Posts Tagged ‘abdominals’

How to Perform the Anti-rotational Press

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022
Man performing an anti-rotational press.
The Standard Anti-rotational Press

The core performs many important functions, such as energy transfer and stabilization. There are many core exercises that athletes use to make their cores stronger. However, many people who lift as a hobby, and even some professional bodybuilders and athletes, look at the core from a more aesthetic point of view. So, they only do exercises that promise a six-pack rather than highly effective core exercises, such as Anti-rotational Press, which strengthens accessory muscle groups rather than just 6-pack “show muscles”.

One thing to note is that the core is more complex than a six-pack. To optimally maximize core usage, you not only need exercises like crunches and hanging leg raises. You also need to work your inner core; the parts that connect to the lumbar vertebrae (located around the lower back).  

This is where core exercises like the anti-rotational press come in. In general, anti-rotational movements work the core by forcing it to stabilize your body regardless of strong resistance from one side. In the process, they work other muscles in your core apart from the rectus abdominis (the six-pack muscles), such as the Erectus spinae, transverse abdominis, and your obliques. 

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How Long Does It Take To Get A Flat Stomach?

Thursday, October 13th, 2022
The man wanted to get a flat stomach, so he did.

Losing stubborn belly fat can be a huge dilemma for most people. Setting out to get a flat stomach is not rocket science but involves several steps like creating a calorie deficit, exercising, and staying consistent. Each individual is different, and how a regimen works for one may produce different results for another.

Tips From A Trainer

Losing all the fat in your belly is not necessarily healthy. Only losing extra weight is essential for good health. 90% of body fat is subcutaneous, which is present right under the skin to keep the body warm and aid other functions.

The remaining 10% is visceral fat that accumulates beneath the abdominal walls and in the empty spaces between organs. This fat is dangerous and can lead to health issues like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Crash diets and supplements may work at eliminating fat, but this could be a loss of healthy fat instead. Even spot reduction is impossible with these.

Your best bet is to lose excess body fat healthily to tone your body and achieve a flat tummy. This also helps eradicate visceral fat, which you need to eliminate.

So, if you are interested in achieving a flat stomach and are willing to put in the right amount of effort, you are at the right place. Today, we shall look at the science behind stomach fat loss and the factors that come into play. Let’s get started!

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What is the Best Waist Trainer for Weight Loss?

Monday, June 27th, 2022
Pilates girl training after using her best waist trainer for weight loss

When it comes to waist trainers, there are many options available in the market. How do you know which is the best waist trainer for weight loss based on your goals?

In this article, we will discuss the different types of waist trainers, and help you determine which one is best for your needs. We will also talk about choosing the right size and how to train your center trainer to get the best results possible.

The best waist trainers are made of high-quality materials and fit well. It is also important that you properly wear your waist trainer to get the best results possible.

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A Fat Burning Workout to Strengthen Your Core

Thursday, November 11th, 2021
Strengthen Your Core

Everyone wants a flat stomach but we don’t always get what we want, such is life: we have to hustle for the muscle. To get rid of excess body fat and lose unsightly belly fat, it is important to do both conditioning as well as weight training exercises. Stubborn belly fat cannot be targeted by spending extra time on ab exercises. Instead, you need to focus on how to strengthen your core and build up the supporting foundational blocks to influence the aesthetics of your v-shaped, chiseled midsection.

Of course, nutrition is responsible for 75% of your fat loss results, but you still need to strengthen your core by performing the exercises below. Perform all the exercises in a single day by pairing larger muscle groups (chest, back, legs) with smaller muscle groups (shoulders, triceps, biceps, abs), or spread them out across the week, adding additional exercises to further target a specific muscle group pairing each day, for example:

  • back, bis, abs
  • chest, tris, abs
  • quads, hamstrings, calves, abs

Now, let’s take a look at our 7 awesome exercises and variations for strengthening your core, and how to use them together in a circuit to bring out those six-pack abs.

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A Simple Step by Step Guide to Planking

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

What Are Planks?

