Why Are Strong Abs Important?
Can we just move beyond the hype for a few minutes and take a look at why your abdominal muscles are so important? This core group of muscles helps stabilize your entire body. They help you bend, extend, flex, and rotate. They help you breathe. The abdominal muscles aren’t your entire core but they are a muscle group within the muscles that make up your core. The stronger your core, the easier everything else becomes.
Of course you want to achieve a rock solid midsection. Everyone knows that sculpted abs look amazing. But how many people realize that the health benefits of strong abs are even better? All of the muscles in your core connect the upper and lower halves of your body. If any of them are inflexible and weak — including your abs — your arms, legs and back will suffer. Strengthening your abs will help you avoid injury and walk confidently.
The first priority once you get serious about your abs is injury prevention. Strengthening your abs is one of the best ways of preventing lower back injury and pain. Strong abs allow you to move freely. When developing an abs workout, before you start with the more intense exercises, it’s important to reawaken sleeping muscles and build a baseline of strength. The modern lifestyle can cause some of your muscles to become dormant. Whenever that happens, injury is more likely.
To get ahead of injuries, make the following simple exercises part of your weekly routine: planks, ball lifts, abdominal stretches, and curls. Since so many of us sit for such a large part of the day, waking up the glutes regularly is a good idea. We have a tested exercise for stronger glutes and we’ve written about it here on our blog.
Own Your Sport
Once you’ve done everything you can do to prevent injuries, the next priority is working on owning your sport. It’s about better performance and winning. You want to enhance your performance on the field, court, or hill. “Well-trained and conditioned abs allow one to change direction faster, generate force quicker, and absorb blows better.”
Try doing stomach crunches on an exercise ball. Add to that Bruce Lee’s dragon flag, the basic bridge, bicycle crunches, the captain’s chair, or vertical crunches. Or come to the gym and use the incline bench.
Lastly, you can start to focus on looking great and begin the quest for those six pack abs. Now it’s time to add some advanced exercises like straight leg lifts from a pull-up bar, barbell sit ups, plank walkouts, and just about anything with a medicine ball.
In addition to this, you need to throw in some cardio, increase your protein intake, and add high intensity interval training to your routine. Reducing carbs and cutting out junk food will go a long way toward revealing those taut, firm muscles. It’s why they say that perfect abs start in the kitchen.