most others, starts
at lowest level – that ANYONE can do no matter what kind of shape you’re in –
and works slowly up the ladder to a workout that would challenge a
boxer, wrestler or trained solider.
Learn more at my website: http://www.FlattenYourAbs.net
Author, Firm And Flatten Your Abs
Have you been to a fitness center or a gymnasium lately? If so then you might have noticed some big colorful balls kept around the corners of the main fitness area. You might have also seen people using these balls for assisting them in exercises. All this is a part of what is now being known as core training. Core training is a training that includes specific exercises for muscle strengthening.
These days core training is becoming quite popular at several gymnasiums, health centers, and fitness centers. Many fitness experts believe that core training is a very special program and the reason is that it helps people to get relief from different types of pain and aches caused by poor posture and even weak muscles. Most of the times, people get back aches and lower back pain and this is because we are so used to working 24×7 on computers. Sitting in one place for too long with crouching back can lead to severe back pain and even critical back problems. Hence, core training has been introduced to offer relief from back pain apart from the fact that it also helps in improving the overall balance of the body in older people. These days, even athletes are performing core strengthening exercises in order to increase the stability of the body for peak performance.
Most people who are seeking a focus on physical fitness will have to work on aerobic activity as well as strength training, which will primarily enhance the larger muscle groups in the body and the limbs. On the other hand, core muscles will bring in certain amount of stability to most of the aerobic exercises as well as strength-training exercises. This is one of the many reasons why core training is being regarded as a very special and focused type of training.
Understanding Core Training
There are different types of exercises that can be performed for the back, the abdomen, calves, shoulder, chest and other muscles of the body. Each of the exercise is different from the other and is defined by a specific term. Similarly, Core training refers to a training that consists of exercises for enhancing the core muscle groups in the human body. With the help of core training, you will be able to improve the strength as well as enhance the endurance of certain muscles in your body.
The core muscles in the human body actually assist in holding the body steady and keep it in good alignment. So it doesn’t matter whether you are sitting on a chair for the entire day or playing a long game of football, your body will remain steady. As a part of the core strengthening exercises, you will learn to hold your body still while the trainers will apply destabilizing forces. Some of the other destabilizing forces include movement of arms and legs.
The Core Muscle Groups
The core muscle groups are stretched across the body but most importantly include the abdominal muscles as well as the back muscles, which assist in stabilizing the spine. Some of the core training instructors include various muscle groups like the muscles of buttock, the hips, inner thigh as well as lower and upper back muscles.
There are 4 different types of abdominal muscles, which form the six-pack and these are Transversus abdominus, Rectus abdominus, External obliques, and Internal obliques. The innermost or deepest abdominal muscle is the transversus abdominis, which needs to be fit enough to prevent any injury to the back. This is a fairly large muscle group that is wrapped around your lower body. If and when this muscle contracts, it will compress your abdomen. In fact, you will be able to feel the compression when you cough or breathe out forcefully. In order to engage this muscle group, more often than not, your fitness instructor will ask you to pull your navel closer to your spine. When you do that, you will feel the muscle moving deeper inside. This is an important muscle group of the core training.
There are two sets of internal and external obliques muscles that will help your body to rotate. These muscles will also assist the transversus abdominis to stabilize your body. The core back muscles will be engaged only when you lift your shoulders or legs while lying on your stomach.
Core training can be easily added to any exercise program although
A flat stomach is a prized possession however it does come at a cost! A well-toned stomach is a stomach that gives you confidence and physical appeal. It makes you the subject of envy and at the same time the epitome of a fit and healthy body. However, a flat stomach needs your attention and care. Regular abdominal workouts and the right diet are the secrets to a wonderful abdomen. Both are hard to invest in however once you invest in them you get long term returns for a lifetime!
As mentioned above the right abdominal workouts and diet go hand in hand. Abdominal workouts need to be done on a regular and dedicated basis. Be it the gym or just simple home workouts these exercises central the core of the body and target strengthening your mid-section. Abdominal workouts include anything from the simple cardiovascular exercises like walking, running, sprinting or cycling to the sophisticated machine based gym training sessions.