A simple plank is also called a front hold, hover, or abdomen bridge. This isometric exercise strengthens core, abdominals, back, and shoulders muscles. While performing a plank your body should be straight, your back should not arch, and you should maintain balance with proper form. This is one of the best exercises for core, back, arms, shoulders, and glutes strength. Its time to put on your best gritty core-training face and follow this simple guide to planking. Let’s begin!

guide to planking
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The Top 10 Best Abdominal Exercises Part 1

Friday, January 17th, 2020
Best Abdominal Exercises

Quick Links:
10 Best Ab Exercises Part 1
10 Best Abdominal Exercises Part 2
10 Best Abs Exercises Part 3

With the prevalence of six-pack abs in the media by everyone from Hugh Jackman and Matthew McConaughey, to Janet Jackson and Beyonce Knowles, society as of late treasures that elusive flat defined stomach look. We can thank high resolution for our cultural transition from portly praise to abdominal admiration.

After all, before Hollywood got huge in the 1900s, as a culture we appreciated a little meat on our bones because it represented comfort, success, and good health. Now that we get to feast our eyes daily on tough-guy actors, beautiful actresses, rock stars, and supermodels, we’ve come full circle into the Washboard Era.

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Five Exercises to Strengthen your Core

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Strong CoreSome people have difficulty getting six-packs, and others have trouble believing that abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym, but this doesn’t downplay the importance of exercising and strengthening the core. Having strong muscles in your abs and back make it easier for you to do everyday tasks; from lifting your kids (and pets) to carrying your groceries.

A solid core can also help you to maintain good posture and prevent back pain. As important as exercising the core is, crunches are boring. Keep reading to find out five great exercises you can use to strengthen your core. (more…)

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How to Perform the Pallof Press

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

The problem with most rotational movements is that they produce shearing forces on your lumbar spine. One of the foundations of biomechanics is that you don’t place your spine into a simultaneous state of rotation, flexion, and side bending, and you especially don’t add an external load.

Pallof Press

This eliminates a number of popular abdominal exercises such as dumbbell side bends and the twisting abdominal machine. Exercises like the Russian twist should be performed with care, making sure that the trunk is flexed rather than the spine.

There is a quick and easy solution to the inherent problems with twisting exercises – don’t twist.

Enter: The Pallof Press!

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Top 6 Ab Training Mistakes

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Want thick, dense abs that stand out like a washboard? Want a ripped midsection with veins and shredded striations? No? How about this: Want to look good naked?

Well, you will never achieve any of those goals if you train your abs once a week with three sets of crunches for 100 reps, or if you eat like a horse. Avoid these 6 common abdominal training mistakes and your abs will dial in. Whether you are a bodybuilder, an athlete, or a novice, chances are you are making several of these mistakes in your training right now. Take heed!

Female and Male Abs
A great example of male and female abs gone right.

The Top 6 Abdominal Training Mistakes

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The Top 10 Best Abdominal Exercises Part 3

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Finally I was able to finish the conclusion to my best abs exercises series. If you haven’t already, you can read the Top 10 Best Abs Exercises Part 1. Then don’t forget to hit the Top 10 Best Abdominal Exercises Part 2.

Schwarzenegger Abs
Here is my list of the second 5 of my favorite 10 ab exercises that you can use to get 6-pack abs. Perform these exercises on a regular basis, mix them up, use different speeds, tempos, angles, and positions to get a full workout. Always try to mix it up from workout to workout.

Here are 3 ways you can combine these exercises for different workouts:

  1. Choose 5 exercises that work in different plains of motion and perform them all in a continuous circuit. Rest only 1 minute after the circuit and not at all during the circuit. Repeat 3 times.
  2. Figure out a way to alter each of these exercises to perform them hanging. You can hang from your hands, arms, legs, or feet. To hang from your feet, go get yourself some gravity boots.
  3. Superset each one of these ab exercises with an exercise from your regular upper or lower body workout routine. Do 3 sets of each superset. I used this method to increase the circumference of my calves by 1.5 inches in 6 months.

