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3 Simple Ab Workouts | All About Core Conditioning

No more the six-pack ‘Crunch-Crunch-Cramp-Cramp’!!

Make ‘Core Conditioning’, which literally means strengthening and making your Core (Abdominal Muscles) fit, your goal. Let six-pack abs be an outcome.

What is the Core?

Overall, the Core includes muscles of our upper, middle and lower back, our butt and the muscles of our abdominal area. Core muscles are the deepest and biggest muscles that house the entire spine and our viscera. You can now imagine how important the Core is, considering it cushions your spine, balances your body through the butt muscles and protects your visceral organs. Most importantly, you simply can’t stand or walk without these muscles! Your entire walk-cycle is controlled by the Core musculature. Having six-pack abs is no use when your back has no strength to support it and you.

What are abs?

Abs are varied abdominal muscles that form a part of the Core. They run vertically, horizontally and diagonally all over our visceral region. So when these muscles tighten-up through muscle toning and have less adipose fat surrounding them, they show up as the ever elusive six pack abs.

How will Core Conditioning give me six-pack abs?

I keep telling some (hmm…a lot) of my misguided prospective students who come to me with “I-am-ok-otherwise-but-only-want-to-reduce-my-paunch” syndrome that ‘abdominal fat is a function of your overall fat and. When you lose weight, you will lose it everywhere, including your ‘abs’. Besides, the tendency of weight gain in different parts of the body depends on your body type and your genetics. We, the lucky people of India, invariably are well ‘rounded’ all along our belly buttons!

That said, with overall weight loss, you will lose that tummy and that is when you can start sculpting and toning it. So focus on losing your overall fat instead of dreaming about those six-pack abs with innumerable crunches that do nothing but damage your neck and back. Bottom line – Core conditioning will strengthen your abdominal muscles,  improve your posture helping in preventing injuries during exercises and it improves lower back too!

The Key – The point is, first get to a point in your fitness goals where you have lost weight everywhere, including the abdominals where you can now create those six-packs. It’s like building a house first and then decorating the rooms.

Here are some basic ‘Core Conditioning’ exercises –

1. Bridge

How Do I Do It?

  • Lie on your back with knees bent.
  • Raise your hips off the floor as shown in the picture.
  • Hold for 5 seconds taking deep breaths.
  • Return to position and repeat.
  • Repeat 15 times.

 

2. Side plank

  • Lie on your right side, with support of your right arm as shown in the picture.
  • Spread your left arm in alignment with the left arm.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat on the right side.
  • Do 15 sets.

Side plank

 

 

 

3. Superman Pose

  • Lie flat on your tummy with a small pillow or rolled towel under your hips and forehead for support.
  • Raise your right arm and left leg off the floor and feel the stretch.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Return and repeat for left arm and right leg
  • Do 15 sets.

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