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Abdominal Core Conditioning Program - Do's and Don'ts

By: David Grisaffi

Abdominal core conditioning program is a synergized and total approach to abdominal training. The central region of the body is known as the 'core' and is comprised of the abdominal muscles and the lower back. These are the most important muscles in our body which help us to function in our daily tasks, prevent injuries and also make us look good if we shed that extra flab around it. The core is the region from which we get all our strength and movement and is also the focal point of balance. Hence, the conditioning of this musculature is very important.

Moving from the outer-most to the inner-most, these muscles are rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques and transverse obliques. For conditioning the core area, all these muscles need to be targeted and worked out. Most of us do not see these muscles because of the flab on them but they are underneath and can emerge if we follow the abdominal core conditioning program. These are the so-called 'fab six-abs' which remain invisible on almost all, but the fittest of bodies.

Pulling in the abdominal wall is the main criteria in abdominal core conditioning program, as this conditions the core muscles deep inside and not just the upper layer of muscles. The abdominal exercises are usually divided into three groups- upper, obliques and lower but the upper and lower abdominals are not separate. Some exercises in abdominal core conditioning program emphasize moving the lower body more than the upper body, while others focus only on the upper abdominals.

Here are a few do's and don'ts of abdominal core conditioning:

Do warm up before starting your exercises by doing some simple aerobic movements. Do work the lower abdominals first, followed by the obliques and lastly, the upper abdominals. The upper abdominals give support when you are working out the lower abdominals but, if you do the reverse, only the upper abdominals will get a total work-out.

Don't work the upper abdominals first, as you will exercise those muscles to the core leaving them pre-fatigued and will not be able to do a challenging set of lower abdominals exercises.

Hip-flexors are joined to the lower vertebrae and doing any exercise which involves a full 90 degree flexion of the hips will place emphasis on the lower vertebrae getting more exercised than the abdominal muscles. Don't do sit-ups for this reason.

Do use a wide variety of exercises to improve your core and abdominal region.

Do use a medicine ball, cables or exercises bands, as they will increase your external load and ultimately improve your core area.

Don't use your hands to carry the weight of your head; avoid tugging at your head at any time doing any core flexion movements.

Remember - Spot-reducing fat loss will not happen with extra high reps!

Fast movements should be avoided by all beginning core exercises. The Firm and Flatten Your Abs System explains how important exercise form is to success.

Do gradually progress from a firm ground to a more unstable setting as you get better and master the core exercises, for example, a Swiss ball to increase the strength of your nervous system.

Do not do crunches all the time, as they lead to overuse and poor posture. Always make sure you do back exercises such as back extensions on a Swiss ball...

Do gradually move from floor-based core exercises to standing exercises for core movements.

By adopting these basics for abdominal core conditioning program, you will reward yourself with a fit and injury-free body, not to mention a great set of six-pack abs you always dreamt of.

David Grisaffi is a Sports Conditining Coach and holds multiple certifications including three from the prestigious CHEK Institute: Level II Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiologist, Golf Biomechanic, and Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach. Plus he is also the author of the popular selling e book, "Firm and Flatten Your Abs," which teaches you how to develop a ripped abdominal region. Visit his blog at http://www.flattenyourabs.net/blog

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