Iíve been training over a year now; Iím cutting my calories Ė eating protein, complex carbs and fiber- doing my cardio and strength training. Iím happy with the overall results except I canít get my abdominals to look cut. Iíve come to the conclusion that I wonít look like the guys in the magazines and thatís okay, so do I need to work my abs? I hold in my abdominals when I lift weights Ė isnít that enough? (Ricky, Freeport)
Yes, you still need to do abdominal, core, and lower back exercises as part of your workout. There is no such thing as spot reducing and many of us are genetically predisposed to store abdominal fat. A trim abdominal area is a sign of good health. People who pack fat around the middle tend to have metabolic syndrome which does not bode well for the cardiovascular system and can be a precursor to diabetes. You should consider the overall benefits of an abdominal workout:
- Reduction of lower back pain or injury
- Better external stabilization of the body while working out or doing daily functional activities
- Improved posture
Be the best that you can be! When you stand straighter, your abdominals look better. Keep in mind that variety is the spice of life. So make sure that you do a variety of abdominal exercises: crunches, reverse curls, bicycles and planks, to name a few. Try doing crunches off a stability ball. Remember: keep your core strong and the rest will follow.
Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on www.turnonyourinnerlight.com/page3.html