Best way to work your abdominals

I hope that you are having a great summer. This post all about the anatomy of the abdominals is a precursor to a series that I plan to start new week about exercise and lower back pain. I am excited to attend a conference today with the Canadian Fitness Professionals all about exercise and lower back disorders

Charlene Kopansky, the founder of CALA (Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance) reminded me of the profound impact that educating clients about anatomy and explaining the ‘why’ behind exercises can have for clients during a water exercise seminar I attended last week.
This weeks’ blog is all about the anatomy of the abdominals and why it is important for both looks and function to work all of them.
Serratus Anterior: Technically is a part of the shoulder muscles and is involved with respiration and any movements that pull the scapula forward such as a punching motion or lifting a heavy object over your head.
Rectus Abdominus: the elusive “six pack” muscle that gets worked most often in exercise classes in any movement that brings the ribs towards the pelvis like the traditional abdominal crunch. You use your Rectus Abdominus any time you bend forward to pick something up and it plays a key role in stabilizing the spine. This video clip is a good rectus abdominus exercise from a series Vintage Fitness did with the Toronto Star.
Obliques (internal and external): run along the sides of the body and are vital anytime you rotate your upper body such as hitting a golf ball, opening a heavy door or picking up a grandchild from a crib. They can be awkward muscles to work as so are often ignored in gym routines. Side plank as shown in this video clip is a oblique exercise
Transverse Abdominus (TA): the deepest muscles of the core that work to stabilize your truck. A strong transverse abdominus acts like a natural corset for your body and results in the ‘flat’ core look. Because the TA is a deep muscle it is hard to know how to work it and if you and working it properly—to figure out where your TA is kneel on your hands and knees and let you belly hang out and then slowly draw your belly in. A cat stretch in yoga is a great way to train your transverse abdominus

Good Luck!


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Vintage Fitness is an in home personal training company in Toronto, Canada.  We specialize in energizing the lives of people over 50 with exercise. 

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