The reasons why the majority of people do not have abs are huge and the major stumbling block is that plenty of so called “experts” are still teaching old fashioned advice for building abs that just doesn’t work.
The number one mistake we make is that even though we are overweight, the thing we always start doing is crunches and leg raises. This means that if you have excess fat covering your abs, you will only manage to add muscles underneath, but not lose the fat. So basically, instead of having a slimmer waistline to show off your abs, it will get bigger and your love handles will also get thicker.
Now let’s get one thing straight: Even if you heard about spot reduction, there’s no such thing. Only when you manage to shed that extra weight off, will you be able to reveal your abs.
Another mistake concerning abs is believing what you see on the commercials late in the evening when you’re watching TV, promising that you’re going to have great looking abs by using a certain kind of gizmo or gadget.
The thing is that if everything were that simple, everyone would look great by now and not complain about having no abs at all. The reasons they cannot have those great looking abs is because those gadgets are good but only half the battle, nutrition along with exercise are the other key components.
If you want to show off your abs, the first thing you’ve got to realize is that the equation for abs is simple.
Anyone can greatly improve their progress and performance by carefully choosing what foods they eat and beat juice should be at the top of their list! Raw beets are loaded with a form of nitrates that are easily converted to nitric oxide in the human body. These healthy nitrates oxygenate the blood making the muscles respond better to resistance training! Moreover, the improved oxygen distribution to all parts of your body, including your heart and brain, will give you more stamina during workouts!
Please note that the healthy nitrates in beets are not the same as the “bad” nitrates found in processed meats like bologna, hot dogs, and deli meats. Beet juice has many other health benefits for bodybuilders too! Many studies have pointed to the fact that it lowers blood pressure. Beet juice also stabilizes blood sugar, leveling out the lows and highs after you eat. This will reduce lethargy, prevent depression, and help keep you more motivated to stay on track with your workouts. The beet root is exceptionally high in folic acid and manganese. The leaves and stems are exceptionally high in vitamin K at 500 percent the recommended daily allowance. This will help maintain your bones and prevent osteoporosis. Beet juice is also quite high in vitamin A vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, choline, and silica. This is why some nutritionists call beets and beet juice a superfood.
What gives beets their color is a class of antioxidants called betalains, including both betanin and vulgaxanthin. These antioxidants are among the most powerful anti-inflammatories and fungicides known. Thus, beet juice will help your joints ache less after your workouts and will keep your feet free of fungus. Research has also shown that betalains retard cancer tumors. While the betalains are spread throughout the beet plant, they are most highly concentrated in the peel of the beet so you should never peel beets before you juice them. Continue readingContinue reading The Benefits of Beet Juice
We all have our reservations about exercising and most people just do not have the determination and resilience to keep at it. Choosing to chisel your core has numerous benefits, and the results are simply amazing once you stick to it and work hard.
Your core muscles are not listed on the human anatomy, and they are classified or called your core muscles because they make up the core. They are not distinctively marked as core muscles, but they are a group of muscles that play a very vital and crucial role when it comes to playing sports, having stamina and so forth.
Core muscles are those muscles that are found in and around your trunk and pelvis area. They girdle that area. Your core muscles are vital when it comes to maintaining stability when reaching, stretching and when you bend. The benefits of building, strengthening and chiseling your core are countless and broad. Strengthening your core muscles is also great because it will definitely improve your posture, and it will protect you from lower back problems and pain. Continue readingContinue reading Chisel Your Core With Pilates
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
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
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
Almost any amount of moderate physical activity in mid- or late life reduced the odds of mild cognitive impairment by 30% to 40% in an ongoing cohort study, researchers reported.Men and women derived similar benefit, which was limited to moderate exercise — not light or vigorous physical activity, investigators wrote in the January Archives of Neurology.
“Our findings contribute to the growing body of literature that indicates the potentially beneficial relationship between physical exercise and cognition,” Yonas E. Geda, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues concluded. “A future population-based cohort study is needed to confirm whether physical exercise is associated with decreased risk of incident mild cognitive impairment.”
Meanwhile, a small, separate interventional study described in the same journal showed that six months of high-intensity aerobic exercise was associated with significant improvement in executive function in older women at increased risk of cognitive decline, but not in older men.
Mild cognitive impairment confers a five- to 10-fold increased risk of dementia compared with normal cognition. Observational studies have shown that physical activity may protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and some evidence suggests that exercise for individuals with mild cognitive impairment offers some protection, too, the authors wrote.
Geda and colleagues continued exploration of the association between physical activity and cognitive impairment with an evaluation of the effect of physical activity in midlife, approximately the age of onset for mild cognitive impairment. Data for the study came from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging.
The study included 1,324 participants who completed a standardized questionnaire about physical activity. Their median age was about 80, and none of the participants exhibited signs of dementia at baseline.
Investigators assessed the frequency and intensity of physical activity as reported by each participant.
Light exercise: bowling, leisurely walking, stretching, slow dancing, and golfing using a cart.
Moderate exercise: brisk walking, hiking, aerobics, strength training, swimming, tennis doubles, yoga, martial arts, weight lifting, moderate use of exercise machines, and golfing without use of a cart.
Vigorous exercise: jogging, backpacking, bicycling uphill, tennis singles, racquetball, skiing, and intense or extended use of exercise machines.
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
I am 1.57m, 53kgs, Asian, 45 years old, 2 kids both Caesarian (and I am
wondering if this has anything to do with my abdominal problem). My diet
is fairly healthy, but I am not that strict because I love food, both
healthy and sinful. I don’t binge and have a pretty good control over my
cravings. I stir fry and eat a lot of veggies, rice, meat, fish, an
enormous amount of fruit, not a lot of bread but when I do it’s whole
grain. Not a lot of junk food either because I hate greasy food – maybe
twice a year if at all.
My food consumption is well within my daily quota of 2,200 calories per
day, if not less. I hate breakfast, so I drink one serving of whey
protein, a cappuccino and one banana.
For my workouts, I run, use an elliptical trainer because of my knees.
Sometimes I run sprints to get some aggression out of my system. My
cardio ranges from 40 to 60 minutes, burning an average of 500 cals if I
can believe the digital output, and I do an average of 3 hours cardio
Then I do various strength training, mostly upper and mid body since I
do a lot of running. I alternate so that I spend about 1.5 hours in the
gym depending on the rest intervals. In conclusion, I think I h ave a
sufficient deficit of 1500 calories per week at least.
The big question is: Why on earth can’t I seem to lose that bit of roll
on my tummy or get my stomach looking flat? I am highly motivated. I
like what I am doing and often come home feeling better than when I
Should I resign myself to the fact that two caesarian childbirths make
it impossible to get a nice flat (not even thinking of ripped) abdomen
I read through your e-mail, and noticed quite a few potential issues
that might be contributing to your frustration with your abdominal area.
If you address these issues properly, you may be pleasantly surprised
with the change in your body fat level and especially the muscle
development in your waistline.
I thought that these were such important issues, that I am going to
answer question in detail for the benefit of all our readers.