The frustration of unwanted ugly belly fat! Many people truly look to quick fix nutrition programs and fat burning supplements as the answer of the stubborn midsection! This blog was the #1 viewed blog of 2010 that I had posted so I wanted to share it again just in time for spring:))
Shredded, wash board, razor cuts…these are lifelong dreams of many fitness enthusiasts. I personally view a lean firm stomach as a testimonial of one’s dedication to their nutrition and training. I receive many emails a day from people seeking advice on training their stomach. Here is a list of the Top 7 questions about achieving those razor cut abs! Also a bonus question at the end:))
Question #1: Do we have an upper and lower abdomen? Answer: No. A lot times I think we feel that we have two separate sections of the abdominal. Our rectus abodominal muscle is actually all one main muscle. The reason we often see the upper abdominals contract and burn more is because of the muscle fibers in this region. The upper abdominal muscle fibers shorten more during abdominal movements but actually the whole abdomen does contract. Proper nutrition, cardiovascular training and your core program is important!
Question #2: Why can I not see my abs yet? I do a ton of abdominal crunches but I still can not see my abs! Answer: Remember you can not spot train. Basically what this means is that we can not burn fat out of certain regions of our body. Now i do believe that we should put extra focus on those stubborn areas to help them pick up the pace:) It is very important that we balance out our fitness instead of just trying to work on our problem spots. According to a study done at the University of Massachusetts. A group of men did the equivalent of 5,000 sit ups in 27 days and did not lose any body fat from their abdomen. The key is your cardiovascular, nutrition, and your training program.
Question #3: What is the best abdominal exercise? Answer: This is a tough question. My theory is that we must incorporate the posterior side of the body into the abdominal movement. So I personally believe the two best movements are the abdominal plank and the v-up crunch. Both of these movements incorporate the whole rectus abdominus and lower erectior spinae.
Question #4: Should I always train my abs at the end of the workout? Answer: Personally I am a fan of mixing abdominal movements in to the middle of the workout. Remember our body is a creature of habit. We are trying to break the principle of adaptation. So a good mixup is important. Try doing your stomach first. Be careful on leg day! If you fatigue your lower back before squats or deadlifts you must be cautious!
Question #5: Can I use weights on my ab exercises? Answer: Yes, I would try to master technique first before increasing the intensity with weights. The key is technique then intensity!
Question #6: How often can I train my abs? Answer: No research has shown that we can overtrain our stomach. Personally I train my stomach multiple times per day. The military and top athletes in the world train their abdomen daily!
Question #7: Does side bends with dumbbells reduce my love handles? Answer: Unfortunately this does not work. This movement actually works the lateral range of motion in your spine. The key to reducing these areas is proper diet and your cardiovascular program. Bonus Question: If you would change one thing in my diet what would you do? Wow: Tough question…honestly I say there are 3 main keys. Work on eliminating all simple sugars, meal spacing, and work on increasing your lean protein.