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Create a middle section in which form meets function

Contrary to popular belief, "abs" and "core" are not one and the same. The abdominal muscles, which consist of the rectus abdominis and the inner and outer slopes, bend the spine. In contrast, the core covers the entire core muscles and has a stabilizing effect on the spine.

Six-pack abdominals are aesthetically pleasing, but exercising the abdominal muscle neglecting the core is not like motoring a car's wheels. The good news is that AB training and core training do not have to be mutually exclusive despite different functions. In fact, the training goes hand in hand with developing a strong, resilient core and working for a chiseled six pack.

A well developed core creates a strong, stable base on which you can generate more power and thereby more weight. Charles Poliquin said it best: You can not shoot a cannon from a canoe. In the same way, nuclear power is a crucial component of the longevity of training. Training your core improves your resistance to torso movement by preventing the spine from folding like an accordion and significantly reducing the risk of injury.

The best way to train abdominal muscles is a hot topic. One camp argues that, since the core's core task is to prevent unwanted movements on the spine, the only movements that promote anti-extension, anti-rotation, and anti-lateral flexion should be performed. Another camp says that lifters, chasing after abdominal hypertrophy at the expense of everyone else and using their rocking routine of 2,000 crunches a day, are guaranteed to turn their spine into a stunted pile of dust.

Then there are the lifters who argue that squats and deadlifts are all that is needed to build a strong and aesthetically pleasing middle section. Read AB training articles all day, and it's more likely that you have nightmares about fat burning and backbone decay than giving yourself a degree of clarity about the subject.

Who is right? Well, everyone … and none of them. Before you don your pajamas and wrap it up for the day due to a lack of brain glucose, listen to me: All methods of smart core training work synergistically. So you want to train to develop strong abdominal muscles that also serve as a cheese grater.

Let's take a look at the facts.

Fact 1
: The compound elevators are not enough.

Pour one out, raise your glass for a toast, or do whatever you deem necessary to pay homage to the lifts. While the benefits of squats, deadlifts, presses, etc., need no explanation, the reality is that they are not "the core training you'll ever need."

Most (if not all) individuals need dedicated work to tackle weaknesses, imbalances, and alignment issues in order to stay healthy, build strength, and grow in the long run. In terms of aesthetics, the development of a muscular midsection requires specific training that, like any other muscle group, is based on the proven principles of hypertrophy.

  Performing a Deadlift

The compound lifting operations have advantages in terms of engaging the core and generating whole body tension, but the benefits often cease. Tell a group of strong lifters with impressive physique to run a solid RKC board and watch as a series of lifters on a first-generation iPhone crack as easily as the screen.

Fact 2: The lumbar spine is not your friend Due in large part to the work of Stuart McGill, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, movements with lumbar flexion, such as crunching, have a good reason get bad reputation. A simple analogy to give you an idea of ​​the chronic effects is bending a credit card. Bend it once and it does not seem to be affected. Keep bending it and it wears off slowly until it finally breaks.

McGill has come to the conclusion that every repetition of sitting exerts more than 3,000 Newtons of compressive force on the spine. That's the equivalent of two 300-pound defensive lines moving at 24 miles per hour. Add the fact that most people spend most of their days sitting, and voila – repeated lumbar flexion gets the big red X.

Instead of banging flexion with more flexion, the right approach would aim to have one strengthen neutral spine position The anterior core and trunk stability.

Fact 3: Not all spinal flexions are the same

Few fitness issues are black or white, and spinal flexion is no exception. First and foremost, it is important to distinguish between lumbar flexion (lower back) and spinal flexion (the entire spine).

By and large, there are three scenarios in which flexion should be avoided:

  1. "stuck" in individuals with chronic flexion
  2. lumbar spine flexion at the end
  3. Strained spinal flexion

Concerning the first point , people who sit at the desk all day long, in addition to stability-based exercises require more front core work targeted mobility exercises to promote breast extension.

  Sitting at the desk.

To extend the second point, it is a dice roll to push the lumbar flexion in the end area. As the old saying goes, play with fire and you will (eventually) burn yourself. Plus, what's the point? Whether your goal is to get stronger, build muscle, or uncover your long forgotten Six Pack, the last 5 to 10 inches of a crunch will make little difference between a Pillsbury Doughboy midsection and shredded abdominal muscles.

The Third Point With regard to the loaded spinal flexion (or any spinal flexion) this is the subject with the grayest area. Can it be harmful? For sure. However, if certain variables are considered and the technique chosen, diffraction can be useful from an aesthetic as well as a functional point of view.

