When working with your abs, remember:
Always do stretches and light warm up activities before your workout. And do cooling down activities afterwards and stretches.
-Press your lower back into the floor or workout bench. And if you are not at an advanced performance level with pretty good lower back and abdominal strength, do not include exercises that have instructions to arch up your back. Instead, it’s recommended that you bend your knees, and keep them closer to your body Exhale while you crunch up.
-Work your lower abdominals first, they are generally more difficult and wear you out faster.
-With ab exercises, when placing your hands under your neck for crunches, remember to keep your elbows back. Crunch up with your shoulders. When elbows point upwards, they can pull the neck, resulting in a stiffness or pain.
A goal of three ab workout sessions per week is good. Any more is considered over-training. Muscles need time to develop, as muscle growth actually increase muscle tone. So in between workouts, get at least one to two complete days of rest from ab exercises between workouts.
Caution when doing lots of repetitions. Focus on sets, instead. For example, instead of aiming for dozens of crunches per workout, hold each rep for a count of 4. And incorporate a system of using 12 sets of reps per workout, mixing sets with other rep sets (like a set of side crunches, a set of floor crunches, a set of lower ab crunches – -then back to another set of side crunches, a set of floor crunches, a set of lower ab crunches, etc.)
-Focus on the positive – especially with your own internal self-talk. Be your own best friend and compliment yourself on your efforts and good work.
-Don’t set your own self up for failure – i.e. avoid tempting yourself by keeping tons of junk food around. In the USA, there is a fast food place or convenience store in practically every neighborhood. Make yourself bike or walk there to buy a candy bar or greasy order of French fries. Don’t make it easy on yourself and stock them in the frig or freezer.
Train other areas, too, not just your abs. With an overall focus on training all body regions, you can benefit with a firm, toned appearance all over. So include a full-body program, instead of just one for your abdominal region.
Enjoy a good mindset by renaming your routine. In other words, instead of being a New Year’s Resolution or Fitness Goal, etc…something so serious…make it fun-sounding like your “dream planning” or “new sculpted self” or something…be creative!
Give yourself a break! Especially if and when you “may” happen to overindulge at mealtime or if you skip a workout or two…Pick yourself up, dust yourself and forgive yourself. No one’s perfect. Then climb back on that horse – or exercise bike – and get going!
TERRIFIC AB TONING TIPS
Wouldn’t it be super to have those 6-pack abs on infomercials? Here are some terrific tips on toning up yours. These can be incorporated into your daily routines, right in the privacy of your own home. Enjoy an improved appearance with regular practice.
1.Drink plenty of and a variety of watered beverages. Add variety to your diet with bottled water, flavored water, herbal teas, health beverages. They are mostly low calorie or calorie-free and filling to the stomach. And they help keep your metabolism on high mode.
2.Bowl of Berries – Add your favorite berries to your daily diet. They are loaded with fiber and help battle constipation and midsection swelling.
3.Non-alcohol – Avoid beverages with alcohol content. Alcohol is high on calories and can increase your cortisol levels, stress hormones that help the
stomach store fat – -a no-no!
4.Get Active – You don’t have to workout only in a gym. Increase physical activity in your life for more exercise. Wash your car – inside and out. Wash your windows – inside and out. Plant a garden – yes, inside in containers, and outside in the yard and in landscaped areas. Clean out your closets, your drawers, your basement, your attic, your living areas. Did you know that all that movement; walking, stepping, bending, twisting, lifting, etc. helps your entire body get and stay in shape – -all for free. PLUS you can burn an average of over 300 calories per hour! No membership fees are due either.
5. Posture – Sitting up straight can not only take pounds off your appearance, it actually conditions the muscles in your stomach region to stay tight. So sit up straight, shoulders back, chest out, chin up. And when seated, support your lower back with a the chair.
6.Work OUT – No need to do all your workouts in the gym or at home, either. Head outdoors. Exercise your body with golf, Putt-Putt Golf, zoo, science and art center activity centers, bating cages, putting ranges, community centers with local teams to join; basketball, volleyball, etc. So get moving!
7.Try some Pilates on for size! Pilates target your internal and external obliques, the abdominal muscles along the sides of your abdomen that form your waist. And they target your transverse abdominis which supports your back and holds in your belly – – a deep abdominal muscle often neglected in other forms of abdominal exercise. Psst! Want good posture, pain-free back and a flat tummy? A strong transverse abdominis is what you need.
8.Pilates also stretch and strengthen the muscles along your spine that hold your spinal column straight, aka the erector spinae. For a program with a power boost combined with endurance, hit the Pilates and gain both strength and grace.
This e-book is written by Georgette Pann,
Ace certified Personal Trainer,IFA certified Sports Nutrition