Let’s Get To The Core of Understanding – Strong, Sexy Abs
When we start looking to tone our body, one of the main areas of focus is the abs. Who doesn’t want a strong, sexy, shredded six pack? Unfortunately, people tend to go about this process in entirely the wrong way.
Doing sit ups until you are blue in the face will not give you a six pack. Concentrating ALL of your efforts on your stomach will not give you a six pack. You need to take a more rounded approach.
Did you know you can’t spot reduce fat? Sorry, but doing ab workouts alone will not trim your middle. When we lose fat, we lose it from all over out body so the best plan of action is to shoot for fat loss in general by eating a clean healthy diet and boosting muscle mass by lifting heavy weights which will help show definition and speed up your metabolism at the same time.
It’s true, abs are made in the kitchen.
That’s right, you can’t lose fat and slim down if you are filling yourself with junk food. It is important to eat a diet with nutrient dense foods full of healthy fats, protein and fibers to help you feel full and satisfied for longer periods. Stick to fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Eat real food, as close to its natural source as possible. This is the best way to ensure you are getting the important vitamins, nutrients and minerals your body needs to support all the work you are doing. If you require a little bit of guidance in this department let me know, I have some eating plans which may work for you.
Of course, you should still have ab-focused workouts, just remember you can’t neglect your diet or work the whole body if you want hard abs.
What about those crunches? You have to work all core muscles strengthen and balance in your core. Your abs, back and glutes work together to support your body, if you neglect to work any of these groups it can lead to imbalance and therefore cause pain and/or injury.
Rectus Abdominus: These are the muscles people usually mean when they talk about the ‘abs.’ They are a flat band of muscle that runs from your sternum to your pelvis. This is the muscle that produces that obvious, six pack look.
Internal Obliques: These muscles run from your lower rib cage into your pelvic iliac crest. Your iliac crest is the top, outer part of your pelvic bone. They are located underneath the external obliques.
External Obliques: These muscles run in a diagonal from your lower ribs to the iliac crest, along the side of your torso.
Transverse Abdominus: This is the deepest of the ab muscles and wraps around your spine to provide your body with stability.
Latissimus Dorsi: These muscles connect from your lower spine, along your lower back and into your lower ribs. They are the largest muscle in the back. These muscles help with rotation of the shoulder joint and helps with extension and lateral movements in the spine.
Trapezius: These are triangle shaped muscles that run from the mid back into the shoulders. These muscles help with shoulder movement and rotation.
Glutes: Your glutes are made up of the Glute Maximus, the largest muscle – your ‘bum cheek’ and Minimus and Medius. Minimus and Medius are the muscles you feel with your thumbs when you put your hands on your hips and they are key for keeping strengthening your lower back, rotating and leaning forwards or bending over.
Some great moves that use all these muscles are things like planks, v-sit ups, kettle bell swings, and bicycle crunches. Without doubt it is best to take a whole body approach to your six pack, yes, work your abs but don’t neglect your diet, fat loss efforts, or other muscle groups!
Your body is a machine and to work properly, it all has to work together!
For some 5 minute ab workouts go to the Flourish and Nourish YouTube Channel
About Zoë Dodds
Life, Health, and Fitness Coach
Zoë has a passion for helping and empowering women to the best version of themselves.
With 20 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, she delivers inspiration and wealth of knowledge to her clients, some of which she shares in her blog and weekly newsletters.
Originally from England, Zoë has lived in Seattle for 9 years with her husband, two grown-up children and a Labrador called Jordi.
Click here to read more.