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Are You Getting Enough Ab Exercise?

Oct 11, 2007
A trimmed and toned stomach is something that almost everyone wants. For women, after we give birth, it seems that our stomach muscles just aren't as willing to bounce back to the way they used to be. We all try an abdominal exercise routine but who can really resist the promises made by many of the abdominal exercise machines on the market today?

Our bellies can cause us a great deal of grief. So much emphasis is placed on having a trimmed mid-section that if you have an extra little pouch of fat there, you feel very self-conscious about it. Using one of the abdominal exercise machines that are available may work but it's really dependent on one factor.

That factor is whether or not you are willing to make a life change. Losing weight isn't about doing an occasional abdominal exercise on an abdominal machine. It's about changing your diet, your physical activity level on a regular basis and making some important lifestyle changes. If you use an abdominal machine but continue to drink sugar laden soda and eat potato chips, your belly isn't going anywhere.

There are many choices when it comes to increasing your fitness level. If you've never really exercised much in the past, you probably don't want to jump into using one of the abdominal exercise machines at your local gym. The reason is that your body isn't going to react well and you can seriously hurt yourself. Walking is a great way to warm up before attempting any abdominal exercise.

Some people who are overweight are embarrassed to go to the gym to work-out. They feel self-conscious about putting on work-out gear and sweating in front of strangers. The thing to remember is that everyone is there for the same reason and that's to get in better shape. Most people at the gym are so focused on what they are doing, that they don't give you a second thought or look.

When I was looking for some exercise equipment recently I decided to visit the gym to get a look at what was out there and more importantly to give it a try to see if it was something I'd enjoy. They had treadmills, elliptical machines and several different abdominal exercise machines. I experimented with several and soon realized that if nothing else they were really effective. I could feel my abs burning after just a few minutes on the machine.

I checked out prices on the Internet and then finally decided on a model that fit both my fitness level and my budget. I've been using it for a few months and can see some results. I even feel better when I look in the mirror. Although some people might tell you that abdominal exercise machines are doing the same job as sit-ups, I'd say my newly trimmed and toned tummy is proof that's not true.

Exercise

This is the finding of a study done at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University that looked at a variety of common abdominal exercises in order to determine the best ab exercises and what really works to strengthen abs. The study compared 13 abdominal exercises, ranging from the traditional ab crunch to more complicated activities, using at-home and gym equipment.

Each of the 13 exercises was ranked for muscle stimulation (measured with EMG) in the rectus abdominus (the long, flat muscle extending the length of the front of the abdomen) and the internal and external obliques (the long, flat muscles extending along the sides of the abdomen at an angle).

Keep in mind that getting great abs takes more than just exercise, you need proper nutrition and a well-balanced exercise routine to go with the crunches. The study found the three best abdominal exercises are:Bicycle maneuver See a Picture Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.

Tips:

Crunch on an exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor. To work the oblique muscles, make the exercise less stable by moving your feet closer together. The best piece of equipment was a large exercise ball. Here are the best to worst exercises for strengthening the rectus abdominus: Bicycle maneuver Captain's chair Crunches on exercise ball, Vertical leg crunch, Torso TrackLong arm crunch, Reverse crunch, Crunch with heel push Ab Roller Hover, Traditional crunch, Exercise tubing pull and finaly Ab Rocker.
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