Skip to main content

Abdominal Exercises, Benefits and Limitations

Anyone interested in fitness wants to have great looking abs - firm, rippled and well-toned, along with a trim waist. All those are achievable, but beware accepting any myths about flat stomachs and spot reduction around the waist.

As you exercise, you consume energy measured in calories. When you consume enough to deplete the available energy, and enough to reduce the sugars that convert easily, the body goes after stored energy. That stored energy is largely in the form of fat deposits in adipose tissue.

But that process takes place non-selectively. You don't get to choose which fat deposits the body converts. That means, you can't 'spot reduce' by working on your abs. The effect is still achievable, but doing abdominal exercises alone doesn't target that fat.

When you focus on the abs, you will build strength in that area, by increasing the muscle mass in those muscles. That's helpful for a number of reasons. It keeps a firm, strong layer of muscle which helps keep the stomach and other internal organs well inside the plane defined by your hips. You get a nice trim, flat look.

Abdominal exercises help in another way, too. Since the abdominals are large muscles, they consume a proportionately larger percentage of energy than, say, your jaw muscles. That means that as you work them, they have to be supplied with more energy to move through the range of the exercise. That burns many calories, resulting in weight loss and fat reduction.

abs training


There is no gadget, supplement or drug currently on the market that will do that safely and effectively as a substitute. It can only be done through proper diet and regular, moderate to heavy exercise. There's no shortcut to a trim waist, at least not yet.

The effect is also limited by genetics and age. Some people store more fat around the middle more readily than others. Gender, obviously, makes a difference as well.

Many women in their 40s will naturally develop a pouch in the lower abdomen as their hormones change. Many men will naturally develop 'love handles' at the side, since they store fat in adipose tissue there more readily in their 40s than they did in their 20s.

In order to achieve the desired effect you have to approach muscle fatigue. There's no need to perform a hundred crunches to accomplish that. Done correctly, 20 reps is enough. You don't even have to go to the gym. You can do pelvic tilts while sitting in a chair in the office.

But for best effect, warm up and try the following:

Lie on your back, with your knees raised and cross your arms across your chest. Then lift your shoulders off the floor and hold for 30 seconds. You can feel the effect on your abs already. To make the exercise more difficult, put your hands at the side of your head. Don't use your hands to lift your head, just keep them still. For maximum effort, put your hands above your head, then perform the same shoulder lift and hold, focusing on the abs.

Feel the burn. Repeat daily for 10 minutes or twenty reps. In a few weeks, you'll see definite results.

Popular posts from this blog

Safeguard the Achilles

One of the most painful tendon injuries is Achilles. But there are also ways to avoid these injuries. Here are some of them: You’ll feel a burning and piercing in the tendon above your heel and it can even make a crackling sound when you move it. Any higher up your calf and it’s more likely that you’ve strained or pulled a muscle. Rupturing your Achilles tendon is a exceptionally painful experience and you’ll know when you’ve done it. Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is made of thousands of individual fibers of collagen. Restricted blood flow to this area slows repair and pain will worsen if you keep training . Four important factors in healing the Achilles are: rest, ice, compression and elevation. If your tendon is harmed take a break from all weight bearing sport (except swimming) for at least 2 weeks. You can recover from mild injury in a couple of weeks but a severe one can take 5 months. In order to prevent Achilles injury in

Diabetes Food Pyramid

This diabetic food pyramid functions in a similar way to the regular food pyramid. One of the main differences is that the diabetic food pyramid focuses on limiting sugar intake . Diabetes is a disease that prohibits people from eating sugar at the same levels that they used to. This does not mean that all diabetics have to avoid sugar like vampires avoid the sun! Some people have mild cases that enable them to eat sugar once in a while. Others have to avoid it at all costs. The diabetic food pyramid is a lifesaver to many people. Just by looking at the pyramid they can tell which foods to eat and which ones not to. It also suggests serving sizes and suggestions for planning whole meals. The diabetic food pyramid has six categories of food groups. At the bottom the main group is grains, starchy vegetables, and beans. The second grouping on the diabetic food pyramid includes vegetables and fruits . The third includes diary products, meats and other sources of protein. At the t

Causes of Easy Bruising: Reasons Why People Bruise Easily

Bruising , a reddish or purple discoloration under the skin, most often results from trauma to the small blood vessels, called capillaries, but can also occur spontaneously. How and Why Bruises Occur Blood leaks out of the capillaries and accumulates under the skin, gradually absorbing over several days. Bruising most often occurs because people run into objects or experience other trauma. Most bruising is easily explained, but frequent bruising that occurs without obvious cause needs prompt investigation, since several serious diseases can cause bruising. In general, women bruise more easily than men. How Aging Increases the Risk of Easy Bruising Bruising increases as people age for several reasons. Skin thins as people age and the capillaries become more fragile. The layer of fat that cushions blood vessels and protects them from injury becomes thinner as well. Older people often take medications and supplements that thin the blood and contribute to easy bruising. Visi