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Strengthening Abs Has Many Benefits

Flat, sexy abdominal muscles are the desire of most men and women. Getting them is a two-pronged approach. In the first place you have to reduce the amount of visceral and subcutaneous fat that will cover any hard muscle you develop.

The second is to develop those muscles that protect your core. This is the area of the body that protects the organs in your abdomen. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to work only your abs and not your back. That puts undo stress on your back because the muscles are weaker, pulling your body forward and stretching the muscles across the shoulders and upper back.

The best abdominal workout will work not only the muscles across your abs but also the opposite muscles across your back to give you a strong upright posture and reduce the potential for back injury.

There are different types of ab workouts that you can do to exercise your core muscles. You’ll want to address the oblique muscles that run across the rib cage and connect in the center of your abs. Address the lower and upper abdominals to give your core a sleek and smooth muscular development.

If you are after that shredded physique then it is just as important to remove the subcutaneous fat that will mask all the effort you are putting into muscle development as it is to do the workouts.

There are two different camps of trainers that advocate two different types of exercise. The first do multiple types of crunch exercises that flex the abdomen to get the muscle work. The second work through stabilization training to work the abs while keeping your spine straight. The second group believes that this reduces your potential to herniate a spinal disc.

Planks are the ultimate stabilized abdominal workout that will work your core, obliques and back when done correctly.

In the plank you get into the push up position, except on your elbows with your hands on the floor in front of you. Your entire body should be straight from head to toe and your abs tightened as if someone is ready to punch you. Work up to holding this for 90 seconds and then move on.

The Side Plank is similar to the straight plank except that you are straight and on your side. Lie on either side, place the elbow directly below your shoulder and press your forearm flat to the floor. Raise your hips off the floor and keep your feet on top of each other. Form a straight line and work to hold for 45 seconds.

The Bridge will work both your abs and your glutes, always a nice combination! Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Rest on your shoulders and arms on the floor palms up. Raise your hips, brace your abs and lift your right knee to chest. Hold this for the count of 2 and then lower; repeat with the other leg.

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Copyright 2014 The Franklin Reporter & Advocate
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