Abdominal Training- You Don’t Have to Re-Invent The Wheel

10 Nov


When I was in grade school my mom bought an abdominal wheel. It was a piece of super training equipment advertised on TV for toning your upper body and shaping your abs.

Unlike many of the fitness gadgets that are promoted today, this product does what it says and is and was worth every penny. I used it all through high school. It was my secret weapon for having a strong upper body. I could do hand stands quick hand springs because of the strength I built.

My mom was always reading about diets and equipment and got me totally into it too.

I was probably six when I first pulled it from under her bed when she was shopping and not around. I grabbed it and started to rolling. The first couple of times I rolled all the way to the ground and almost lost my two front teeth as I hit the floor. I literally bit the dust.

Being a typical kid, I was not giving up. I clamped my little hands around the handles and tried it again. After a few more rolls I got it. Once I mastered it, I continued to use it until I left for college.

You see, I don’t think we have to always try to reinvent the wheel so to speak when it comes to training. I use traditional exercises when I develop a program for myself and my clients. Although I don’t use an abdominal wheel today, I have valued greatly from the foundational strength and conditioning I got from it.

Just because we learn something new does not mean we abandon everything that came before it. I was training for aerobic competitions and my abs were ripped and I was strong in my center, my upper and lower back were strong and flexible. I had not heard of pilates, yet I was kicking butt in the competitions and at the beach!

Before core exercises were dancer’s workouts, fantastic muscle shaping abdominal exercises and specific postural alignment that helps you get a flat tight midsection. That is exactly why I created Ab Lab, the science of a sleek midsection. It was to teach the principles I had learned to sculpt a great body yet be functionally strong. I incorporate a variety of exercises from different fields of movement so that you can sculpt, define and detail you new hot body.

Another thing I like to do are Herbal Baths. When I was getting ready for body building shows and competitions, we had a secret for tightening our skin and losing and excess water and trapped salts that hide muscle definition. We would fill a bath tub with hot water, as hot as we could sit in without burning our ladies’ private parts. Then we would put two cups of a ground spice in the water and get in and soak for one hour. I do not recommend this to anyone reading this!!!

Now, today, we actually have the perfect blend of herbs to soak in that is safe, effective and yields even better results when done regularly. I like body wraps as well, but I find it easier and more convenient to soak in a tub with candles, a great book and music with calming sounds of nature playing.

Here is a one of my secrets to help you start getting your very own six pack.

Body Alignment Tip

Breathing and Hollowing is a technique I teach that focuses on “shaping” your abdominals. If you don’t’ breathe correctly at the right time and hollow the abdominal wall, you can develop a muscular pooch in the lower region of your abdominal muscles. That’s right, your stomach can continue to stick out. Some women have complained that some times the wrong exercises performed incorrectly made their stomach stick out even more than it did before they started a program.

Lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Arms at your side. Inhale through your nose to the count 4. As you exhale breathe out through your mouth to the count of 4 completely emptying your diaphragm until your abdominal wall collapses into the pelvic floor and it goes flat or hollow.

As you are able to control the hollowness of your abs, you will be developing a flat midsection. Once you master that, apply it to your favorite abdominal crunch series.

Crunches (3 sets x 15 reps)
1. Lie flat on your back, knees bent at right angles.
2. Place your fingertips to the side of your head just behind your ears.
3. Push your lower back into the floor flattening the arch and hold.
4. Curl up just enough to lift both your shoulders off the floor a few inches.
5. Hold that position contracting your abs as forcefully as possible as you breathe out.

Crossover crunches
1. Lie flat on your back, knees bent at right angles. Cross your right leg over your left leg so your right ankle is resting on your left knee.
2. Place your fingertips to the side of your head just behind your ears.
3. Perform a crunch only try to touch your right knee with your left elbow. If you can’t quite reach at first don’t worry, it takes practice.
4. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching over to the other side.

Oblique Crunches (3 sets x 15 reps each side)
1. Lie flat on your back, knees bent at right angles and twisted to the left.
2. Place your fingertips to the side of your head just behind your ears.
3. Curl up just enough to lift both your shoulders off the floor a few inches.
4. Hold that position contracting your abs as forcefully as possible as breathe out.
5. Repeat for the desired number of reps before to switching to the other side.

Cable Crunches (Obliques) 3 Sets of 30 total reps per set
1. This exercise requires a triceps pushdown machine with a rope attachment.
2. Kneel down in font of the machine holding the rope just above your head.
3. Slowly crunch down to your right knee and hold for 2 seconds as you breathe out.
4. Return to the start position slowly and repeat to the left knee.

Make Your Next Ab Workout Your Best One Ever!
VIctoria

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