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 population, strong abdominals are critical to assist in the activities of daily living and to maintain correct gait and posture. However, people of all ages benefit from stronger abdominals, including the mother who has to carry her newborn and the high-school student who could improve his or her posture. Len Kravitz, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, warns that if we don't work the abdominal muscles using numerous training strategies, we contribute to the direct and indirect medical costs attributable to low-back pain. Read on to learn what muscles compose the core region of the body, what types of exercises work each section and how a sample routine trains the various parts of the core area.
All About Abs
Learn how to d e sig n f u n c t io nal c o r e -t r a in in g p r o g r a ms t h a t move b e yo n d t h e c r u n ch.
The body's core region is very complex, being composed of several muscles, each with a different shape and function. It is important to understand the location and function of these muscles before exploring specific abdominal exercises. The core muscle groups are the transversus abdominis, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis and erector spinae. Descriptions below are paraphrased from Human Anatomy and Physiology by Elaine Marieb.
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