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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Things to Avoid when Performing Exercise for the Abdominals

1. Do not use a machine or contraption of any kind to exercise the abs, body weight and medicine balls are more than sufficient. No contraption or machine will ever work as well as a perfectly performed curl-up performed on the floor.

2. Do not pull on your neck with your hands while performing curl-ups this may cause excessive strain on the muscles and vertebrae and prevents the training of the neck flexor muscles. Rather place the fingertips on the ears.

3. Do not perform double straight leg lowering exercises for the lower abdominals and never allow them to be thrown down by a partner. This action can strain the lower back and actually stretch the abdominals and make them weaker. Rather perform double-knees to the chest in the lying position: hold the legs at 90 degrees of hip and knee flexion and then gently peel the tail bone off the floor (not the entire back) to cause a posterior tilting of the pelvis. Also, try performing scissor actions with the legs, but only if the low back remains flat against the floor.

4. Do not hoist your body up by throwing the arms and shoulders forward. Rather imagine having double-backed tape stuck to your spine and the back of your head and peeling the back slowly off the floor. Starting by peeling the back of the head, then the neck and then upper back off the floor. If you find it impossible to curl up to a 60-degree angle from the floor with the fingers touching the ears, try performing curl-ups with hands on the floor by the sides, pointing straight ahead or folded across the chest. Even laying propped up on a gradient of some kind will help, as this moves the center of gravity further towards the muscle origin, making the exercise easier.

5. Do not perform curl-ups with a straight back. This will only focus on the hip flexor muscles (iliopsoas) and may strain the lower back. Keep the spine as round as possible both during the upward movement and the downward movement.

6. Do not perform curl-ups with a “hole” in the lower back – this may strain the back, stretch the abdominals and actually make them weaker. Before starting the exercise, perform a drawing in maneuver and tilt the pelvis posteriorly by pressing the lower back into the floor. (Imagine trying to squash a grape under the low back to make sure the lower back remains flat throughout the exercise).

7. Do not perform curl-ups with excessively bent knees, especially if you have tight hip flexors and an excessive forward tilt of the pelvis. It is a common misconception that flexing the hips puts the hip flexor muscles “on slack” making them less able to contribute to the exercise, and targeting the abdominals more. (This assumption is false since the iliacus muscle spans a single joint and can work quite efficiently even near full hip flexion). Repeatedly, exercising in this manner may cause these muscles to tighten and shorten even more. Flex (bend) at the knee and hip only enough to allow the lower back to flatten into the floor.

8. Do not perform curl-ups on an excessively soft or springy surface e.g. a mattress, trampoline (?) or thick foam mat as this will assist in the exercise or make the flattening of the lower back more difficult.

9. Do not fix the feet under a bed or have anyone hold them when performing multiple curl-ups as this will allow for a majority of the sit-up to be caused by the hip flexor (groin) muscles. If the abdominals fatigue or are not strong enough to hold the back flat, the hip flexors will cause an forward tilt of the pelvis and the development of a “hole” in the lower back as discussed in 6.

10. Do not avoid doing abdominal exercises. Many exercisers are reluctant to perform abdominal exercises because they experience more discomfort in their neck and lower back than in their abdominals.

Know the Mistakes When Doing a Workout Program

1. Impatience

Impatience is probably most people’s worst enemy when it comes to staying on track with your workout plan. It is so easy to get distracted, especially if you feel the recent progress with your exercise has been slow. You must be aware that physical training won’t do miracles over night. Only faitful and diligent exercising and workout, day after day, week after week, month after month will prove results.

Looking back; maybe you’re one who hasn’t trained or exercised for years, maybe not at all. How many years did it take to put you in the physical shape and fitness condition you were in before you started regular exercising? Do not expect results in one week – take a look back and try to feel the difference after 3 to 6 months of exercising. If you are that patient, you’ll definitely see results of your workout effort.

2. Expectations too high

If you expect to become a Joe Jordan or a Naumi Chambell after a few weeks of exercises, you’ll get disappointed. The purpose with your physical workout is to make yourself feel better and give you a better and richer life, not to compare yourself with others, whoever they are.

The measurement stick should always be the fitness and shape you were in before you started the exercising, and every improvements you do, are with references to this. If you do that, your expectations to the results of your exercise and workouts will be realistic, and you’ll be amazed of how good you really can be.

3. Getting Exhausted

Especially in the start up phase of a training program, some people are exercising so hard that they simply get exhausted or burned out. If you start your training program exceeding your present capabilities, and if you have not been exercising since you were a kid – you probably won’t be able to jogg or workout for the next 14 days.

Your muschles will hurt so much and your legs will be so stiff after your mega exercise, that you have to lay down and wait til you are able to exercise again. This is not very motivating. Start out the exercising very carefully and lite – that is especially important if you have not done much training before.

4. Doing exercises the wrong way

This can really be damaging, especially with anarobic exercises. If you are training at a fitness center you should make sure you’ve got all the instructions you need from the trainer before you do any workout. One little mistake in your exercise can damage your back for a long time, and even permanently.

The best is to have a personal trainer that can follow you through thick and thin throughout the exercise program but for most people this alternative is too expensive. So my advice is; if you are in even the slightest doubt of how to do an exercise, simply ask, ask and ask. The training staff is there to help you with your exercising, that’s their job.

5. Chosing an exercise program that is not exciting enough

I have always been fascinated about people I have seen running up and down roads and streets day after day or people that do all their exercise on trim cycles. How boring must that be? Well, we are all different and have different preferences when it comes to what activities we enjoy. Some people love to run for hours – and that’s fine, let them do it.

I prefer more enjoyable sports like tennis, badminton, football, smashball, squash or training together with other people. Dancing is also a great fat burner. The point is: Chose an exercise plan that include your favorite activities.

If you like and enjoy what you’re doing day in and day out, you’ll be much more likely to stay in the training program for a long time. And the longer you stay in it, the more you’ll enjoy it.