There are many people who will advise to be on the low fat diet that is in reality a high carbohydrate diet. These low fat diets actually do not help at all.They are effective in burning fat and muscle tissue for a limited period and do not yield any long term results. The above low carbohydrate diet is the only diet that will burn the excess fat that is present in the abdomen and help in reducing the belly fat. The low fat diet will not help you as effectively and it also has the disadvantages of slowing down the metabolism in a person.
Apart from the above two important factors you also have to follow a healthy lifestyle. You must sleep well to ensure that your body functions properly. A good sleep helps you to relax tired muscles and enhances the functions of body organs. It is wise to sleep early and get up early. This helps the body to respond positively to the abdominal workouts that you are doing for getting a well-toned stomach. In order to reduce stress you can go in for regular body massages and facials to soothe tired muscles.
Most Americans do not have the time for exercise however this nonchalant attitude towards health will prove costly and dear in the long run. Fitness is something that escapes like time and you cannot hold on to fitness once lost. You need to regular exercise and ensure that you do not skip your sessions at all. Stomach fat leads to obesity and this in turn leads to life threatening diseases that engulf you for life.
Thus, from the above that it is evident that if you are on the lookout for a well-toned stomach you should couple all your abdominal workouts with the right nutrition to get the best results. A strict adherence to both will produce the results that you are looking for and give you the perfect set of abdomens. All you need to do is exercise regularly sleep well and eat right!
“Stomach exercise” is the most frequently asked about and searched on (via internet) yet misunderstood subject in the entire field of health, fitness and exercise. And it’s no wonder. Regardless of age, experience or gender, everyone wants a flat “stomach” because the abdominal region is the true showcase of your physique. Since the abs are usually the last place to “shape up” and “lean out,” then most people would say that if you’ve got abs, you’ve got it all.
Well, in my way of thinking, this is only partially true. There’s more to a complete physique than “abdominal exercises” and “six pack abs” and most people are completely wrong about “stomach exercises” and “”stomach muscles.” (you’ll find out why in just a moment)…
The Difference Between “6-Pack Abs” And Truly “Fit Abs”
Having a great looking set of abs is very much a matter of low body fat. But make no mistake, just being lean and seeing a “six-pack” doesn’t mean you are strong, fit or conditioned. Real fitness means more than visible muscle development, it means strength, endurance, and stability, and this type of true functional fitness does not come from merely eating the right foods or reducing your body fat.
Nutrition is so important that you could even say that “abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym” and you would not be telling a lie. But this clever maxim is not telling the whole truth either. Great abs come from nutrition AND training, not one or the other. The training develops them. The nutrition uncovers them.
Don Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in America in 1493 looking for a fountain of youth and today in the “stomach exercise” marketplace, it seems that far too many people are looking for a “magic fountain” in order to flatten their waistlines.
Ponce never found the fountain of youth and you will never find a magical solution for flat abs. There are no short cuts. It takes a change in lifestyle to get a change in health, physique and performance. That includes nutrition AND training.
There’s No Such Thing As “Stomach Exercises”
THIS is your stomach!
Proper choice of exercise is a critical factor in your quest for a firm and flat waistline. But you will never get a great “stomach” from ANY “stomach exercise” because your stomach is a part of your digestive tract, not your skeletal muscular system! So let’s get the terminology straight, shall we?
The area of you body you really want to improve is called your “core region.”Many people refer to it as the “abdominal region.” However, training only with “ab exercise” is NOT the optimal approach.
The abdominals only include the front (anterior) side of your body and if the only type of training you do is abdominal training, you may be unwittingly setting yourself up for lower back problems. If you don’t think this is serious, then consider this statistic:
According to the American Chiropractic Association, more than 31 million Americans are suffering from low back pain at any given time.
So would you like to trade great abs for a bad back?
I didn’t think so. The good news is that you can kill two birds with one stone. You can develop great abdominal muscles, great core muscles and a strong, pain-free back by using exercises that focus not on the “stomach,” (which is not a muscle you train at all), not on the “abdominals,” (which is only part of the muscles you need to target), but on the entire core.
The core is the key to your success.
