Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Hard Core training

Is doing 1000 sit-ups a day a good abdominal exercise to get your six pack abs?

You know the answer is a NO.

To see your abs, you'll need to reduce your body fat, on the average, below 10-12% for men and 16-18% for women.

So hit the weights hard, do your cardio, eat balanced foods to get supported nutrients, rest well to recover and repeat. You'll see your abs.

Same as your muscle building exercises, you need to train your abdominal and other core muscles for hypertrophy.

Your abdominal muscles consists of transverse abdominis (TA), internal oblique, external oblique, and rectus abdominis (the so-called "abs"). They are all very important to your total body and core strength, balance and stability.

Here are three modified core training exercises for your total body stability. Incorporate one or two of them in your next workout routine.

Swiss-ball Crunch
Place your feet on the floor, narrower than your hip-width. Then perform the normal Swiss-ball crunch. The narrower base of support requires more abdominal and lower back stability.

If you want to kick up another notch, put your feet on a pair of Versa Discs (air-filled flat discs). The floating and unstable Versa discs will require you to engage your core to the ultimate level.

Single-leg Romanian Deadlift
Perform the Romanian deadlift with one dumbbell on one leg. Do all the reps on one leg. Then repeat on the other leg.

This exercise improves your hip stability that will help your squats and deadlifts.

Full-body Extentsion
Attach a handle to a low pulley machine (or a pair of tubing). Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Grab the handle at arm's length with your left hand. Bend at the hips and knees and turn your body so that your left arm is ready to begin pulling at the outside of your right knee. Slowly turn and extend your body so that the cable or tube comes up and over your left shoulder.

This move hits all four core areas.

Single-arm Dumbbell Press
Perform a standing shoulder press with only one dumbbell. Do all the reps on one side. Repeat on the other side.

This is a sure move to improve strength on any pressing exericse.

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