Abdominal Muscles Location And Function
If you exercise, you may be looking for the best routine for developing flat, tight abdominal muscles. Every year, there are dozens of new exercises, fitness classes, products, gadgets, or routines claiming to sculpt and strengthen the abdominal muscles.
While some of these may offer a new approach to working the abs, many exercises are ineffective. And some abdominal devices may even increase your risk of injury.
To avoid falling victim to unproven, misleading, or unsafe abdominal exercise claims, it’s important to have an understanding of the function of your abs. This includes knowing where each of the muscles is, what they do, and how they can be exercised with the least risk of injury.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Upping your intake of high-protein foods can help promote weight loss, fight belly fat and support muscle growth on your road to six-pack abs.
According to one study, consuming high-protein meals helped increase feelings of fullness and promote appetite control in 27 overweight and obese men .
Another study showed that people who increased protein intake by just 15% decreased their calorie intake and saw significant decreases in body weight and body fat .
Consuming protein after working out can also help repair and rebuild muscle tissues as well as aid in muscle recovery .
Plus, one study even found that a high-protein diet helped preserve both metabolism and muscle mass during weight loss .
Meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds are just a few examples of healthy, high-protein foods that you can add to your diet.
Protein may help reduce calorie intake, as well as decrease body weight and fat. It can also help repair and rebuild muscle tissues and preserve muscle mass during weight loss.
The Best Ab Workouts For Women: V Sits
For the second set we’re going to do three exercises from a V sit position. Again you should work solidly for 30 – 40 seconds, and then rest for 20 – 30 seconds.
Once we’ve done each exercise we’ll repeat the set twice .
To get started with V sits, sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs out in front of you.
Exercise: V Sits
Time: 30 seconds
Sit upright and lift your legs off of the floor but bring them into your chest. You are going to lean back, extending your legs out in front of you and your arms to the side of you as you do . Then return to the starting position.
Your feet should not touch the floor and your back does not touch the ground.
How difficult this exercise is depends on how far you extend your legs but also the pace at which you work. The faster you go the harder your abs work out.
Russian twists with a medicine ball
Exercise: Russian Twist V Sits
Time: 30 seconds
Sit in the same V sit position, this time holding a medicine ball in both hands. We recommend starting with 2-3kg, and you can use a dumbbell instead if you don’t have a medicine ball.
Beginners can sit with your knees to your chest, whereas advanced exercisers should have your legs fully extended. Most people will extend their legs approximately as far as in the picture above.
Lean back slightly and twist from your waist and move the medicine ball to your right, and then to your left. To make this exercise harder increase the weight of your medicine ball.
Exercise: V Sit Cycles
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Abs Are Made Out Of The Kitchen
My best advice on how to get abs is simple: healthy eating, lift weights, and HYDRATE! You only need to train your core two to three times per week and make sure to get adequate rest. Abs are built outside the gym more so than in the gym, so living a healthy lifestyle is a must. Make sure you eat a high protein diet and stop eating when full.Allison Metselaar, 30, founder of Healthy Alibi. Find out the best ab workouts for a flat tummy.
Building Muscle For Adults
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Building Muscle: Next Steps
Thats it. You can do this.
If you made it this far, and you want more specific instruction and guidance, we have a few options for you:
1) If you are somebody that wants to follow a tailor-made program designed around their life and goals, check out our popular 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program.
Youll work with our certified NF instructors who will get to know you better than you know yourself, check your form, and program your workouts and nutrition for you.
2) If you want an exact blueprint for growing strong, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life .
Try your free trial right here:
3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.
Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. Itll help you begin your journey on building muscle.
- Everything you need to know about getting strong.
- Workout routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
- How to find the right gym and train properly in one.
Lastly, Id love to hear from you!
PLEASE leave your questions, eating or strength or otherwise below so we can answer them and become best friends and practice karate kicks in the garage:
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Get The Right Stimulation
Not every electrical ab stimulator will help build stomach muscles. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation units commonly called TENS units for example, stimulate the nerves to provide pain relief. Although you feel a pulse and might even feel the muscle contract slightly, the TENS unit is stimulating the nerve in a single part of the body, not building muscle.
That’s because TENS units target sensory neurons in your body that send pain signals back to the brain. The current is designed to confuse the pain signal and stimulate the release of endorphins. This type of stimulation does not fully contract the muscle therefore, you won’t tone your abs no matter how long you use a TENS unit.
Electronic pulse massagers focuses on relaxing a specific muscle, not contracting them. EPMs can be an enjoyable way to wind down after heavy exercise, but they won’t build muscle either.
Read more:How Do Ab Belts Work?
What Kind Of Protein Will Help Build Lean Muscle
If youre in a calorie deficit, your body can break down the protein in your muscles to provide you with energy. If youre seeking to build lean muscle, think in terms of shifting the calories youre consuming toward the protein side of the equation. The easiest way to do this is to reduce simple carbs to the lowest level you can and increase protein and complex carbs while staying in your daily calorie or macro budget.
Its more challenging to consume sufficient protein if youre vegan, but its not impossible. Some high protein/lower calorie choices include:
- Almonds and pistachios 13% protein = 6 grams per ounce of nuts
- Chicken breast 80% protein = 53 grams of protein per cooked skinless breast
- Oats 15% protein = 13 grams of protein in 1/2 cup of raw oats
- Greek Yogurt 48% protein = 17 grams of protein in a 1 cup serving
- Broccoli 20% protein = 1 cup has 3 grams of protein but only 31 calories
- Lean beef 53% of calories = 22 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving
- Tuna 90% of calories = 39 grams of protein in 5 ounces of tuna canned in water
- Soybeans and lentils 33% protein = 18 to 20 grams of protein in 1 cup
If youre used to eating meals with small amounts of protein and large amounts of carbslike a big plate of pasta with a tiny amount of meat sauceand want to build lean muscle, you need to switch the percentages around. Try combining protein sources with complex, healthy carbs like soybeans, lentils, quinoa, and probiotics like oats and Greek Yogurt.
