Ab tightness question
Just a quick question...
Is tensing your abdominal area visually similar to the results gained from building abdominal muscle?
I don't intend to walk around gritting my teeth and tensing my abs instead of working out - I was just wondering.
iI HAVE HAD 3 C-CECSHION ON MY LOWER PART OF MY BELLY AND I HAVE A HARD TIME LOSSING THE LOWER AND MY HIPS I HAVE A BAD BACK SO IT MAKES IT HARD TO DO CRUNCHES.SO WHAT OTHER EXERCIESES WOULD YOU HAVE ME DO. THANKS KIM
In one word: No.
Originally Posted by grayfishoval
The difference in core benefit of the squat (such as the Front Squat, for example) to "tensing" exercises are quite phenominal in my opinion. I am not saying they do not have there placement, but if I had to choose I would give choice to the overall benefits of "indirect" core work peformed during certain exercises within a FBW. A good and solid FBW will give the core strength just by performing its purpose function: Stability and Support.
Last edited by Chillen; Aug. 31/08 at 08:39 AM.
I agree with sticking to the core intervals. I trained all last year with intense FBW's intermixed with planks, push-ups(keeping the abs tight) and using the BOSU ball while lifting and for more intense push-ups. It makes a huge difference in overall ab appearance and all you have to do is throw in little bursts throughout your workouts. I also noticed that doing abs throughout your entire workout is easier than tacking them on at the end.
Have fun with it.....it makes a difference : )
Thanks for the replies!
I'm definitely getting into my abs workout more now. I had very weak abs to begin with and it was really hard to know exactly how to work them as they didn't seem to do much at all!
There are plenty of core exercises you can do, but without knowing what is wrong with your back, I'm not going to suggest anything.
Originally Posted by starlight369
Do you have proper form on your crunches? Most people do them incorrectly ...
Im very keen to get my lower abs toned, what is an FBW?
FBW is a Full Body Workout.
yeah squats are good for everything pretty much.
Originally Posted by Chillen
FBW: Full Body Workout.
One doesnt need to be a fitness scientist to get extremely lean, build muscle, or lose unwanted tissue, but one does need enough knowledge to get what they want completed accomplished. With this said, let's look at the composition of the ab core (briefly):
The core are composed of (high endurance muscles) such as:
The rectus abdominis runs from your sternum to your pelvis and essentially helps pull your rib cage and your pelvis closer together.
The rectus abdominis is the actual visible “six pack” (as many call them) that you see in someone with a well-developed core and a low body fat percentage.
The transversus abdominis
The transversus abdominis acts as a natural weight belt, holding your insides in (thus dispaying one of the reasons body fat has to be low to see the core), and act in stabilizing the trunk.
Attempting to develop the transversus abdominis helps "pull in your stomach area" giving you the appearance of a smaller waist.
One popular misconception is that people think that the upper abs and lower abs can be worked separately.
The fact is that you cannot isolate the upper or lower core. The rectus abdominus is one muscle group (or one sheet of muscle) and the entire length of the muscle group is activated whether you’re "pulling the upper body up" or "pulling the lower body up".
With that said, IMO, it is beneficial to work the core from a "variety of different angles" to attempt to recruit max muscle fiber development throughout the entire abdominal region.
The internal and external obliques
The internal and external obliques work to rotate the torso and stabilize the abdomen.
There are some lateral abdominal muscles and their role is to support the spine and maintaining a healthy lower back.
When working the core "directly", its IMO, we cannot leave out mentioning the:
Hip Flexors. While having strong hip flexors are important (and believe me when I tell you these muscles can get strong), attempting to minimize the engagement or involvement (as much as possible) when during core exercises is important so they will not "tend" to take over most of the stress and remove training stress from the core.
Why are the hip flexors important?
Its because the hip flexor muscles such as the (psoas), along with the core, act to pull your trunk towards your legs, and at the same time. However, the Psoas has a greater range of motion.