The core is the entire complex of muscles around your hip and waist region from your lower rib cage to the bottom of your pelvis. If you just focus on “abdominal exercises” alone (or “stomach” exercises, LOL), you will develop what I refer to as a “one dimensional body.” I focus on training the body as a whole, or “multi-dimensional training” to develop a complete person and to develop effective and powerful athletes.
What every program I write has in common is that I do not attempt to “isolate” the abdominals (or train the “stomach muscles!”) It’s all about the core and about integrating your body as a unit so you function better in daily life.
As you do core-focused exercise programs you not only train your muscular system but also the system that drives your muscular system – that is, the nervous system. This may very well be the most important secret for getting better results in your workout programs.
The more efficiently your nervous system works, the better your results will be. Core workouts that improve both muscular strength and conditioning while also improving neural drive will develop stronger neural control of the associated muscles.
This type of training for your core may very well be the most important secret for getting better results in your workout programs.
THIS is why my “brand” of core training gets results in women who have had C-sections, or other abdominal surgeries when nothing else worked
THIS is why the core exercises I recommend will flatten out a “pooching” belly, which is a result of deep muscular weakness and lack of neuromuscular control (It’s NOT just a body fat problem!)
THIS is why my clients have overcome agonizing lower back pain when all else failed
THIS is why my workout program have helped men and women recover from embarrassing incontinence
THIS is how I have helped hundreds of new moms regain their flat and firm midsections after having their babies
THIS is why my clients remain injury free, while so many other training programs are actually the CAUSE of injuries
And THIS is why my type of training – PROGRESSIVE CORE TRAINING – develops amazing athletes – top wresters, PGA golfers, and pro boxers with powerful punches and abs of steel.
The purpose of this article was not to give more workout routines (I’ve written an entire book about core training that’s FULL of workouts (Firm And Flatten Your Abs) and there’s plenty of Free sample workouts to be found on this site and lots more to come in upcoming issues of my newsletter. The purpose of this article was to “install” 3 incredibly important lessons into your brain:
You can’t train your “stomach” because your stomach is an internal organ of digestion not a skeletal muscle!
You can’t totally “isolate” your abdominals because your abdominals do not work in isolation, they work in conjunction with the rest of your body (and “isolation” as with only doing crunches, is not the optimal approach anyway).
You get more by training your core! You become a better athlete, you help prevent injuries, you get stronger and you get that coveted 6-pack abs look.
I hope the “morals” of these lessons have already sunk in and will become a part of your own fitness philosophy… and the next time you hear someone talk about “stomach exercises”, you’ll now be able to get a good chuckle out of that.
Developing a great set of six-pack abs is really quite simple once you understand my unique Firm and Flatten Your Abs system, which includes two important components:
1. A workout program consisting of carefully selected, biomechanically correct abdominal exercises, and
2. A nutrition program that optimizes fat loss and maintenance or growth of lean muscle tissue.
As simple as this sounds, I’ll be the first to admit that ab training can be an extremely confusing subject at first because there is so much conflicting information on the subject.
Opinions Are Just That! Opinions
Countless opinions, rumors, and theories about ab training are continually being circulated by an endless parade of “experts” including doctors, personal trainers, infomercial gurus, and even friends, teachers, and parents. Some information is valid, but most of it isn’t. It’s hard to sort through it all, let alone know what to believe. Abdominal mythology abounds, and some myths never seem to die.
That’s exactly why I wrote the e book Firm and Flatten Your Abs: To help you cut through the myths and lies and lead you straight to the truth that will help you develop the type of body that you’ll be proud to show off the next time you hit the beach.
Before we discuss the anatomy and physiology of the abdominal muscles or the actual training routines, the first thing to do is clear your mind of the myths, lies, and misconceptions that have been polluting your brain as a result of gym folklore, false
advertising, and bad advice from self-proclaimed experts.
More bad information is published and told about ab training than any other health and fitness subject, and I’ve boiled it down to 14 myths that are particularly damaging and pervasive. I will explain 3 of them in this article.
Let’s put them to rest permanently, shall we?
