By Ken Coward
Well it’s late December and most of you are ready to get in shape in 2010. This article will provide you with a solid abdominal routine which will help you reach your goal, as well as jump start those who are looking for something new.
The program is not only designed to give you those washboard abs, but it will also strengthen and stabilize your lumbar pelvic region, (lower back and hips) which will help to prevent those lower back injuries.
Listed below are a few of the muscles involved in the exercises I recommend.
Extensors: Back and gluteal muscles; which are used to straighten the back, flex and abduct (move away from the body) the hip.
Flexors: Abdominal and iliopsoas; which are used to bend and support the spine from the front of the body.
Obliques: Stabilize the spine when upright, they rotate the spine and help to maintain proper posture.
There are a few general rules to follow when participating in any abs program.
1. Before starting any workout program consult with your physician and make sure you are pain free.
2. Always control the movement. This is not a race, take your time and use proper technique. I recommend a ratio of 2 up and 4 down.
3. Breathe during the movement. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Just like you control the movement control your breathing.
Complete one set of each exercise no more than 10 repetitions each, for the plank exercises, start at 15-20
1. Start position: Lie back onto floor or bench with knees bent and hands behind head. Keep elbows back and out of sight. Head should be in a neutral position with a space between chin and chest.
2. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise shoulders off floor or bench.
3. Return to start position.
Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion of either may cause injury.
1. Start position: Lie back onto floor or bench with knees bent and hands at your side. Head should be in a neutral position with a space between chin and chest.
2. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise shoulders off floor or bench. Reach for you ankle with one hand and repeat with the other side.
3. Return to start position.
4. Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion of either may cause injury.
Lying Side Crunch
1. Lie with back on floor or bench with knees bent.
2. Start position: Let your knees fall to the right so that your hips are somewhat rotated.
3. Leading with the chin and left shoulder, contract abdominal muscles and raise left shoulder off floor or bench towards left knee.
4. Return to start position. Repeat with other side.
5. Remember to keep head and neck in neutral position throughout movement. Do not twist excessively – elbow does not need to touch knee.
1. Start by placing your forearms on the ground and forming a plank with your forearms and feet.
2. Hold this position keeping your body parallel to the ground .
1. Lay on the ground on one side. Raise your body using one forearm and support it in this raised position for the required time.
2. Lower your body and repeat on the other side.
3. Remember to keep your head, neck and body in a straight line.
Opposite Arm Opposite Leg Raise
1. Start by placing yourself on your hands and knees.
2. Slowly raise your opposite arm and opposite leg and extend them out away from the body.
3. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other side.
4. Repeat for the required repetitions.
5. Always keep this movement slow and controlled.