Core Issues – spent Myths and misconceptions about abdominal training


More people are concerned about their midsection than any other body part. The core comprising roughly a third of the body, but it gets the full attention of the gym. Sporting a large collection of abs is high on the list with anyone. Let’s face it, if the core is in shape, the whole body is in shape! The “like” it, “how” is another story. There is much confusion about how to train the abdominals properly. This article will spend many myths and misconceptions about abdominal training. As you read on, take note of how many of these core issues you have fallen prey.

full range of motion

The role of the abdominals is to bend the trunk from 45 degrees extension to 30 degrees flexion. Most abdominal exercises, however, are made either on the floor or on the decline bench, which is less than half of the motion (ROM). If you really want to get the abs in full ROM, perform pre-stretch crunches either a Swiss ball or ABMA. If you’ve been toying with this movement for a while and do not think much good anymore, try what time Sicilian Marr. You will have a solid foundation core training before attempting this advanced movement. It is one of those “let’s play with the arm” type of exercises that better leverage occurs during the lower concentric action and then all hell breaks loose on a stronger, eccentric action. Basically, hold dumbbell high on the chest as you crunch up. Top of movement when you’re sitting upright, extend your arms straight overhead with dumbbell. Make sure that you have a good grip on it-if dumbbell slips on the head, it could ruin the set!

Then you can control the movement down. Keep your arms slightly bent and in line with your body while lowering. It should feel like all the fibers your abdominals is ripping apart! Enjoy this feeling as you perform five sets of 4-6 reps in 5010 rhythm (ie 5 seconds to lower, not pause at the bottom, 1 second to raise and no pause at the top), take three minutes to rest Between each set. Try to keep the total time under tension under 40 seconds and really exaggerate eccentric action in slow smooth, controlled manner. Unless you want to topple backward and send the Swiss ball into orbit, I would suggest anchor your feet under solid support. Also, take advantage of the spherical nature of the Swiss ball or ABMA achieve full range of motion.

Press-Heel Sit-ups

The Janda sit-up has recently resurfaced as an effective abdominal exercise sans hip flexor activation. Well, according to Dr. Stuart McGill, spinal biomechanist and professor at the University of Waterloo, the opposite phenomenon occurs in reality! While Janda (or pressed-heel) sit up, contraction in hamstrings causes hip extension, which means that even greater hip flexion (or psoas activation) is required to complete the movement!

In addition, bent -knee sit-ups actually activate the psoas more than straight leg sit-ups! This was all confirmed by EMG analysis Jukes et al., 1998. Unfortunately, Janda hypothesis has never been proved by research.

role stability rewarding

If you want to build a serious set of abdominals, routinely perform the following exercises and their variations: squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, and standing military presses. These multi-joint movements require a contribution from the abdominals to stabilize the core, particularly when heavy loads are used. It is not uncommon to hear people complain of abdominal soreness a day or two after performing multiple sets with a decent weight of the chin up or standing military press exercise – is prestretch will tap into fibers you never thought hand! Your abdominals act as a natural girdle, or weight belt if you will, when performing all exercises, particularly squats and deadlifts.

These muscles act as a bridge between the upper and lower body and are very engaged as stabilizers. Isolation exercises like pullovers, curls, and even triceps press downs also need a good degree of core stability; However, loads used are relatively low compared to the big four mentioned above. In fact, isolation becomes virtually impossible if large loads are used and in many cases, tension developed in the stabilizers will equal or even exceed the prime movers! So you see, the abdominals can be trained quite effectively stabilizing. The physiques top Olympic weightlifters will attest to that.

Fiber Makeup

If you’ve been doing tons of reps of wimpy little abdominal exercises like most people, it is no wonder that you once again stuck in a rut like most people! Abdominals are composed of mainly type II, or fast-twitch (FT) fibers. The rectus abdominus, the so-called “six-pack” muscle, is composed of 54% FT fibers (Colling, 1997). Here’s what I suggest to effectively tap into these fibers

* Pick large (ie, multi-joint, compound) movements

* read in the full range of motion (get the prestretch)

* Perform explosive concentric and eccentric slow action

* do multiple sets of low reps with heavy loads

* to ensure that you get enough rest between sets

Below is a sample routine that will take advantage of the FT nature abdominals: a1) Lean-Away Chin-ups 6 x 1-3 @ 5 -0-X-0 120 sec.

* Add weight to chin / dip belt, clear chin top, lean back as you come down with pressing the bar away and make sure to go all the way down at the bottom

A2) Standing Military Press 6 x 3/1 @ 5-0-x-0, 120 sec.

