Hi Friends of Oompf, it’s Alvan here. Today we will be talking about abs, how having strong abs benefits you and how to train for strong abs.
What is your core and where is your core?
Your core goes deeper than just the 6 packs you see on bodybuilders. It consists of layers of muscles in your midsection including the front, back and sides. The core includes the traverse abdominis (TVA), erector spinae, obliques and even your lower lats! This may come as a surprise to many as most people think ‘bracing your core’ just means ‘squeezing your stomach in’.
Why it is important to have a strong core?
The are countless of benefits of having a strong core; a toned and lean belly is just one of them. Having a strong core is important not only for athletes but for everyone as it help in life’s everyday tasks. Bending, reaching and twisting are movements we do everyday. It could be picking up a pencil or reaching to fasten the seat belt. Many of us have office jobs and sit eight to nine hours a day. Add another hour or two of driving time and that adds up to a lot of sitting. Prolonged sitting and no exercise weakens the muscles of your midsection which ends up leaving you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries.
Weak core muscles contribute to slouching and poor posture while good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into your training as well.
Many types of sports as well as weight lifting are powered by a strong core as well. If you feel aches and pains in the lower back after doing certain exercises or movements; for example cycling, you may find that the issue lies in your core.
How to train for strong abs?
Whether or not you are currently suffering from lower back pain, always remember, prevention over cure. Start training your core if its something that you don’t usually do. Here are some exercises you can try at home.
1. Hollow Hold
Start lying on back with with your arms extended overhead on floor and legs straight resting on mat. At the same time, and with control, lift arms, head, shoulder blades, and legs off the floor. Hold for 20 seconds then return to starting position. Rest for 10 seconds.
2. Ankle taps
– Lay flat with knees bend and feet flat on the floor.
– Lift your shoulders off of the ground and alternate tapping the outside of your ankles with each hand, keeping your core tight throughout.
3. Plank shoulder taps
– Start off in a plank position, with your palms on the ground
– Ensure that palms are above your shoulders and your tailbone is tucked in.
– Keeping the core engaged, lift one palm off the ground and tap the opposite side of your shoulder.
– Keep doing this, alternating both sides.
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