MYTH #1: If you train abs every day, you’re guaranteed a six-pack. One of the most common abdominal myths is that training your abdominals every day is the best way to get a small waistline and develop the six-pack look in your stomach. This misconception was probably funneled through the bodybuilding world, because so many bodybuilders train their abs daily prior to competitions. Despite the fact that bodybuilders appear on stage with incredibly ripped abs, their abs come from their diet, not just their daily ab
Daily training is not only a waste of time, it’s an approach that won’t work for the average person who doesn’t use performance-enhancing substances or have a naturally high recovery capacity.
There are two reasons that daily abdominal training is unnecessary and does not guarantee you a six-pack.
First, the muscle tissue of your abs is virtually the same as the muscle tissue in the rest of your body. Abdominal muscles cannot become stronger and more developed without time to rest and recover after each workout, just like any other muscle group such as your biceps or chest. You wouldn’t do 100 barbell curls every day to “see your biceps” or 100 bench presses every day to “see your pecs,” so why do the same for your abs?
Second, even if you could achieve excellent muscular development in the abs with daily training, you won’t be able to see your abs if they’re covered with a layer of fat. Daily abdominal training does not burn the fat off your midsection! Fat is lost by creating a
calorie deficit through your diet. Build the muscle tissue with exercise; burn the fat with diet.
During the initial phase of the Firm and Flatten Your Abs program (Level 1), I recommend that you perform exercises daily for the first two to three weeks. However, these Level 1 exercises are very basic movements using only your body weight, and they are designed to prepare, strengthen, and neurologically program your body for the more advanced exercises to follow.
For the long term, you can get fantastic results training your abs every other day (about four days a week), and once they’re developed, you can maintain your abs with even less frequent training.
MYTH #2: You can eat pizza and hamburgers and still maintain a six-pack as long as you work out right after you eat them. The truth is that developing your abs is achieved through exercise, but seeing your abs is more a function your diet than any other factor. You could have a great set of abs completely covered with fat. The secret to uncovering the abdominal muscles is nutrition.
Theoretically, you could lose the fat covering your abs while eating whatever you wanted, as long as you still had a caloric deficit. However, eating calorie-dense junk food makes it much harder to maintain the caloric deficit you need to burn body fat. Furthermore, eating fast food and other nutritionally-void junk as regular daily staples in your diet will eventually exact a serious toll on your health.
You simply cannot expect exercise to cancel out poor eating habits. It takes proper exercise and nutrition to get optimal results. Go into your local fast food restaurant and look around. How many people do you see that have an envious abdominal region? Chances are, you won’t see any!
MYTH #3: Sit-ups develop the abdominal muscles best. It’s ironic, but the sit-up, which is the most popular exercise in the world for the abdominals, might be the absolute worst exercise and could even be dangerous for some people under some circumstances.
What most people don’t realize is that the sit-up is not a true abdominal exercise. During a sit-up, your main trunk flexor, the iliopsoas muscle, often does the majority of the work while the abs are not optimally recruited.
Because the iliopsoas muscle originates on the lower back, the sit-up literally pulls on the lower back with every repetition, especially if your feet are held down or anchored, or the repetitions are performed quickly in a jerky fashion. This is why too many sit-ups can lead to a strength imbalance between the iliopsoas and abdominals, as well as poor posture and lower back pain.
Some people who have very strong abs and lower backs may be able to perform conventional sit-ups more safely than others. There are also some safer and more effective ways to perform sit-ups. One is the Janda sit-up. This exercise uses the law of reciprocal inhibition, which means that if one muscle is working, its antagonist (the opposing muscle) must relax.
During a Janda sit-up, instead of holding your feet down, your partner reaches around and holds your calves. As you sit up, you contract your hamstrings and glutes by pulling your calves back against your partner’s hands. (You can also press your lower legs
back against small dumbbells or a heavy weighted barbell.) When the hamstrings and glutes contract, this shuts off the iliopsoas, making your abs do more of the work.
If I prescribe sit-ups, I simply have my clients do Janda sit-ups. However, Janda sit-ups can be difficult to perform on your own and because of the injury potential from sit-ups in general, and since there are so many other more effective exercises, I have left sit-ups out of this course completely.
It’s incredible, but true: You can develop amazing abs without ever
doing a single sit-up!