* clean the weight up to your shoulders, stand with your legs straight (yes, that means knees locked) and arch back slightly to maximize prestretch

B1) Reject Dragon Flag 4-6 x 4- 6 @ 5-0-x-0, 90 sec.

* this is similar to the move in Rocky IV, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the body then shoot your hips up to form an arc from head to toe, slowly lower your body staying as rigid as possible

B2) Sicilian crunch 4-6 x 4-6 @ 5-0-x-0, 90 sec.

* where lying on a Swiss ball, crunching into a dumbbell rests on the chest then extend your arms out (completely outstretched, in line with your body) the slow eccentric

If you would like to finish off with a couple of sets of wheels rollouts for as many reps as possible, be my guest. Make sure to work the legs and back / hip extensors in the second workout. Rolling out of bed the next day should offer a pleasant surprise! The upper and lower abdominals classic argument is whether abdominals should be divided into upper and lower classification. One camp says they are one muscle -. There is no such thing as upper and lower

However, studies have shown that you can selectively employ different parts of the muscle on the type of exercise you do and how much weight is used (Antonio, 2000). In his Scientific Core Conditioning course Holistic Health Specialist and neuromuscular therapist, Paul Chek, says that the abdominals are innervated segment ally of eight nerves from T5 to L1. Most muscles have only two nerves (one primary and one secondary); The abdominals have multiple functions. Can belly dancers to roll down a quarter of their abs will be confirmed. Chek believes that the abdominals are classified as upper and lower, and even says that “middle” abdominals can be trained if the body is positioned appropriately. Exercise Order lower abdominals are the most complex patterns of recruitment and weaken; Since the upper abdominals much stronger and easier to train. So perform abdominal exercises in the following order:

1. Lower abdominals

2. Obliques and Quadratus lumbo

3. The upper abdominals

Abdominal hollowing against Bracing

The popular act of drawing in the navel or “suck in the gut as if you are put in a tight pair of jeans” should definitely to be abandoned, unless there is a specific reason to do so (ie vehicles retraining) as it has the potential to undermine the focus of other muscles. It is necessary to keep completely fixed without the aid of a belt, the overemphasis on the transversus abdominis (or TVA for short, which is basically an internal belt keeps organs from spilling out) can negatively affect performance. The advice to enable deep anxiety was well intended, but unfortunately it is not possible to extrapolate information from unwanted population (ie low back patients) and apply it to healthy subjects – it just does not work that way! Early in my career, I tried this method with several customers. The report from most of them was that it was uncomfortable, almost as if my lungs were pushed from their throat while squatting! The body does not lie. If something does not feel right, do not do it! McGill notes that there is a clear distinction between abdominal bracing and hollowing

There seems to be some confusion in the broad interpretation of the literature on the issue abdominal “hollowing” and “bracing”. The group Richardson has evaluated hollowing – observing that “draw in” the abdominal controls TVA. Given that TVA has been shown to have reduced recruitment after injury (Hodges and Richardson, 1996), a group of Richardson has developed a treatment program designed to re-educate the motor system to activate the TVA function in low back pain (LBP ) patients. Hollowing was developed motor retraining exercise and not necessarily as technology to recommend that patients who need extra stability for the performance of activities of daily living (ADL), which may have been misinterpreted by some clinical experts. Rather, abdominal bracing, which activates three layers of abdominal (external oblique, internal oblique, TVA), with no “drawing” is much more effective to increase spinal stability. (McGill, 2001)

In short, he recommends that you brace the abdominals – as if you’re going to take a punch – but not suck ’em not if you want to stabilize the spine. And guess what … by adopting this method, no more complaints and results began to improve. Still not convinced? I remember the Olympic strength coach, Charles Poliquin once commenting on this work. He said: “Why rob the neural drive from the extensor chain by drawing in the navel?” Bottom line, it makes you less and less, so why do it? The analogy me to give to chopping down trees. Visual side profile of someone sucking in their gut. Now, where will the tree fall if cut down? Louie Simmons and Dave Tate of Westside Barbell (these guys are known for producing world-caliber strength athletes) have stated many times that if you want to increase core stability, do the opposite – to push out your gut! Low back expert and lecturer, John Casler admits abdominals themselves can not push out – they can only be pushed out by the forces of abdominal pressure (IAP). “If you do not believe me just going to stand in front of a mirror and force all the air out of the lungs and try to push your abs out,” said Casler. “Will not happen What Louie or Dave are describing is the creation of IAP that will push the tensioned abs out -. This creates a very rigid torso” It’s pretty interesting, too, that kids naturally push their tummies out when lifting from the ground! Late Dr. Mel Siff, co-author of the mighty Super Training text, had a mouthful to say about this subject:

