Abdominal Training for a Stronger More Attractive Physique
Now that we are into the summer months, we tend to engage in a variety of outdoor activities. Many of these activities require a set of strong abdominal muscles to prevent injury. In addition, we tend to "expose" more of our physique so we want to improve the appearance of our "abs."
One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a trainer is "How do I get stomach muscles?" Well, first of all, everyone has abdominal muscles. However, achieving a well-defined, tight waistline requires very low levels of body fat. No matter how many sit-ups or crunches you do the abdominal muscles won't show if they're buried under layers of fat.
Before we get into more discussion of how to create a more attractive waistline, let me inform you of some of the other benefits of maintaining strong abdominal muscles. These are the objectives you should strive to reach with your abdominal training program.
- Increased stability throughout the entire body;
- Reduced strain on the lower back;
- Improved posture.
Improving the appearance of your waistline will be a byproduct of 3 necessary adjustments.
- Begin eating smaller, more frequent, well-balanced meals;
- Increase your cardiovascular training to a minimum of 30 minutes 3 times per week at 75% of your maximum heart rate.
(see archived articles for determining Training Heart
- Begin training the abdominals as part of your fitness program. (See
training program listed below.)
Suggested abdominal training program
Perform each exercise 2 times per week.
- Crunches - Lie on your back. Place your hands behind your head. Lift your knees to a 90 degree angle.
Lift your shoulders off the floor and move your knees closer to your torso. Perform 3 sets 15-20 reps. (See diagram 1.)
Flat bench leg raise- Sit upright on a flat bench. Raise your knees towards your torso. Perform 3 sets 15-20 reps.
(See diagram 2.)
Seated broomstick twists- Sit upright at the end of a bench. Hold a broomstick across the back of your shoulders. Rotate your upper body from side to side. Keep your hips motionless throughout the movement. Perform 3 sets 15-20 reps each side. (See diagram 3.)
By making the necessary adjustments to your cardiovascular training and diet and incorporating this abdominal workout you will be on your way to improving the way you look and feel.
Happy Summer! Be safe! Be healthy!
Vic Tringali, for FemmePharma
Great American Fitness
Delavier, F. (2001). Strength Training Anatomy. Champaign, IL: Human