The psoas "can" get involved to the highest degree when your feet are supported and/or your legs are extended straight........such as in the traditional situp.
The psoas take over the majority of the work. This is not saying th core doesnt gt involved (it does), but at a certain point the Psoas takes over, when your upper body comes off the floor by more than approximately 30° in crunching or sit-up movements. This is why I support 30 degree situps if one elects to do them.
IMO, you can not "completely" remove the involvement of the hip flexor, but one should attempt to eliminate it as much as possible.....while attempting to put more stress on the muscle being worked. Having strong hip flexors are important (say for sprinters, as an example) so, dont get me wrong, but....having an understanding of their involvement and how to minimize their recruitment will benefit your core training; you can get more isolation. But, understand that eliminating them "completely" due to their design function is virtually impossible.
Additionally, a lot of people can complain of back pain when doing core work, and this can be (keeping thing equal) just simple body positioning or form during the function of the core exercise.
One of the reasons that many people who spend an hour during each workout doing hundreds of crunches fail to ever develop six pack abs is that after a certain point------->regular old crunches just don’t provide much resistance to develop your core, IMO.
Additionaly, this time wasted doing crunches or "other" minimally resistive ab exercises (i.e. working a very small muscle group) could have been better used by working larger muscle groups which in turn burn more calories.
Of course one's bodily position has to b taken into account, but my opinion is that the majority of one's time in the gym should be spent on the bigger compound movements like squats, deadlifts, lunges, and upper body multi-joint presses and pulls, your body is forced to work harder and burn more calories during and after the workout.
Don’t get me wrong, direct core work such as crunches can have their place in a routine, especially for beginners (new to weight training), and advanced versions of crunches can even be challenging for persons who are not so new.
IMO, you train the core lik any othr muscle group. This means not everyday. Some may differ in this opinion, but this is mine. Muscles develop during rest, not being "bombed" repeatedly without rest and recuperation.
Some exercises to consider:
- Hanging leg raises (with hunched back)
- Hanging knee raises (with hunched back)
- Lying leg thrusts (hip thrusts)
- Decline bench leg thrusts (hip thrusts)
- Reverse crunches (crunching hips off floor)
- Ab bicycles (alternating knees to elbows)
- Ab scissors
- Stability ball crunches (weighted for progression)
- Bench crunches
- Alternating (oblique) crunches
- Weighted cable rope crunches (with hunched back)
- Ab wheel
- Stability ball hip flexion (knee tucks)
- Abdominal vacuums (transversus abdominis development)
- Weighted decline situps ( 30 degree only) Advanced method: Adding in "peel offs"
- Weighted situps (30 degree only) Advanced method: Adding in "peel offs"
A couple of my "indirect" favorites (not in any particular order):
Front Squats: There are some minor varients on how to hold the BB, but when the bar is placed on the shoulders in the front of the body (as compared to behind the head as in the back squat), this position tends to place much more stress on the core and demands that the core provide stability and support while its performed. And, more so, than the back squat, IMO. It also tends to take stress off of the lower back. I prefer @SS-TO-THE-GROUND when performing them.
I want to mention that, virtually any squat varient, will get the core involved. So, if you do a program that does not include the Front Squat, do it with confidence that it will recruit the core satisfactorily.
Renegade Dumbbell Rows: (upper body work with amazing oblique and core stability work).
FEEL THIS POWER BABY! Get two DB's for Renagade Rows with appropriate weight---One station.
Cycle for 2 minute short burst--Second station.
Front Squat 10 rep varient--third station.
See......how being inventive/creative....ROCKS!.......that is it......YEP! A KILLER.
Dead Lifts: Puts a high demand on the core in the function of stability and support.
With ALL POWER GIVEN TO:
To be perfectly honest, dietary habits are the sole reason that most people will never obtain a ripped/defined/built ab core.
No matter how hard and no matter how frequent one trains, most people will never get their body fat low enough to see their abs if their diet is poor. You have to KNOW your SELF, your calorie needs, and keep nutrition in line.......PEOPLE......