How To Tone Your Abs: Tips For A Firmer Stomach
We get asked a lot, especially by our female users: whats the secret to getting a well-toned stomach, cut the extra fat and look great?
The answer is quite simple: to get a great core you need to:
Strengthen your abs muscles
If you work out consistently and eat right, you can reach the firm, sexy stomach you want. Weve seen this transformation happen for many others!
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Load Up On Protein And Healthy Fatsyes You Need Fat To Burn Fat
Protein will help you build lean muscle and burn body fat, as will eating healthy fats such as those found in raw nuts, nut butters, fish oils, and olive oil.Ilaria Cavagna, 45, Pilates instructor and founder of High Heel Rescue. To make sure youre getting the right amount of the macronutrient, find out the other signs youre not eating enough healthy fats.
Building Muscle With Your Diet
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Crunch On Exercise Ball
The third most-effective abdominal workout, crunches are often the first exercise people think of when they are targeting their abs.
However, crunches done on a medicine or balance ball will engage the core even more than a regular crunch.
To do this exercise, lie on a ball with your hands behind your head and carry out a typical crunch exercise of leaning back and using your core muscles to then bring you forward.
According to the researchers, although the exercise generated less activity in the obliques and abdominals, it targeted the location more precisely.
This exercise is especially effective because it also requires balance, which engages smaller ab muscles.
The study, led by Phd Peter Francis at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, compared 13 popular abdominal exercises, some involving equipment, and ranked them from most to least effective.
The exercises were ranked by muscle stimulation in the rectus abdominis, the front ab muscles, and the obliques, the muscles extending from the sides of the abdominal wall.
Tips For Your Workouts
Perform exercises slowly, but at your maximum strength. The harder you push yourself, the better results youll see.
Watch your diet, and avoid added salt, sugar, sweets, soda and alcohol. It really makes a difference!
Adding cardio work can be a good idea, but dont abuse it. Short, intense exercise sessions are much more effective.
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The Best Ab Workouts For Women: Plank
To finish off the ab workout get into plank position shown above. Your forearms should be on the floor and you should be up on your toes. Try to keep a flat back it shouldnt dip like in a cow yoga pose, but equally your bottom shouldnt be elevated like in a downward facing dog yoga pose.
Hold this for as long as you can, but for a minimum of 30 seconds. You will find how long you can hold the position for will increase the more times you do this routine.
If you feel like you haven’t quite given your abs enough of a blasting with these workouts, then here are a few ways to make your plank tougher:
Plank up/down: Whilst maintaining your body position, move your arm from your forearm being flat on the floor to your palm being flat on the floor, using your arms to push up your body weight . Your abs will be working even harder to keep your core stable and stop you wobbling from side to side and your move up and down.
Plank with side rotation: Once in the plank position, lift one arm from the ground and over your head, twisting your body so that your chest and stomach turn to face the side of the arm you’re moving . Replace your arm and then repeat on the other side.
Good Reasons Why You Should Begin Bodyweight Training Today:
Do you need a little extra motivation? Here are six reasons why you should try bodyweight training:
So, do you want to be more active in your life? Download the adidas Training app and start your customized 12-week bodyweight training plan today!
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Women Need To Eat More Protein Over Age 50
Scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and at the University of Nottingham in the UK teamed up to study the differences in the way older men and women used protein to build their muscles.
When we eat or drink protein, our body metabolizes the food and sends it to our muscles, which are made of 25% protein and 75% water, glycogen, and other carbs.
The muscles of the women in the US/UK study absorbed much less protein than the mens muscles. Scientists still dont know why women use protein less efficiently after age 50, but we do know that after 50, getting enough protein is essential to maintain and potentially increase lean muscle mass.
Hit Your Daily H2o Goals
Staying well-hydrated isn’t just good for your skin and system overall, some research suggest that it can actually help you burn more calories and lose more body fat too.
Drinking approximately 17 ounces of water can boost your metabolic rate by up to 30 percent for anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes as it boosts your energy expenditure, according to research. The same study found that you burn 23 calories for ever 17 ounces of water you drink, just FYI.
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Strength Training Exercises For Women To Build Muscle
Years from now, youll look back and thank Past You for starting strength training today.
And dont worry, Im going to tell you exactly what to do so you can start strength training TODAY!
Heres why strength training is so important: when you eat a caloric surplus , the extra calories have to go somewhere.
- If you dont do any exercise, your body will choose to store the extra calories as fat for later.
- However, when you strength train, your muscles are broken down. Then theyll use the extra calories to rebuild themselves bigger and stronger over the next 48 hours!
Staci that sounds great, but Ive never strength trained before, and I dont know what Im doingHalp! You might be saying into your computer or phone.
Fear not! Ill help. Strength training doesnt need to be scary or overly complicated.
Simply put, strength training means two things:
#1) Movement of any weight against resistance Doing ANY exercise that pushes your muscles outside of their comfort zone, forcing them to rebuild stronger to prepare for the next challenge.
#2) Progressive overload: doing slightly more than last time consistently. Your muscles will have to constantly adapt and rebuild themselves stronger. This is called progressive overload.
Coach Jim breaks down different strategies for progressive overload in this video:
This means if you drop down and do ONE push-up or knee push-up right now
Technically, youve strength trained.
Now do that and then do a bodyweight squat