I recently posted core exercise for the blog. Well, my tips today are staying on the same topic…core! Here are a few tips to consider when working your core. This was pulled from Men’s Health (yep, that’s right, even girls can use info from a men’s magazine) ;-)…
Avoiding Neck Pain:
Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you do crunches. “It will help align your head properly, which helps reduce neck strain,” says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health exercise advisor.
Don’t over do it!:
Don’t work your abdominal muscles every day. “Physiologically, your abs are like any other muscle in your body,” says David Pearson, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., an exercise scientist at Ball State University. Train them only 2 or 3 days a week.
Strengthen your Abs:
Don’t be afraid of situps. Situps increase your range of motion, which makes your abdominals work harder and longer. (Doing crunches on a Swiss ball or with a rolled-up towel under your lower back has a similar effect.) Just avoid situps with anchored feet, which can hurt your lower back.
Hate core exercises? If you hate it, you should probably be doing it:
If you don’t like working your core, start working it. We hate these exercises typically because we are weak in that area…so stop avoiding it!
Exhale and lose the belly:
Exhale forcefully at the top of the movement when you do abdominal crunches. It forces your abs to work harder.
Make it flat:
Work your invisible abdominal muscles. Your transversus abdominis lies beneath your rectus abdominis—the six-pack muscle—and flattens your waistline when you suck in your gut. Work it with the vacuum: Pull your belly button toward your spine and hold for 10 seconds while breathing normally. Repeat five times.
Do your ab exercises at the beginning of your workout if you can’t pass this test: Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your legs bent—as if you had just performed a situp. Then place your fingers behind your ears with your elbows pulled back. Lower yourself to the floor as slowly as possible. “If it doesn’t take at least 5 seconds, you need to prioritize your abdominal training,” says the Australian strength coach Ian King.