deciding on which exercises to perform, how many to perform, and how frequently
to perform them, take heed of the following tips:
a variety of exercises to ensure balanced development. No single ab
or low-back exercise is perfect. Only by performing a variety can you hit
all of the various muscles and fiber angles.
up the order in which you perform exercises to continue stimulating
more time training via stabilization and less time training via movement
(i.e., fewer crunches and sit-ups).
a variety of rep speeds: some faster, some slower.
a variety of tools (e.g., exercise balls, medicine balls) to add fun
and diversity to your program.
a variety of training angles (incline, decline, flat) to manipulate
the intensity and change the emphasis.
your core 2-4 times a week. Your abs behave like any other muscle group,
so train them the same way. As long as you're doing your periodic daily
contractions, 2-4 dedicated sessions a week will do the trick.
you don't know it already, be aware that spot reduction is a myth.
Ab exercises don't rid your abdominal region of fat. No direct metabolic
pathway connects the muscle cells in your abdominal area to the fat cells
surrounding them. For any muscle to use stored fat for energy, your body
must first send that stored fat to the liver, where it is converted into
fatty acids before being sent to the muscles for use as fuel. In reality,
the energy used by the abdominal muscles may not be fat from the abdominal
region. It's possible that the energy used to perform an ab crunch may
come from fat stores in your arms! The bottom line is that the key to reducing
fat in and around your stomach is a program that includes regular cardiovascular
exercise, muscle-conditioning exercise and sound nutrition.