Friday, October 5, 2012

Fixing a Trouble Spot (ABS)

27 Days to a Healthy Body Image: Day 5

Ready to fix a trouble spot on your body? (No mental or emotional work today)  Don't we all have issues with our stomachs.  Not tight enough, small enough or firm enough.  Here's a little anatomy, and an exercise to help.

Your abs are made up of 5 main muscles.  The ones front and center that make up the ever elusive six pack, obliques on the sides, and covering them all top to bottom are the transverse abs.  The Transverse Abs are responsible for holding you stomach in flat when you are standing, sitting, and exercising.  Want the illusion of a smaller waist line?  Want tucking in your tummy to be second nature?  Lets work those transverse abs.

The BEST exercise for transverse abs is plank work.  Really, and truly, work on planks and your stomach will be less poochy.  Here is how to do a plank.

Assume a forward leaning rest position, i.e. push up position.  (If we think about it as resting it is not as hard right?)  Shoulder blades are squeezed together and pushed down the back; hands are directly beneath the shoulders; abs are tucked in; tuck the bum under and focus on pushing all your weight into your toes -- it takes the pressure off your arms.   Hold this position for 10 seconds;  work up to holding it for 1 minute straight!  If this kills your wrists use a modify the exercise by resting on your forearms (you might want a mat to cushion your arms)

Side planks continue to work the transverse abs, but emphasize the obliques.  Here is what a side plank looks like in the modified forearm resting style.  Remember arm/elbow is directly below the shoulder; shoulder blades are squeezed together; bum tucked under; neck, shoulder, hip and feet making a nice straight line.

When you're ready for a challenge check out my post with CRAZY planks:

Advanced Plank Work I, Advanced Plank Work II

We may not be fitness models, but we can be  
strong and awesome and AMAZING!

abs photo credit:

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