Coach David Grisaffi,
P.S.If you enjoyed this workout, then you will love the workout programs in my Firm And Flatten Your Abs E-book. You can get more information on the home page at: www.FlattenYourAbs.net/index.html
What’s hot in the world of abdominal and core training today seems to change as fast as the latest clothing styles. New gurus, new infomercials, new machines – today’s fitness marketplace is all about “what’s new.” I often write reviews about the latest, greatest ab and core training gadgets, usually debunking most of them, but this time I’m actually going to do the opposite.
As new products push their way into the fitness scene, some truly legitimate, cost effective devices get pushed out, forgotten, or even worse – dismissed as “fitness fads.” Such is the case with the swiss ball (also known as a “exercise ball”, “gym ball” or “stability ball”)
Why Some Fitness Experts Condemn The Swiss Ball
Swiss balls have been around a long time in physical therapy and rehab settings and when they crossed over into the mainstream fitness world, they were probably hyped a bit too much. It’s not that they didn’t deserve the attention, its that many fitness “experts” placed the swiss ball up on a pedestal as the end-all be-all of abdominal, core and fitness training, rather than representing the ball for what it really is – a single training tool among many– just like barbells, dumbbells, cables or any other fitness equipment.
As a result, entire training systems were built around the swiss ball (neglecting other forms of training), and people misused and overused the ball. Some trainers used the ball for “exercises” that were nothing more than circus acts. I’ve seen it all – everything from standing on top of the ball and squatting to bench pressing on the ball with 400 pounds..
As a result of the over-hyping and misuse of the swiss ball, some coaches and trainers have recently spoken up and publicly renounced the ball as a ” gimmick.” This has caused a flood of emails to pour into my office as consumers and fitness enthusiasts have become more confused than ever.
It’s no wonder: Trainer A says, “The ball is the best thing since sliced bread” and trainer B says “the ball is and always was a gimmick.” I believe the ball is a very valuable training tool and that the truth is somewhere in the middle, so I’d like to help put things back into proper perspective.
Swiss balls are powerful, portable, inexpensive and versatile training tools
I use swiss balls nearly every day in my own workouts and in workouts for my clients. The versatility of the swiss ball is simply unmatched as proven by the fact that I can use a swiss ball to help a 65 year old sedentary woman overcome muscle weakness and improve balance or use the same ball to help a professional boxer build stamina and add power to his punches. I can also show you how to use the swiss ball to develop “six pack abs” as well as train literally every muscle in your entire body.
New Research Reveals That The Swiss Ball Can Make
Abdominal Exercise Up To 104% More Effective
To give you a research-proven example of just how effective a swiss ball can be, let’s focus on one of the most basic and well-known of all abdominal exercises: The Crunch
As most people know, the crunch is a modified (partial) sit up that involves raising the head, neck and shoulder blades up off the floor. Many personal trainers believe that the crunch is highly overrated and overused. I won’t argue, as I agree there’s a lot of truth to that. However, the crunch can be greatly improved with one simple change: Do your crunches on a swiss ball.
Electromyography (EMG) studies have demonstrated that the swiss ball crunch (unstable surface) effectively recruits more muscle fibers than the floor crunch (stable surface). This leads to greater strength, stability and muscle development in your core region.
In 2000, a study by Vera-Garcia and colleagues showed a significant increase in muscle activity in the core area while performing a crunch on the swiss ball, as compared to a floor crunch. The swiss ball improved the level of muscular activity as well as the co-recruitment of spinal stabilizers. The researchers said:
“Performing the curl over the gym ball with the feet on the floor doubled activity in the rectus abdominis muscle, and activity in the external oblique muscle increased approximately fourfold.”
Although research results have been mixed in the past, the studies showing no increase in abdominal muscle activity using a swiss ball may have been due to the exercise technique used on the ball, including velocity and body placement on the ball. Earlier this year, Dr. Eric Sternlicht and colleagues at UCLA designed a study to test this hypothesis and they measured for differences in muscle activity while using different positions on the ball.
The EMG analysis confirmed their hypothesis and demonstrated that body position on the swiss ball could decrease or increase the amount of muscular activation. When the ball was positioned with the upper back high on the ball (just below scapulae), the muscular activity was less than a floor crunch. But by strategically positioning the ball so it was firmly placed at the lower lumbar region, there was a 66%, 93% and 104% increase in upper abdominal, lower abdominal and external oblique activity, respectively.
