Apr 22, 2009

Six-Pack Abs–Small Waistline: The Smart Way!

Most of us females (and men) want toned arms, toned legs, a nice firm butt, and a small waist. Some of us even want "six-pack abs". So whether you want six-pack abs or a small waistline, the training is the same. Keep in mind -- "YOU CAN NOT SPOT REDUCE FAT'!

What that means is this: you can do all the abdominal training in the world, but if you don't have low body fat (around 10-18%), you will never see your abdominal muscles or experience a tiny waistline!

So the goal is two-fold: build your abdominal muscles AND lower your overall body-fat percentage. In order to get "six-pack abs" and/or a small waistline you will need to incorporate a proper diet and add both cardiovascular conditioning and weight training into your regime–this will ensure you build muscle and lose the fat!

But it is important to build your abs with a complete program, which is called "Core & Balance Conditioning" (abdominal strengthening and conditioning). This type of training supports the balanced and development of the deep superficial muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body, especially the abdominal and muscles of the back. Most health and fitness programs you will find are not based on sound physiological principals and they focus too much on aesthetics instead of function. In actuality you can do both simultaneously–build a great physique and a body that will function its best!

First, STOP doing all those crunches on the floor–in fact stop doing SO many crunches–period! These are two common mistakes made in training and will only lead to muscle imbalances, poor posture, and neck issues. Add an abdominal training that incorporates all of the abdominal muscles (and related muscle groups); external and internal obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, psoas, quadratus lumborum, and cervical flexors.

Here are some core conditioning exercises that will not only add the muscle you want but will ensure great posture, muscle balance and protect your back and neck from injury! This is the kind of training that will also improve athletic performance and if you are not an athlete, will make you look and function like one!

Important Notes:
  • Always consult your doctor prior to starting an exercise program.
  • These exercises are for those of you who are healthy and fit and do not have any injury that would prevent you from doing them or cause harm to an existing injury.
  • When using a Swiss Ball make sure it is of high quality and properly inflated.
  • You may need a fitness professional to learn all of these exercises and which ones are best for your particular situation (limitations).
  • Hire a fitness professional to ensure proper technique, order, sets, repetition and pace.
Lower Abs

Hanging Leg Raises

Lying Leg Raises on floor or bench (bent knee and straight legs)

Reverse Crunch on Bench
Swiss Ball Reverse Crunch

Oblique Exercises

Russian Twist with Swiss Ball (upper body and lower body)

Side Lying Leg Raise on Floor

Wood Chop with medicine ball or cables
Cross Crunch with Pelvic Counter Rotation
Swiss Ball Side Flexion

Upper Abdominal Exercises

Swiss Ball Crunch

Cable Crunch
Double Swiss Ball Crunch
Straight Arm Lat Pull Down
Machine Crunch
There are many ways to do crunches!

Back and Ball Training
Back Extensions on Hyperextension bench

Supine Hip Extension: Feet on Ball

Prone Ball Roll
Supine Lateral Ball Roll
Forward Ball Roll
The Superman (on Swiss Ball)
Seated Posture Trainer

Let's Train! www.MyDivaDiet.com


Military Momz said...

Thanks for the info. My husband, son, my sister and maybe my brother have all started a contest since Monday to see who can be the biggest loser. These exercises are great and will help us tone too! Thanks a bunch!

Kevin and Shauna Weiss said...

Great article!! I find so many people are under the impression that just training their abs will get them a 6 pack look. Ahhh, if only it were that easy. I would account diet about 80% responsible! Darn it!