From time to time Anthony Mayatt emails me with a fitness article for Help for Busy Mums – specifically focused on helping mums to improve their health and fitness.
The article below will help you make sure that all those tummy exercises to tone your tummy you are being carried out correctly and at the right time in your workout. (Something I did not realise).
By following Anthony’s instructions you are likely to get much better results from your exercise routine and this help you achieve a nice flat tummy and tight waist., as well as strengthening your spine.
This article is a little technical, so you may need to read it through a couple of times for it really to make sense and for you to be able to follow Anthony’s instructions – but it is well worth a read.
Understanding Core Stability
This is a term that has been misinterpreted so this article is to help give you a better understanding of the term and training techniques that can be used to work the area.
What is the core?
The bodies core are the deep muscles of the waist that include the transverse abdominals, internal obliques, multifidus muscles which work to pull in the stomach and keep the lumbar spine rigid resulting in a tight waist and good posture.
To give you an example of how these muscles work compared to the rest of the muscles around the abdomen there are 2 exercises you can do. The first of which is a traditional crunch that mainly works the external muscles I.e. the rectus abdominus (6 pack) whereas any movement where your body is out of balance i.e. standing on 1 leg recruit’s the deeper (core) muscles. The purpose of these deeper core muscles are designed to keep the spine rigid and waist tight so is vital when it comes to abdominal training to incorporate these muscles in your routine.
How can I incorporate core into my training regime?
The first thing which I always tell every client, person that I talk to is that you always need to make sure you train your abdominals and core at the very end of your workout before you cool down. The reason for this is working the core weakens your spine during your session so if you went into either weight training or running etc afterwards it will affect your workout plus make you more prone to injury.
You can still do your usual abdominal workout (if its worthwhile) and incorporate these simple exercises into it (below). The first thing you will notice is that most core exercises are done isometrically. Isometric is a form of contraction where you hold a position so your body is not moving but your muscles are still tensing, which you shall see below.
Start by laying on your front with your elbows under your shoulders, forearms flat on the floor in front of you with hands clasped. Keep your legs together with toes pointing into the floor. Lift your body so it’s in a straight line and hold the position for as long as you can.
You will find as it gets tougher your back will start to arch so keep adjusting your body position back to a straight line to the point where you cannot hold it any longer. If you are a beginner at this try to hold it for 10 seconds at a time resting 20 seconds in between
This exercise works the oblique muscles on the side of the abdomen which hold the spine in place and stops it from curving side to side. Having strong obliques can give the stomach muscles a really solid feel and look. Start by laying on your side with your elbow under your shoulder propping yourself up. Your other hand is held on your waist. Start once again by holding this for ten seconds at a time and then resting in between.
I hope this article gave you a clear understanding and if you need to know anymore then don’t hesitate to email me from the website below.
Article by Anthony Mayatt, Certified Personal trainer and Sports Scientist (Bsc Hons) – www.breathefitness.uk.com
I would just like to add my own comment on this article – and that like with most exercise, the key is in consistency and regularity. Any exercise that you do or health regime you enter into is better done in small regular bites than lots of spasmodic ones.
All these tummy exercises can be done at home – and therefore can be squeezed into busy routines on a daily basis. The art of course is getting into the routine. I will keep that blog for another day. Until then good luck with the exercises and remember you will have a flat tummy.