Your flat abs rules
FOLLOW A FEW SIMPLE COMMANDMENTS FOR A STRONG AND TIGHT CORE.
BY KAREN ASP | PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL BUCETA | MODEL LORI HARDER SHOT ON LOCATION AT URBAN ACTIVE POLARIS, COLUMBUS, OHIO
You crunch. You plank. You crunch a little bit more.
Since as far back as you can remember, this has been your – and the population’s at large – “get abs fast” credo. But abs training is undergoing a revolution, and like a teetotaller dealing with all of pregnancy’s no-nos, it’s time you learn some new rules.
THOU SHALT FIND STABILITY
For years, people have trained the abdominals to move with exercises like crunches and situps, but experts have realised that the abdominals need to be trained not only for mobility, but also for stability. “The abs are primarily stabilisers of the spine,” notes Ross. “While there are times when they have to move, there are times when they have to be stable, which is why you should train them to do both.” That’s why exercises like planks are just as important in your routine – if not more so – than isolating strength and flexion moves.
TARGET MUSCLES: transverse abdominis
SET UP: Lie on your stomach on the floor. Prop your body up onto your toes and forearms, with your elbows positioned directly below your shoulders.
ACTION: Raise one arm in front of you until it is beside your ear and parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
TRAINER’S TIP: Make sure you don’t tilt to the side of your supporting arm, and try to keep your shoulders and hips level with the floor.
For the rest of this article, check out issue #65 of Oxygen Magazine in all good newsagents, or you can click here to subscribe.
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