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Health and Fitness Tips
A beautiful six-pack is only but a dream for many men. Many strive for years to have the perfect abs – it is a challenge. However, with a few tips, exercises and proper nutrition, the dream of a six-pack stomach can become a reality.
Many traditional exercises such as the basic sit-up involve the abs mostly in a secondary role as a stabilizer. The bulk of the motion is actually provided by the muscle group known as the hip flexors. I recommend crunches to focus completely on your Rectus Abdominus and External Oblique muscle groups.
I utilize the Triple Training Technique with my clients, to help them achieve a trim waistline and tight abs. This concept involves: 1) diet, 2) cardiovascular exercise, and 3) direct abdominal strength exercises. For instance, low carbohydrate diet, walking on a treadmill for thirty minutes a day, and doing abdominal exercises is a great way to get started on "six-pack" abs that so many of us desire.
Tips for an ABsolutely great abdominal workout.
• Choose from a number of exercises. When I put together an ab routine I make sure my client gets a variety of exercises to keep the muscles working in different ways, not only to work different muscles, but break the monotony of the workout. Below are a few abdominal exercises I have found to be the best.
• I encourage at least 15-20 reps of each exercise at a minimum. The perfect set of ab exercises is 3 sets at 15 reps each. This gives the muscle growth potential. Also, I encourage my clients to workout their abs four times a week.
• Abs are best worked with a limited range of motion. You don't need to come up very far off the bench or floor in crunch movements to feel your abs. Just remember to squeeze at the top of the movement.
• Form is most important. Concentrate on technique - don't just go through the motions. Fifteen proper ab crunches is better than 150 sloppy ones.
The Mat Crunch should be the cornerstone of any ab workout. Lying flat on the floor on a mat, with your hands lightly clasped behind your head and your knees bent and raised (you should be facing your knee caps when you perform the exercise), raise your shoulder blades up, just off the floor and squeeze your abs and release. Lower your shoulder blades and repeat the movement (continuously keeping your buttocks on the floor and legs in the crunch position and raised). Perform 15-20 reps and three sets.
The Bench Crunch allows you to focus on the entire length of the rectus abdominis. Sit in the middle of a flat-bench, with your hands grasping the edge and your feet off the ground. Bring your knees into your chest while keeping your back straight and your abs tight, all while simultaneously curling your upper body forward to form a 'V.” Return your legs and torso to the start position and repeat for 3 sets of 15 reps each. Keep this movement really tight and small, and maintain continuous tension on your abdominals.
Great abs are attainable with proper nutrition, exercise and by watching your form.
Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at www.guslerbodysculpting.com.
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