That is quite enough out of me for now. Go ahead and read about the 5 exercises and then figure out how to work them into your routine.

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The Top 10 Best Abdominal Exercises Part 2

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Here is the long awaited follow up to the Top 10 Best Ab Exercises Part 1 and the precursor to the Top 10 Best Abs Exercises Part 3.
Arnold Abs
I would like to introduce 5 of my favorite 10 ab exercises, that you can use to get a 6-pack abs look. Do these exercises regularly, mix it up, use different speeds, tempos, angles, and positions to get a full workout. Always try to progress from workout to workout.

Here are 3 ways you can gauge progress with abdominal exercises:

  1. Try to complete more reps in a given time period. For example, do as many fold ups as possible in 60 seconds. Try to break your personal record (PR) each workout.
  2. Try to complete more total reps each time you perform the exercise. For example, week one do 3 sets of 10, week 2 do 3 sets of 12, week 3 do 4 sets of 10, week 4 do 3 sets of 15, etc…
  3. If it applies, try to add weight to the exercise by holding a plate or dumbbell on your chest or behind your head, or use a weighted vest. You can also add weight to your legs with ankle weights. Try to use more weight, or complete more reps with the same weight, each time.

Part 1 of this series was long and tedious, so I won’t put you through any babble-writing. On to the exercises…

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The 5 Keys to Bullet Proof Abs

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Everyone knows that to have visible abs, a good clean diet is absolutely essential to get rid of the fat covering them. However, this article is about creating bullet proof abs, not flimsy beach abs. The type of abs that are useful in sports, taking punches to the stomach, and that make for a strong core.

Having a strong core helps prevent back pain, so don’t skimp on regular abdominal work!

  1. Static Holds

    Starfish PoseHaving the strength to hold your body in a certain position is key in several ways. There are examples of static hold training being useful for every day situations, and for athletic endeavors.

    When you’re driving, activating your core to support your spine will release stress on your back, and bring your shoulders into better alignment. When you are rock climbing and stabilizing your body to keep it from moving, or trying not to move your upper torso back and forth while running… static holds are everywhere.

    Some key exercises to perform are planks, both on your hands in the push up position, on your elbows, and on your sides using one hand. An even more advanced position is raising one leg on your side – known as the starfish pose (right) – which causes a lot of imbalance and seriously engages your core.

    Still too easy? Try adding a weight vest or holding a dumbbell or kettlebell overhead with your free arm.

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Common Myths About Sculpting Your Abs

Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Bruce Lees's ripped abs

How to Build a Ripped Midsection

Frustrated? Tired? Upset? Ready for change? If you’re answering all of these questions with a loud YES from your living room, then you are in good company. And that’s why I keep writing these pieces, honestly — there’s a lot of frustration going on.

I look down at a body in progress and I think about everyone else doing the same. Are we on track? Are we falling off the mark? It just depends on your goals. But if you’re dreaming of abs, dreaming of a nicely sculpted body from top to bottom, then you need this guide too.

I know that it’s time to think differently about the way we work out, but in order to start down that path, you have to know what you’re up against.

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Swole 101: The Elusive Quest for a Six Pack

Thursday, October 20th, 2011
Female and Male Abs

Nowadays, it seems everyone is after a toned midsection. Some people won’t even stop until they achieve shredded washboard abs. A six pack has come to be an important quest for many persons, however, many are misled as to the method to obtain it.

One common misconception is that cardiovascular exercise is the most important aspect of dialing in a six pack. Another misconception is that doing 1000 crunches a day is most important. Wrong on both accounts! Diet possibly plays the greatest role in obtaining a six pack. Let’s see why.

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How to Flatten Your Gut

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Pot BellyDo you see these people walking around all day long, who appear not to be that fat, but whose bellies stick out like they are preggo? This happens because their internal abdominal muscles are weak and loose. Don’t let this happen to you.