More Proof That Form Is Everything And Little Things Make A Big Difference
For years I have preached about proper form on all abdominal and core exercises and I have taught my clients “little tweaks” and “tricks” in technique that look minor, but which can lead to huge improvements in results. This new research is proof. It also reveals how the ball is a versatile tool for exercise progression: The high on back position is easier, while the ball lower on the back is more difficult, accommodating for different strength and fitness levels. Further progression can be added by using resistance (dumbbell or weight plate held on chest or at arms length from chest).
Swiss balls are only one of many training tools, but in my opinion, when used properly, they are one of the best of the bunch. I created an entire core training system that uses the ball for many of the exercises, I put all my clients on swiss balls and I highly recommend that you use the ball as well. Just remember, the swiss ball is only a tool – it’s not the “end all be all” of core training and it can’t work miracles. It will also not burn fat off your stomach – you need a caloric deficit to achieve body fat reduction.
Use the ball as one part of a balanced training program that includes other tools such as free weights, cables and your own body weight. Forget the potentially dangerous ”circus act” swiss ball stunts, use good exercise form, purchase only quality, high-strength exercise balls, use them in a clear area, clean them often, check them for leaks and I promise you will have a fantastic versatile training aid that will last you for years and never go out of style. Fitness fads will always come and go, but the swiss ball is still a winner.
In this new year many of us are after a “new look”. If it is losing belly fat exercising is paramount to success. Starting a new exercise program can be exciting. But regardless of the exercise program remember exercise is stress. By consuming proper nutrition, getting enough rest and consuming water can and does reduce the stress on your body.
You exercise routine also needs to have a flow of energy to it. If it is to intense your hormonal and nerves systems will produce stress and activate the fight or flight sympathetic nervous system and losing body-fat becomes extremely difficult.
To avoid this situation choose exercises that restore muscle balance to “the force” so to speak. These exercises have a calming affect on you. Just remember to place the most difficult exercise at the beginning of your exercise routine.
I really like one particulate exercise and it is known by many different names. World renowned bodybuilder and trainer Vince Gironda called it “Abdomoinal Vaccums”, Ian King popular strength coach from Australian calls it “Thin Tummy”. As a CHEK Institute disciple I call it Transverse Tummy Tuck. Now the word transverses is important to know. This is the word to describe the deepest muscle in the abdominal wall. If it does not work properly you have a dysfunctional core. This muscle works as your own personal weight belt by keeping your belly flat. When working correctly it not only keeps your belly flat but also improves posture, reduces back pain and increases lower abdominal tone.
As a abdominal core expert I use this exercise daily with my clients as a stepping stone to more advance ab training. It is mentally relaxing as you learn to control the mind to muscle connection.
The transverses abdominal tummy tuck has a few variations but I’m going to present to you the basic movement to get you going. To properly perform this abdominal flattening exercise follow the directions below. You can perform this exercise up to 3 times per day for 3-4 weeks and you will see fantastic results.
The 4-Point Transversus Abdominis Tuck is an exercise for isolating the transverse abdominis, for correcting “pooch belly,” and reconnecting with the nervous system. It is particularly valuable for pre-surgery preparation and post-surgery rehabilitation. In surgical procedures such as cesarean section and hernia, the muscles, nerves, and tissues are cut, causing a loss of neurological impulse (your brain tries to call your muscles to wake them up, but the muscles don’t answer!). Lack of neural drive to the core muscles is one reason for the belly hanging out. Certain exercises can help reconnect the nervous and muscular systems so your “pooch belly” gets the message from the brain loud and clear and pulls those muscles in.
Note: Using a dowel rod can help you keep good neutral exercise posture and provide biofeedback. (As the rod touches different parts of your body, it makes you aware of your body position.) If you use the dowel technique, place the rod along your spine, making sure the back of your head, upper back, and tailbone are in contact with the rod.
Position: Get down on all fours as though you were going to crawl. Place your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
1. Inhale and let the transverse abdominis hang out toward the floor.
2. Exhale, drawing the belly button in toward the spine. Avoid any spinal movement during this exercise such as contracting the glutes, hamstrings, or external rotators.
