Health and Beauty

The best basic exercises for the abdominal muscles

Abs are often considered a showcase of a well-muscled body, and it's true that strengthening the muscles in this area can dramatically improve your shape if you have a flat stomach. But toned abdominal muscles are also essential for daily health and well-being, because a strong abdominal belt supports the spine, reduces lower back pain, facilitates movement and improves balance, stability and posture.

Good core strength in the abdominal muscles and obliques is also essential for many sporting activities, or in bodybuilding with exercises such as the squat or deadlift, which require a stable core to lift heavy loads.

There are many exercises to increase abdominal muscle strength, as well as different equipment that can help develop them. However, there are many exercises that only require body weight or simple tools. In this article, I invite you to discover the best exercises to strengthen the superficial and deep abdominal and back muscles, in addition to the common mistakes to avoid. But before that, let's evaluate the cover itself.

What is abdominal wrapping?

Core stabilization is a physical training technique designed to strengthen the core muscles, such as the abdominal muscles, psoas, and obliques. It consists of maintaining a static or isometric muscle contraction position for a long period of time.

Why work on packaging?

Core limitations can hinder performance and quality of movement, and can ultimately lead to injury or pain. In fact, a lack of core stability and proper movement can lead to back pain in some people, and providing appropriate exercises to strengthen the core can alleviate this pain.(1).

Core muscles include:

  • External and internal oblique muscles: These muscles play a major role in rotation, stability, and flexion.
  • Transverse abdominis: This deep muscle stabilizes the spine and pelvis during movements, and forms a protective shell for the back.
  • Rectus abdominis: These are the muscles that protrude in the front and form the chocolate bars. Its real function is to help bend the trunk.
  • Quadrate lumbar muscle: This deep muscle is responsible for stabilizing the pelvic floor and spine during movements.
  • Erector spinae muscle: It consists of a group of several muscles and tendons that provide strength and flexion to the back.

Although these muscles are the main muscles that make up the torso, they are not the only ones. All muscles, from the pelvic floor to the buttocks, play a role in core strength and stability. This is why it is very important to diversify the exercises and not just perform a few sets of plank exercises.

The plank for abs is a very popular exercise to challenge yourself.
And you, how long will it last?
Image credit © Depositphotos

You can do these exercises on a rug or floor mat. Focus on contracting the transverse abdominis, the deepest muscle in the abdomen (the one you feel contracting when you cough). Be careful, I often see practitioners doing their training in the area of ​​apnea. Don't forget to breathe!

Repeat each core exercise about 4 times for 30 seconds. Then, as your core strength improves, increase in 10-second increments. It is not necessary to perform all exercises in every session. You can easily create a mini routine in which you do the exercises you prefer in bouts.

Core exercises can be performed before or after a weight training session, but also in a separate recovery session for example. There is really no better time than another, the main thing is to find a training program that you can do regularly and for the long term.

To develop your abdominal muscles, there are two basic types of exercises you can use during your workout: static and dynamic exercises.

Static core exercises

Static torso exercises consist of activating and contracting muscles, but without movement. You hold an isometric contraction for several seconds or minutes in a row. Here are some effective isometric exercises.

beginner's level

This type of exercise is especially suitable for beginners. They are also regularly used as part of rehabilitation programs after injury. When doing these exercises, make sure your body is straight, with your head, shoulders, hips and feet aligned.

Expert level

These exercises are aimed at athletes who want to challenge their abdominal strength level.

ABS Board TRX suspension belt
ab plate with TRX suspension strap.
Image rights © Adobe Stock

Dynamic basic exercises

This type of exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles by adding movement. This allows you to develop functional strength that is very important for everyday movement or to improve your athletic performance.

beginner's level

In addition to strengthening the abdominal muscles, these exercises are also very good for burning calories and doing cardio.

Expert level

These exercises require that you have gained a certain level of strength in your abdominal muscles in order to perform them correctly. Do not hesitate to hire a sports coach to check your technique to avoid any risk of injury.

Russian rotation for dynamic abdominal wrap
Russian spins with a medicine ball are an excellent exercise to work on core strength in a dynamic way.
Image rights © Adobe Stock

Your frequently asked questions

What are the signs of lack of abdominal strength?

Lower back pain is one of the first indicators of abdominal weakness. If you feel pain in your lower back after sitting or standing for a while, it may mean that your abdominal muscles are not fully developed.

Bad posture is another sign. If you have difficulty staying upright, it may be due to difficulties with your abdominal muscles.

What are the benefits of encapsulation for the body?

Improve posture : Body shaping can strengthen the back and core muscles, which can improve posture and reduce pain in the back and shoulders.

Muscle Building : Many exercises involve using several other muscle groups, such as the glutes, or those in the arms and legs.

Better stability and balance : A good core ensures good force transfer between the upper and lower body, which can improve your stability and balance.

Lose weight Some basic exercises can help you burn calories, which will help you lose weight and get a flat stomach, in addition to following a healthy, balanced diet.

Reducing stress Any sporting activity can help reduce stress by stimulating the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the body that can improve your mood and well-being.

How long should you do core training to get results?

The time it takes to see results depends on several factors, such as your current fitness level, frequency and intensity of strength training sessions, and your diet and lifestyle.

In general, however, results can be seen within a few weeks to a few months if you are consistent and do your training with the right intensity. It is important to note that core training cannot make you lose weight or give you a muscular body in a day or a week. This requires perseverance and a long-term approach, along with a healthy, balanced diet.

Can we do basic training every day?

While most people can handle frequent abdominal exercises, it is also essential to ensure good muscle recovery (as is the case with most muscles).

In fact, lack of muscle recovery, regardless of muscle group or resistance to fatigue, can lead to a significant decrease in strength and maximum performance. This can get in the way of performing other exercises that require good core strength. So this question cannot be answered because recovery time varies from person to person and depends on your age, sleep, diet, etc.

It is up to you to test by listening to your body. However, if core training is your only physical activity, there is no problem doing it every day.

(tags for translation)What is abdominal cardio?
The best basic exercises for the abdominal muscles

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