The Great Abs DebateIf you’re up to snuff on your anatomy and physiology, you know that the rectus abdominis is a single muscle. However, you may have found yourself caught up in the debate about whether you can train the upper and lower portion in different ways.
It has been only 2 years since IDEA began tracking the popularity of core conditioning classes versus conventional abdominals classes on our annual Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey. In that short time span, the number of fitness facilities offering core conditioning jumped from 61 percent in 2001 to 72 percent in 2002 (see the October 2002 issue of IDEA Fitness Manager). With the recent proliferation of new core equipment, including items like the Reebok Core Board and the BOSU Balance Trainer, core conditioning is proving as popular as fitness-based yoga and Pilates.
Methods of strengthening the abdominal muscles have interested both the general public and the fitness industry for years. This interest stems from the desire to have a flat abdomen and from the abdominal muscles’ assumed ability to protect and support the spine. Over the years, abdominal fitness has progressed from the sit-up to the crunch to the pelvic tilt and now to the straight-legged sit-up (roll-up). Unfortunately, many programs developed to strengthen abdominal muscles have contributed to abdominal muscle imbalances and pain syndromes (Sahrmann 2002).
COPY AND DISTRIBUTE TO YOUR CLIENTS
Developing Grade-A Abs
trong abdominal muscles can protect you from low-back pain and help you perform your daily activities efficiently. Bill Bejeck, CSCS, CCS, owner of HealthSport Fitness and Sport Training Services in the Washington, DC, area, offers some guidance on training the abdominals. The Muscles Involved. As you can see from the ...
CORE CONDITIONING TAKES CENTER STAGE
Today's core stabilization training programs are a far cry from traditional abdominal workouts.
BY AMANDA VOGEL, MA
An escalating interest in functional training has made core conditioning one of the hottest new fitness trends. But unlike some fitness trends, core conditioning is more than just a passing fad. In fact, health and fitness experts consider the ri...
BY BILL BEJECK, CSCS, CCS
sk fitness professionals which part of the body clients want to improve the most, and the abdominal region is always one of the top choices. As professionals we need to balance our clients' desire for "great abs" with training that will enhance abdominal function and well-being. Why is it so essential to strengthen the entire core region? For our aging populatio...
Most people find it difficult to add appreciable muscle to the lower abdominal region. While the upper abs generally respond rather easily to intense training, the lower portion always seems to lag behind. This has a lot to do with the structure of the abdominal musculature.
newsletter_teaser: Most people find it difficult to add appreciable muscle to the lower abdominal region. While the upper abs generally respond rather easily to intense training, the lower portion always seems to lag behind. This has a lot to do with the structure of the abdominal musculature.
Exercise guidelines call for people with osteoporosis to avoid flexing or twisting the spine (National Osteoporosis Foundation 2015). This makes training the core a little more challenging. Planks (side and prone) and bridges are both great options, but they can get boring. The exercises below safely target the core without spinal flexion or twisting.
Stand sideways to wall, hands centered on stability ball. Arms are straight, at shoulder level. Press hands into ball, and tap each foot back (alternate).