A common factor that puts the nail in the coffin of spinal flexion is the way in which many flexion-based core exercises are performed. Although speed can be a form of progression, not all speed curves are the same. Slow repetitions are not only more challenging in the Ab training, but also have a much better effect on aesthetics and function.

With increasing speed, the risk of compensation increases dramatically. The result is a poor design and consequently an enormous load on the lower back and the thoracic spine and little to no aesthetic benefit. The abdominal muscles respond best to sets that emphasize time under tension. This is done by slow repetitions over a controlled range of motion.

By the same token, incorporating isometric handles is an effective way to develop a stronger, stronger, and more elastic force-enhancing midsection. Iso-Holds accentuate the mind-muscle connection, choose the optimal mechanics and strengthen the trunk – while increasing the recruitment of the rectus abdominis, the inner and outer slants and the deep stabilizers of the spine and pelvis.

  Hollow Hold

Select motions from the list below, and perform a controlled range of motion without affecting the end flex. Decrease the value for 2-3 seconds and hold the iso-holds for 2-3 seconds in the upper position, focusing on a strong connection between mind and muscle. To maintain a strong clamp and avoid voltage drops, hold down on the bottom of the movement for 1 to 2 seconds to restore tension and stability before each repetition.

Perfectly executed, some of the best spine effects are among the best. Gentle, flexion-based exercises include inverted crunches, hollow body grips, stretched ball crunches, straight-leg sit-ups, V-ups, and certain roll-out movements.

Fact 4: You Should Train With Resistant to Unwanted Spinal Movements

The "anti-movement" camp is right in that the core performs two main tasks. First, it resists spinal movements to reduce the incidence of acute and / or chronic injury. Second, a strong core connects the upper and lower body to produce strength and strength.

In other words, the body becomes more resistant to injury and can increasingly exert maximum strength and strength in anti-exercise training. The three main categories of anti-body movements are anti-extension, anti-rotation and anti-lateral flexion.


As the name implies, the goal of the anti-extension is to actively fight back against the extension. This is especially useful for most athletes and lifters. For example, baseball players spend most of their time standing up in the lumbar spine, as do lifters who emphasize exercises such as deadlifts and pull-ups, which tend to shorten the lats and erectors for stability.

The Common Enemy Among This population group is the anterior pelvic tilt, a fancy term used to describe an overstretched lower back. Excessive tilting of the front pelvis can lead to a whole range of problems, including weak glutes, front knee and hip pain, and chronic pulled thighs as soon as you see someone doing deadlifts with any degree of spinal flexion. Still, constant battling against flexing means struggling to stretch all the time, and let's be honest – unlike deadlifts, which require near maximum effort, the vast majority of elevators do not require forceful stretching.

On the other hand: a The neutral position encourages optimal movement mechanics, promotes a stronger connection between mind and muscle, and forces you to dial in your technique, allowing you to safely lift more weight. In fact, anti-extension exercises such as the following are useful to promote a neutral position that achieves these goals:

  • Plank Variants (RKC, long lever, push-up walk-out)
  • Fallout of the suspension trainer (standing , high kneeling))
  • Dead-Bug Variations (normal, wall press, tape-resistant, hollow hold)
  • Roll-out variations (belly wheel, barbell, foam roll, Valslide)
  • Bodysaw (stability ball, Valslide, bear tour Position)

Anti-twist device

The anti-rotation device trains the core to prevent unwanted spinal column twisting. Although it is a simple concept, its role is crucial because turning "right" depends on the ability of the body to stabilize against external turning or twisting forces.

Whether you perform or change rotating medicine ball throwing During a pick-up basketball game, the rotation should start from the hips, the core, and the shoulders – not the lower back. The problem is that most lifters and athletes who train rotation miss this necessary intermediate step. The result is erroneous patterns of movement and possible malfunctions, especially when the rotation is dynamic.

In order to achieve maximum strength and strength outside the sagittal plane, it is first necessary to develop the ability to withstand rotation on the spine. This allows the body to produce optimal movement of the hip, core and shoulders. Anti-rotation is the key to developing stability and full-body synchronization that allows you to express maximum strength and strength.

Here are some anti-rotation movements you should try:

  • Pallof-Press (standing, half-kneeling) [19659021] 3-point plank variants (shoulder tap, one-armed reach, one-legged lifts)
  • Cable cut or lift (standing, half-kneeling, wide posture)
  • Four-legged variants (bird dog lines, band-resistant) bird dogs)
  • Push-up position kettlebell or plate transfer or drag

Antilateral flexion

Antilateral flexion exercises are those exercises in which the body is forced is to resist a lateral flexion or a lateral bend. Think of the feeling of wearing uneven shopping bags out of the car.

