You Always Need Good Support For Strong Abs And An Active Life by Jim Smith
Support can mean a lot of things. But when we are talking about supporting an active life, we are specifically referring to a strong set of abdominals - the rectus abdominis, the internal and external obliques and the transverse abdominis (and a bunch of other stabilizing and supportive structures), a strong lower back and a strong knowledge of how to properly prepare to pick up a weight. This weight could be your children, a dumbbell or barbell at the gym, a grocery bag, a box or anything else you need to move in a busy day.
As you can see, when it comes to performance or just maintaining a good quality of life, the strength of the muscles that surround and support your torso and back health - is key.
Here are three exercises and their variations that you can quickly and easily incorporate into your training at home or in the gym that will teach you how to brace or "set your core" in preparation for any activity.
Planks are where you get into a push-up position but instead of on getting set on your outstretched and locked hands, you will setup with your forearms resting on the ground. Your back is rigid, your glutes are tight and your torso is braced. You will hold this position for a set length of time. 30 seconds to 1 minute is good and 2 minutes + is great. There is also a variation where you are braced on your side. You will roll up from the standard plank position to your side, still resting on your forearm which is now perpendicular to your body. Your top foot will be resting on your bottom foot. This variation will target your obliques more specifically.
This exercise will have you locking two dumbbells, a barbell or two milk jugs (if you are working out at home) overhead in an outstretched position. Your arms should be next to your head and the implements will be fully locked overhead. Now, you will go for a walk. With each step, you will have to adjust with the sway of the movement. This will force you to brace your torso to remain rigid and unwavering while you are moving. Excellent for anyone as this movement teaches dynamic stabilization. You will also find breathing to be labored and your mental toughness go through the roof.
Try these exercises out to jump start your workout and improve your overall strength. Creativity when you're not at the gym will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals and remain injury free.