Does The Flex Belt by Slender Tone Work?

After many hours of thinking about what to do with my low back pain. I decided to get the flex belt and try it out. Now I’m no fan of abdominal machines, gimmicks and so-called miracles. I’m true purest and believe you need to train the inner and outer unit to the maximum. However, this is what happened and lead me down this pathway.

I volunteer at my son’s Catholic high school by mowing all the athletic fields. After hours upon hours my low back begins to hurt. I stretch and do other low back remedies. After talking with our athletic trainer, he suggested some electrical stimulation. So he did it to me in his office, and my mind started to wonder…what if I could do this while I’m on the lawn mower? So I started searching the web and found The Flex Belt. It is easy to use just put the pad on strap it around your waist and tune it on.

Well, I started using it every other day and to my surprise, my low back pain went away. I simply amazed. Again, I’m know fan of gimmicks but this really worked, and I now believe it could work for you. Continue reading Does The Flex Belt by Slender Tone Work?

Core Training: What Makes It Special

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

Abdominal Myth #1

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
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 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
development training.

This is just one myth I expose in my Firm and Flatten Your Abs Program

Strenghten Your Core and Get Great Abs Faster

Strengthen Your Core and Get Great Abs Faster
By Adding This One Movement to Your Training Routine

by David Grisaffi

There’s one simple movement pattern that is sorely lacking in most people’s abdominal training routines. By adding this, you will also increase your chances of getting a great set of six pack abs and a tighter, slimmer waistline. Adding this simple movement to your routine will also strengthen your core, increase your overall body strength and help prevent lower back pain.

This simple movement that will provide you will all these great benefits is rotation in transverse movement patterns.  Huh? What the heck does that mean? Don’t worry, I’m going to explain in simple terms with a quick anatomy lesson and then move on to the exact exercises. 

There are four major muscles that make up your abdominal core:  rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, and the transverse abdominis.  These muscles work together to flex and rotate the spine and to compress the abdomen.  Since most movements involve more than one muscle, your workouts should try to train all these muscles in isolation and combination.  

The rectus abdominis is the most prominent abdominal muscle.  It is either the “pot belly” or the long segmented muscle that runs up and down the front of the torso.  When it is fully developed it is the muscle where you see the six pack of abs, or in some cases an eight pack.  It is the primary muscle involved in any “sit-up” type or flexion exercise. 

This muscle is often considered one continuous muscle, however is does have separate nerve intervention and you do have “upper and lower abs.” What often happens is one section stabilizes while one performs the chosen exercise.  

The external obliques run down your eight lower ribs to your hips and act as rotators along with the internal obliques.  The internal obliques run in the opposite direction as the externals, but are just underneath them.  They will not be visible when developed, but they are very important for core strength.  

The transverse abdominis is the only one of the four that does not cause or affect trunk movement.  It is important in holding your abdominal wall tight. You could say it’s  the “suck in your gut” muscle if you will.  It is also important in that it pulls on the diaphragm to force you to breath out.  

Hopefully, a fuller understanding of these four core muscles will help you to appreciate the need for rotation in transverse movement in your ab workout and their roles in obtaining a six pack of abs. They are also important for power and optimum sports performance. 

Baseball, football, tennis, and golf depend on the power generated from these abdominal and core muscles.  It is hard to find a good college or professional athlete that does not have a great looking six pack of abs.  Typically, these muscles have been trained using crunches, reverse crunches or other flexion exercises.  Those types of exercises are only half of the battle, at best.  

Both of theses exercises isolate a section of the Rectus abdominis, but normally ignore the obliques and transverse abdominis.  That is why it is so important to integrate transverse movement patterns into your abdominal workouts.  It is important, also, to have these muscles fully lengthen before contracting while they are performing.  A muscle will contract more forcefully and efficiently if it is allowed to fully lengthen.