The lateral diffraction is strongly misunderstood. Typical exercises that involve this movement, such as side bends, are performed with the intention of aiming the bevels. The problem is that the Obliques do not respond well to dynamic movements. Rather, they are most effective in resisting movement while maintaining a maximally tense isometric position.

When it comes to antilateral flexion, nothing is better than staggered wearing, which also strengthens the functional power in the forearms and traps. and upper back. Regardless of the specific variation, the goal is to maintain whole body tension while remaining fully upright. When staggered carry operations are performed correctly, few enable so many check boxes to improve strength, aesthetics, and overall function.

Here are some examples:

  • Carrycot
  • Racked Kettlebell Carrying Cases
  • Waiter Carrying Cases [19659021] Assaulted Trap Bar Carry
  • Bottoms-up Single-arm Kettlebell Carry

A series "Combination Exercises" train several anti-movements simultaneously, including:

  Renegade Row
  • Renegade Row
  • 3-Point / Side-Plank Row
  • Pallof Press Dead Bug
  • Stability ball stirring-the-pot
  • Turkish Get-Up

Fact 5: "Hip" allows you to chase abdominal hypertrophy and build a functional core Diffraction with neutral spine "

While some people quickly reject this category, exercises with hip flexion and neutral spine The most difficult and effective for the core musculature.

The benefits of this category are twofold: First, although "feeling" is not required for hypertrophy, most ab-W hip-flexing orkouts the strongest mind-muscle connection in the rectus abdominis, also known as the six-pack muscle. Second, learning to flex the hips while maintaining a neutral spine is an integral part of the overall function. Exercises in this category force you to tense your anterior core without straightening the lumbar spine and at the same time notching a non-compensatory hip flexion pattern. Example: Watch as someone sprints.

Movements that flex the hip from a neutral position create the same feeling as isolation exercises without overly straining the spine, as in crunches and sit-ups. For any muscle to grow, high-voltage exercises and a considerable amount of time under tension are required to trigger metabolic stress and muscle damage.

These hip flexion exercises activate both check boxes:

  • Hanging knee or leg raiser
  • Hechtvarianten (stability ball, suspension trainer, Valslide)
  • Lying folding blade (stability ball, suspension trainer)
  • Folding Knife variants (band resistant , one-legged)
  Hanging Knee Increase

Merging Everything

Building a strong, aesthetic midsection requires a synergistic blend of anti-body movements, spine-friendly, sensory-based exercises, and progressive congestion. The good news is that it's easy to include a multi-faceted approach in your current training program.

  • Mix core-based work into your training as a "filler". If you rest between heavy squats, something as simple as a Pallof press or a reverse crunch can be effective without significant fatigue.
  • After completing a workout, set a timer to 6 a few times a week. 8 minutes and choose 2-3 aesthetically focused exercises to complete as a cycle. For example, 8-10 repetitions when hanging the knee, 6-8 crunching the stability ball at slow speed and isometric holding, and 8-10 repetitions when rolling the wheel.
  • Antilateral diffraction by incorporation of various types of wears. In addition to building the oblique and reinforcing function, wearing forces develop in the forearms, shoulders, traps, upper back, and gluteal muscles.
  • Change your program to affect the core. Unilateral movements (reverse lunges, one-arm dumbbell presses, etc.) as well as pull-ups, stanchions for turkey and renegade rows can provide a powerful training effect without compromising the use of sufficient loads.
  • Keep a neutral position when performing movements that require a degree of stabilization. Something as basic as a face pull can work the core if you maintain the whole body tension.
  • Strive for progressive overload by manipulating various variables. Use caution when adding weight, as proper or lack thereof may be the remedy or poison.
  Dumbbell Shoulder Press

There are a variety of ways to continue your workout:

  1. Reduce the number of ground contact points (for example, 3-point board).
  2. Emphasize eccentrics (eg, hanging knee elevation with straight eccentric).
  3. Increase ROM (eg roll out with barbell).
  4. Take advantage of mid-range iso-holds (eg, break in the middle of a reverse crunch).
  5. Use gravity to increase the difficulty (eg, foot-high, long-lever board).
  6. Create instability by using a limb at one time (eg, one-legged folding knife).
  7. Integrate multi-purpose exercises (such as Pallof Press or Dead Bug).

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