Dreaming of having tight, six-pack abs that turn heads?
If so, exercising is a great place to start. Be careful though, overdoing it can cause injury and might sideline plans to lose weight and improve muscle tone and strength. Believe it or not, too much of a good thing can be bad. Avoid overworking the abs and use a smarter, more controlled routine for crafting the desired look.
For those who are serious about developing six-pack abs or at least toning these muscles and improving appearance, there are some tips that can make all the difference in the world. Here’s some advice for toning the abs without going overboard and causing injury:
Create a Smart Workout Plan
Chances are the abs aren’t the only muscles that need a little attention. To make sure the whole body gets the workout it needs, start out by talking with a physician. Just get a checkup to make sure working out is advised and at what level. After that, consider working with a trainer that can help craft a routine that incorporates some serious abdominal exercise. A trainer will help make sure that other muscles are covered during regular workouts, too. This is very important.
While it’s hard to resist working out the abs every day when a tighter, trimmer, more muscled figure is desired, avoid doing this. Listen to the trainer and only do abdominal workouts about two to three times a week. When the abs are overworked, injuries can occur.
Sticking to a schedule that develops the abs safely while also concentrating on other major muscle groups is much more likely to produce results that enhance the entire body.
When strong, attractive abs are the end goal, it’s important to remember that exercise isn’t the only ingredient that goes into making a six-pack look. Diet is also a crucial consideration for toning and trimming the body.
Be sure to support exercise with a well-rounded, healthy diet. As muscles are being developed, they will need proper fuel. A balanced diet that offers the right amount of calories can also promote weight loss as abdominal exercises do their trick.
While it’s fine to target the abs as a gauge for the effectiveness of an overall workout routine, it’s not a good idea to overwork them. Avoid injury by playing it safe and only working out these muscles two to three times a week.
Proper form is important when working the core (abs, back, buttocks). Improper technique can open up room for injury of the spine. Having a personal trainer or Pilates instructor that knows this technique can help you develop proper technique and form to get the most effective and safe workout. The “zippering”, “lateral breathing”, or “sucking it up” technique used in Pilates practice is important to master for protecting the spine during all core and strength exercises. The spine is made to flex and extend but length and proper support and alignment is of utmost importance. You can start by inhaling while picturing a corset or shoelaces pulling in your ribs and abdominals (“zippering”). You should feel the air traveling into the lateral or side ribcage (lateral breathing) and into the back expanding and stretching the back ribcage and lengthening the spine. Next, start to exhale and brace the abs tighter (tighten the corset) before movement. It will take a few times to master but you will feel the difference in stability of the pelvis and spine alignment during your abdominal workouts.
Author: Beth Rzendzian Owner & Personal Trainer EverFit Personal Training - www.everfitfitness.com