It’s all too adequately understand (even most sports scientists and coaches) to pressure distended stomach is not only used to support the spine in the form of squatting, dead lifting or cleaning movement, but also to increase the stability of the body by contact between the lower abdominal area and upper thigh. This relationship, especially if the lower abdomen is suggested explosion against the upper thighs can very substantially increase the strength of the starting drive from the lowest position of people, especially in the squat. (Siff, 2003)

Despite all the evidence against it, there are still coaches and personal trainers who continue to endorse abdominal hollowing almost every movement. Unfortunately, when you’re in too deep, it’s hard to get out! Jon Barron, in his book Lessons From The Miracle Doctors, made a similar argument about the continued support of mercury amalgam fillings by the American Dental Association (ADA): “If you’re in for an inch, you are in for a mile. What would the legal consequences be if ADA suddenly announced that they, and all the dentists associated with them, would have been wrong for well over 100 years and had been slowly poisoning all Americans? Can you spell tobacco? “The decision is yours.

Breathing and abdominal Pressure

US weightlifting coach, Dragomir Cioroslan, recommends that you take a deep breath at the beginning of the movement and hold it while you lower, exhaling only when you have completed the exercise . Siff supports this advice stating, “Russian research cited in Vorobyev (Textbook of weightlifting) shows that fill the lungs in about 75 percent of maximum capacity before a lot of effort seems to be optimal to produce maximum power and authority.” This provides optimal support for the spine with the fewest side effects. There is also evidence that this action coincides with increased athletic performance. Chek suggests Sprinters not take a breath for the first 15 meters of where the body stability for maximum acceleration force provided by the drive up and explosive arm. According Chek, “If this balance does not happen, the essence of soft power is not optimally addressed, resulting in the distribution of energy and loss of performance.” This also applies in archery and pistol shooting as stability and precision are associated with sudden spirit level. It is even common among combat pilots to hold their breath and perform a Valsalva maneuver (exhaling against a closed glottis) to prevent blackout of high G-force aerial maneuvers. In fact, we all do Valsalva maneuver unconsciously when confronted with near-maximum effort! I think the strength coach Charles Staley, put it best when he said that we breathe well by instinct alone. Messing around with this could have a negative impact on performance.

With that said, you will notice that you hold your breath reflexively increase both in-thoracic and intra-abdominal pressure. While I am at this point, I never discuss so-called “correct breathing” when we exercise because, like Staley, I find that it reduces concentration and will have a negative impact on performance. It’s hard enough trying to focus on technology, you just confuse people when you add special instructions for breathing. Let it come naturally – you will see that they will naturally hold their breath when they present themselves! Both McGill and Siff agree that joint recommendation exhaling on exertion (or increase in weight) and inhalation to reduce the mistakes. As coverage of the TVA and abdominal hollowing, Siff says “careful instruction to technology in a given workout automatically result in the body respond best recruitment strategy muscles during exercise.” This includes breathing. Let it happen naturally. A Valsalva maneuver or even part of Valsalva (holding your breath until you clear the sticking point) will help to keep the IAP to stabilize the spine and make you stronger. If you want proof, try this experiment, courtesy of strength coach, Lorne Goldenberg.

Next time you squat or deadlift with heavy weight, try to hold your breath for at least the first 3/4 of the concentric action and then another lift, begin to exhale as you start from the floor. What will you discover? Easy, you’ll be able to handle a greater load when you hold your breath and blow it out at the end of the movement. In case you did not know, relaxation associated with gentle, controlled breathing – not something you want to come out of the hole now, is it? And if you decide to perform heavy squats or deadlifts with improper breathing patterns, expect a sore spine! Just to clear up any misunderstanding, the Valsalva maneuver may be primarily a short time ultimate efforts. Submaximal loading should be performed with longer levels normal exhalation-inhalation and shorter stages breath.

I thought I would add that the last sentence in case you are part of the Super Slow Cult! And here is another very important point: Make sure you breathe between reps! It may seem obvious to you, but beginners often stop breathing on repeated lifts of low intensity, so remind them if necessary. Of course, there is also concern with hypertension and heart transplantation-these individuals should exhale through pursed lips or buzz out of your nose when lifting submaximal loads. Yes, keep Valsalva maneuver lift a heavy load will significantly increase blood pressure (reported as high as 450/380 by Dickerman et al, 2000) – This is a normal process the body adapts even over time. Nevertheless, it is natural to hold your breath while “apply yourself” – check for you the next time you are right if you do not believe me! Nothing in strength is engraved in stone, but if you want abs to look like they were cut out of the rock, curious. There are many more myths and misconceptions about abdominal training than other parts of the body. To find real answers, you must deal with the core issues!

References available upon request.


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