Effective training of the abdominals, in pursuit of a six pack of abs, does not require one exercise alone.  Effective abdominal must should incorporate many of the larger transverse movement patterns, and position the performer in multiple starting stances.  All exercises should allow for complete lengthening and shortening of the muscles.  This is called the “pre-load and unload” cycle.  If you make correct use of the “pre-load and unload” cycle you will get a more forceful and efficient motion from your abdominal muscles.

Now that we have gone over the “why’s” let’s look into the “how’s”.  I am going to walk you through 3 different exercises that will give you the optimum training effect I’m talking about here.  

Exercise #1: Standing or Sitting Horizontal Woodchopper:

Start in the standing position with your feet flat and in a good athletic stance. Grasp a dumbbell with your right hand and overlap your left so you have both hands on the dumbbell. Raise your arms with the dumbbell so they are parallel to the floor out in front of your face at shoulder height. 

Slowly begin to rotate the dumbbell to your right until you can not longer rotate at your core or trunk level. Do not rotate your shoulders. This exercise comes from the core. Slowly return to the starting position and then proceed to rotate to the left. 

This will complete one repetition. Try to do 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions. Do not sacrifice your form for additional weight. Less is more! 

Exercise #2: Russian Twist Knees Bent.

This is a simple exercise and stretch. By bending the knees, the level is shorter and the amount of weight is less then the full version with your legs straight pointing towards the ceiling. This exercise uses your obliques in a transverse plan movement.

Lie on the floor on a comfortable surface

Raise you legs so that your knees are pointing toward the ceiling. Place your arms at 90 degrees to your body with your palms down. This keeps your upper body still. 

Gently lower your legs to the floor on one side keeping them at a 90 degree angle to the trunk. Return legs to the upright position.

Repeat to the opposite side. This is one repetition.  

Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

You can also use a Swiss ball under your calves and performing the exercise in the same manner. You could also place a light medicine ball between your knees to add some resistance.

Exercise #3 : Reverse Woodchopper

This can be done standing or sitting using a dumbbell, Swiss ball or a cable system. This will depend on your experience and goals. Use proper form while doing all exercises and remember less is more sometimes.

The wood chopper series is one of the best ways for integrating the oblique musculature into a functional movement pattern. 

Think of this movement as someone baling hay.  

I will describe this exercise using a cable system, but again this can be done using a dumbbell or Swiss ball. 

Standing perpendicular to the weight stack and cable system in an athletic stance.
Use the bottom pulley or if you are using an adjustable cable system set the pulley at the bottom position. Grasp the handle with your right hand and put left hand over your right.

Draw your belly button in to your spine to add stability to your core.

Gently rotate your torso and pull the cable handle up and across the front of your chest.
To a fully extended arm position on the opposite side of you body above your head.

Keep you arms straight from start to finish.

Return to the starting position. Repeat for prescribed describer below. 

Do this exercise for 3 sets of 12-15 reps 

These are three very basic exercises that have multiple variations that can incorporate rotation in transverse movement to achieve a six pack of abs.  Always make sure you do a full amount of exercises to keep the core active and firm.  Rotate your shoulders towards the knees, in an alternating pattern as you do your crunches.  This will help to insure that the obliques are used. 

Isometric exercises can be done that will strengthen the transverse abdominis. I call this the TV tummy tuck and it can be done while sitting or on your hands and knees. But if you are in your car or at work you do these.  Suck in your gut and tighten your abdominals.  Hold for 10 seconds then slowly release.  Repeat and increase your hold time as you get used to the exercise.   In the gym do an exercise called the “plank”.  Lift your body off of the ground on your elbows and toes.  Contract your abs and relax your shoulders and neck.  Remember to breath and hold as long as possible.  

The abdominal region is best developed by rotating the motion along you transverse plane.  Resistance across your center of gravity is a good for your entire core.  This forces all four of the abdominal muscle groups to work and perform together.  This rotation in transverse movement allows for your six pack of abs to develop and the obliques to show up as a beautiful frame for them. 

These 3 exercises will get you started on the right foot. If you’d like to learn more, you’ll find over 40 exercises in my Firm and Flatten Your Abs Program at –