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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sit-Ups Still Work!

In recent years there have been two myths that have misguided many people, they go something like this.

Doing sit ups everyday will melt away the fat and give you ripped absEveryone has abs, you don't need to train them just lose the fat on top of them.

There's a grain of truth to both of these but if you want to have well developed and lean abs, you must understand that these are incorrect statements. The process of achieving impressive abs is one of development and unveiling.

The development of your abs

It is true that everyone has abs but does everyone have well developed abs? No. To say that you don't have to work your abs and that you just need to diet is like a cast of actors saying "We'll be there on show night, so we don't need to practice." It's ridiculous, the abs must be developed.

There are three main parts of the abs that we'll focus on today:

Rectus Abdominis - Your six-pack muscleObliques - The internal and external obliques make up the sides of your absTransverse Abdominis - This muscle lies beneath above muscles and acts as a corset to draw your abdomen in

The rectus abdominis is the muscle that is worked most by sit-ups, crunches and leg raises yet despite the ab training culture, this muscle is not strong or well developed in most people, this is evident from a glance around your local town or city, a trained eye will probably see many examples of lordosis of the spine partially due to weak lower abs.

The rectus abdominis muscle acts to bend the spine forward, exercises such as crunches and sit-ups target the upper sections of the muscle whereas hanging leg raises target the lower part far more. Do not neglect to include a lower abdominal exercise, this area is weak in most people.

The oblique muscles are also undertrained in most people, the obliques can be trained with twisting movements of the trunk and with side bends. The oblique muscles are very useful for reducing the size of the waist when trained and don't thicken the waist significantly like many claim. If you want a visually pleasing midsection then some exercises for the oblique muscles is always necessary.

The transverse abdominis is a very interesting muscle, especially in a world where expanding waistlines are a big concern. The action of this muscle is to draw in the abdomen, to literally make you appear slimmer.

Include two exercises for the rectus abdominis, one or two for your obliques and one for your transverse abdominis for complete abdominal development.

The unveiling of your abs

A big benefit of having well developed abs is that they are visible at a higher body fat percentage compared to average or underdeveloped abs but no matter how developed your abs are, they will not be visible if you have too much subcutaneous fat covering them.

Subcutaneous fat is reduced with calorie deficit brought about by either dietary restriction or additional exercise, typically abs become visible around 10% body fat, those with better ab development may look lean with slightly higher body fat and those with poor development may not show much definition even at a very low body fat.

Subcutaneous water can also become an issue if one has spent a long time dieting however this is fleeting and effected most by water intake and cortisol.

To shed your fat, you must follow a calorie deficit of appropriate intensity for however long it takes to reach your goal, there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat so a deficit of 500 calories per day will lead to a loss of one pound each week.

Remember that despite what gimmicky adverts for exercise products say, sit ups still work! Great abs have never been attained without exercise and they have never been attained without dietary manipulation. By developing your abdominal musculature properly and losing enough fat to properly display your abs you will have an excellent set of abs that look good whether it's on stage or just on the beach.

Theo M. Whittington is a certified personal trainer and fat loss specialist from Lowestoft, UK. You can download his 2012 Transformation Contest Ebook at http://www.tmwfitness.co.uk now for FREE and be sure to visit http://tmwfitness.wordpress.com for fat loss articles and success stories.

Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Theo_M_Whittington


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