Perform this exercise on a 10 second hold in and 10 second release out. Repeat this combination for a total of 10 times. Or a total of 3 minutes.
Getting firm and flat abs also takes a solid nutrition plan. The quality and quantity of your food will affect how your stomach looks every bit as much as the quality and quantity of your workouts. While my Firm and flatten your abs program is not a diet book – it contains more training instruction than eating instruction, it would not be complete without a plan for what to do in the kitchen as well as the gym.In the e book I present an entire list of 15 nutrition and lifestyle do’s and don’t. Take a good look if you want to improve your ab and decrease your waistline more information about the TV Tummy Tuck in my e book on page..51 http://www.flattenyourabs.net
MYTH #1: If you train abs every day, you’re guaranteed a six-pack.
One of the most common abdominal myths is that training your
abdominals every day is the best way to get a small waistline and
develop the six-pack look in your stomach. This misconception
was probably funneled through the bodybuilding world, because
so many bodybuilders train their abs daily prior to competitions.
Despite the fact that bodybuilders appear onstage
with incredibly ripped abs, their abs come from their diet, not
just their daily ab workouts.
Daily training is not only a waste of time, it’s an approach that
won’t work for the average person who doesn’t use
performance-enhancing substances or have a naturally high
There are two reasons that daily abdominal training is
unnecessary and does not guarantee you a six-pack.
First, the muscle tissue of your abs is virtually the same as the
muscle tissue in the rest of your body. Abdominal muscles
cannot become stronger and more developed without time to
rest and recover after each workout, just like any other muscle
group such as your biceps or chest. You wouldn’t do 100 barbell
curls every day to “see your biceps” or 100 bench presses every
day to “see your pecs,” so why do the same for your abs?
Second, even if you could achieve excellent muscular
development in the abs with daily training, you won’t be able to
see your abs if they’re covered with a layer of fat. Daily
abdominal training does not burn the fat off your midsection!
Fat is lost by creating a caloric deficit through your diet. Build
the muscle tissue with exercise; burn the fat with diet.
During the initial phase of the Firm and Flatten Your Abs program
(Level 1), I recommend that you perform exercises daily for the
first two to three weeks. However, these Level 1 exercises are
very basic movements using only your body weight, and they are
designed to prepare, strengthen, and neurologically program
your body for the more advanced exercises to follow.
For the long term, you can get fantastic results training your abs
every other day (about four days a week), and once they’re
developed, you can maintain your abs with even less frequent
Expansion Sit-Backs – Another Amazingly Effective Abdominal Exercise
You’ ve Probably Never Done Before (Video Article)
By David Grisaffi
There are literally hundreds of abdominal exercise you can choose from.
Not only that, most ab exercises have multiple variations which allow
for progression through increasing levels of difficulty. With such a
wide range of exercise to choose from it’s a shame that so many people
keep repeating the same boring workouts over and over again.
If you’re not changing your exercises regularly (continually challenging
yourself with more advanced movements as your strength increases), then
you’re on your way to staleness, boredom and progress plateaus. If you
want to keep improving your abs, week after week, then here is another
new abdominal exercise to add to your repertoire: Expansion Sit Backs.
I have had advised against over-dependence on the traditional sit up for
many years. Regular sit ups put too much pressure on your low back by
using your hip flexors and hamstrings to perform almost 2/3 of the work.
This over-tightens these muscles, pulling your pelvis forward and
eventually leading to low back pain.
If you want a six pack, take a pass on the standard sit up, if for no
other reason, than because there are better choices.
If you could swap out your old sit ups with a new exercise that could
minimize hip flexor and hamstring involvement, maximize abdominal
contraction and develop better abs without low back pain, would you do
it? Of course you would. And I have just the exercise for this – the
Expansion Sit Back. This exercise is not only a favorite of mine, it’s
also backed up by many EMG studies that compare hip flexor and abdominal
activation. The latest study coming out of Canada indicated that this
exercise produced the greatest abdominal activation while minimizing
flexor activation. Continue readingContinue reading Expansion Sit-Backs – Amazingly Effective Abdominal Exercise