The best way to flatten your belly is to work your invisible abdominal muscles. The transverse abdominis lies beneath your rectus abdominus; the rectus abdominus of course being the muscle that most people refer to as “the six-pack”.

When you suck in your stomach and your waist appears to be flatter, the muscle responsible for this is indeed the transverse abdominis. The good news is that the transverse abdominis can be trained with exercise.

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Blow Up to Slim Down!

Friday, March 19th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Blow It Out, Suck It In

Blow Out
Blow Out

When doing crunches, sit ups, or any other abdominal work, you should always blow out forcefully at the top of the movement and suck your abs in for a full contraction.

In order to flex your abs and contract them fully, you need to blow all of the air out of your lungs and abdomen. When you do this your abs will experience maximal contraction and will actually work harder to perform the exercise.

Isometric Contractions

For a slimming isometric exercise simply stand up straight, tighten your abdominals, blow all of the air out of your lungs and abdomen, and hold the contraction for 30 seconds.

Do this for 5 minutes a day every day, and you will actually see results after a couple weeks.

Do this all day every day, and you will actually train your abs to stay tight and flat permanently.

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40 Minute Abdominal Workout

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

This is a 40 minute abdominal circuit. I also refer to this type of workout as a HIRT routine.

Warm-Up

5 minutes of non-stop kickboxing combinations, jump rope, or calisthenics

Circuit 1

Try to perform this abdominal circuit at least four times in a 5 minute time period without resting between exercises or sets. You should attempt to complete the required reps for each set before moving onto the next exercise. When you finish the last exercise, start at the top again until your time is up.

Once the first 5-minute circuit is up, rest for 2 minutes, then repeat this circuit again.

Gauge your progress by counting the number of circuits you can complete in 5 minutes.

  1. Windshield wipers (or Russian twist holding a medicine ball if you can’t handle it) – 10 wipes or twists
  2. Sit-ups with medicine ball on chest – 20 sit ups
  3. Flutter kicks – 40 total kicks

Circuit 2

Try to perform this abdominal circuit at least four times in a 5 minute time period without resting between exercises or sets. You should attempt to complete the required reps for each set before moving onto the next exercise. When you finish the last exercise, start at the top again until your time is up.

Once the first 5 minute circuit is up, rest for 2 minutes, then repeat this circuit again.

Gauge your progress by counting the number of circuits you can complete in 5 minutes.

  1. Crunches with punches: throw a punch past your opposite knee with each crunch – 30 crunches
  2. The Captain’s Chair (vertical leg raise) – 10 leg raises
  3. Ab wheel roll outs to the left, straight, right, repeat – 15 roll outs (5 at each angle)

Cool Down

5 minutes of non-stop kickboxing combinations, jump rope, or calisthenics

Stretch for at least 5 minutes.

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How to Strengthen Your Core

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Back in the day you might have been told to avoid situps because they can strain your lower back and neck. That could be true if you have bad form, but it is generally a myth to avoid doing situps in favor of crunches.

It is a myth perpetuated in the 1990s and early 2000s by foo foo personal trainers trying to convince middle-aged overweight Americans that they don’t have to do situps to get good abs, and in fact doing situps is ‘bad’.

Bollocks I say! We can file that one up there with high carb / low fat diets and curling in the squat rack.

To protect your neck, read the post on How to Reduce Neck Strain.

To protect your back, the answer is simple: keep your back as straight as possible throughout the movement, lay on a towel or mat to protect your tailbone, and avoid anchoring your feet as that can sometimes cause lower back strain.

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How to Reduce Neck Strain

Saturday, February 20th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

You might not believe this tip, but I’ve read about this time and again. You should put your tongue on the roof of your mouth whenever you exercise, especially when doing something that might typically strain your neck.

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How to Build Better Abs

Friday, February 19th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Don’t work your abdominal muscles every day. Your abs are like any other muscle in your body – you shouldn’t work them everyday. You still need to give your abs time to recover.

You should train your abs 3 to 4 times a week, not on consecutive days.

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