Saturday, December 31, 2011

3 Workouts for Abdomen

Training the abdominal muscles, or abs, which include the rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis and obliques, is a key part of any comprehensive exercise program. You can choose from a variety of abdominal workout routines, depending on your goals and needs. Consult a trainer to develop a personalized program.
Isometric Routine
An isometric routine that targets the abs trains the muscles to support your spine while you're sitting or standing upright, enabling you to maintain an erect posture. Start by performing the front plank exercise, which involves holding a pushup position for at least 10 seconds, then rest briefly. Roll to your left side and perform the side plank exercise for the same amount of time, followed by your right side. Increase the amount of time that you hold each exercise progressively over time.
Strengthening Routine
Strengthening the abs considerably requires contracting the muscles repeatedly against external resistance -- usually just your body weight or a light dumbbell or medicine ball. After a warm-up period, perform crunches, followed by twisting situps, which involve alternately rotating your torso to the left and right. Next, sit upright, hold a weight in front of your abdomen and slowly twist from side to side. Finally, stand up, hold dumbbells at your sides and lean to the left and right repeatedly while keeping your chest facing forward. Perform each exercise for at least 10 seconds, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between exercises. Repeat the routine two or three times during each training session.
Power-Building Routine
Building power in the abs requires intense, quick muscle contractions against submaximal resistance, often using a medicine ball. This may help you perform at a higher level if you play sports. Start on your back with your knees flexed and feet on the floor and hold a medicine ball behind your head with your arms extended. Sit up powerfully and throw the ball forward to a partner, then have her toss it back to you, return to the starting position and repeat. Next, stand and hold the ball in front of your abdomen, twist to the left slowly, and then powerfully rotate to the right, releasing the ball as far as possible in that direction. Retrieve the ball and repeat in the opposite direction. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise, resting for two to three minutes between sets.
You can do the isometric routine every day, if desired, but only perform the strengthening or the power-building routine two to three times per week, allowing at least a day of rest between training sessions. Check with your doctor if you experience abnormal discomfort while performing any of the exercises or during any of the rest intervals.

Design by Free Wordpress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Templates