2. THE FULL BODY WORKOUT ROUTINE........
Okay,,,,,,,,,there ya go.
Part two next..........Post was too long, lol.
Last edited by Chillen; Sep. 05/08 at 09:29 AM.
What you have left to do is this:
1. Develop your approximate calorie needs,learn about nutrition, and other areas of weight training
We start here:
Here is some information on: Carbs, Protein, Fats, and Fiber
The Human Brain - Carbohydrates
What are Carbohydrates?
What You Need to Know Before You Start a Low Carbohydrate Diet
(and other info)
(this one may be a tad over-kill for the average person)
Some info on Protein:
John Berardi - Protein Super Feature
Everything you need to know about protein
Protein: Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health
Some info on Fats:
What You Need to Know about Fat and Your Family's Diet - Family Articles - Kaboose.com
Fats 101: How to tell Good Fats and Bad Fats
Fats, Fish Oil and Omega-3-Fatty Acids - Cholesterol Information Produced by Doctors For Patients Experiencing High Cholesterol Levels
(and other GOOD info)
Some info on Fiber:
Difference between soluable and insoluable Fiber:
The difference is primary that soluable fiber can dissolve (but not entirely) in the bowel (and is the culprit for some people getting the "stinky gas" ) when consumed, while insoluable fiber can absorb a lot of water and isnt broken down as easily.
A couple of links for additional info:
Fiber 101: Soluble Fiber vs Insoluble Fiber
High Fiber Diet
Various EXCELLENT John Berardi Nutrition Articles (a MUST READ):
John Berardi - Nutrition Articles
An Article on Diet and Cheating by John Berardi:
Bodybuilding.com - John Berardi - Damage Control: To Cheat Or Not To Cheat!
Solving the Pre and Post Workout Nutrition Puzzle, John Berardi:
Bodybuilding.com - John Berardi - Solving The Post Workout Puzzle - Part One!
Bodybuilding.com - John Berardi - Solving The Post Workout Puzzle: Part 2 - The Recovery Plan.
Within the Nutrition 101 thread you will find some valuable information. Or you can use the ready made input web page in the 2nd link.
What you to do is to post your Maintenance Line of calories and list the multiplier you used to configure your approximated Maintenance Line.
Go here and read on some basic and fundamental information:
Delaware Consumer Health Information Services (Originally Posted by Wrangell)
Weight Training Information:
Weight Training 101
Weight Training Technical Articles
Some Info on the ab core:
How to get abs guide
Go here for some thoughts on the mental side:
Weight Loss Intricate
The ChillOut Log by Chillen
(allot of pages to go through, but there IS good information that may help you if you take the time to seek it)
All of the links, plus additional links (Not Listed here) that you may be interested in are in this link below:
Change your eating habits (below are some suggestion examples)
The 3 Nutrients (Carbs, Good Fats, and Protein) are an essential factor in the diet; however, the Law of Energy Balance within the DIET, is the ultimate KING while the Nutrients can play in some key decisions made within the body.
○ Try eating 5 to 6 smaller meals during the day
○ Balance your meals out during the day so in one day you have a mix of Protein, Carbohydrate and good Fats
○ Drink lots of water during the day and before, during and after exercise
○ Simple Carb Examples: (Various fruit) Grapefruit, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Strawberries, Oranges, Apples, Pineapple, etc
○ Complex Carb Examples: Whole Wheat Pita Bread, Oatmeal, Long Grain Brown Rice, Brown Pasta, Malto-Meal (Plain, whole wheat),etc
○ Good Protein Examples: White or Dark Tuna, Chicken Breast, Lean Turkey, Lean Ham, Very lean Beef, Quality Whey Protein Powder, etc
○ Good Fats Examples: Natural Peanut Butter, Various Nuts, Flax Seed, Fish Oils.
○ Dietary Fiber: Whole Grains (Bran), Some fruits (like Apples), and vegetables, nuts and seeds
ROOT VEGETABLES: beets, sweat potatoes, yams
GREEN VEGETABLES: asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumber, field greens, mixed salad greens, green beans, romaine lettuce, snap peas, and spinach
OTHER VEGETABLES: bell peppers, carrots, celery, eggplant, mushrooms, soybeans, squash, tomatoes, organic (low sodium) vegetable soup (be careful in the selection).
Suggestions on various cereals:
1. Steel Cut Oats, Old Fashioned Cut Oats, and Regular Cut Oats (quick cook type), in large containers.
2. Various types of Go Lean Kashi cereals. (Some dont like them, but I dont share this opinion).
3. Fiber-One. (60 calories per 1/2 Cup, and source of fiber)
4. Grape Nuts
Ingredients: WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT FLOUR, WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT, DRIED YEAST, SOY LECITHIN. VITAMINS AND MINERALS: REDUCED IRON, NIACINAMIDE, ZINC OXIDE (SOURCE OF ZINC), VITAMIN B6, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN B12, VITAMIN D.
Its devoid of any "added in" sugars, and from what I have read on Lecithin, this is used in many bread products for various reasons, and isnt a bad ingredient.
5. Shredded Wheat and Shredded Wheat and Bran: (NOT SUGAR TOPPED)
POST SHREDDED WHEAT ORIGINAL SPOON SIZE
Ingredients: WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT
TO PRESERVE THE NATURAL WHEAT FLAVOR, BHT IS ADDED TO THE PACKAGING MATERIAL--If you dont like perservatives, dont select this one
Post Shredded Wheat and Bran
Ingredients: WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT AND WHEAT BRAN.
TO PRESERVE THE NATURAL WHEAT FLAVOR, BHT IS ADDED TO THE PACKAGING MATERIAL. If you dont like perservatives, dont select this one
Both are devoid of any "added in" sugars.
Alpen No Sugar Added Cereal
Serving size: 2/3 cup servings per container:7
sugars:7g (mostly from raisins)
Ingredients: rolled oats, whole wheat, raisins, pearled barley, roasted hazelnuts, skim milk powder, whey powder, sliced almonds, malt extract. 14 ounce box
Alpen No Sugar Added Cereal
Configure your calorie needs, and post your results.
READ, the posts I took the time to post for you.
Figure you calorie needs.
Get your nutrition up to snuff as much as you can in that 12 hour window of opportunity until Ramaden is completed.
And, I leave you with another thing to think about, young man:
The core composition between one person and the next, though simular, can be quite different in some slightly different construction.
The vertical line of the core (or definition of the core, if you will) has more to due with the "thickness of the skin" and total upper body mass--as a joint pair, IMO.
Which basically means the quality of muscle underneath, and low body fat (and sometimes lowering water to assist in lowering skin thickness) to showcase your unique core construction. Yes, it is absolutely possible--dependent on your core genetics and unique core construction when muscle is developed enough and body fat is subsequently low enough----> to display your personal attributes.
And, realizing the Absolute POWER of training manipulation and nutrient manipulation WILL get you there.
When BF gets to a "certain" point, skin thickness (and assuming no "abnormal physical complications", and one is healthy), can be properly manipulated----through DIET. Actually, it gets manipulated when losing tissue in general. However, when things are not quite what one wants (and they have a core muscle and upper body support), they can do manipulations within diet to thin the skin even more---(again assuming a healthy person as stated above)
When people sometimes read things they don't open their personal perception--and really educationally examine what they are reading.
For example, one on a low carb diet (can lose appreciable amount of water at first early in the diet, for example) that isn't tangible tissue loss. Okay with this in mind, can Carbs be used a mild diuretic? And, used properly with the other nutrients and consumption activities. Answer: YES.
Revealing the POWER of the DIET.
Last edited by Chillen; Sep. 05/08 at 12:17 PM.
Lot's of info I have been doing lots of standing crunches
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