Thursday 29 September 2016

Siobhan Byrne says... It's all about the abs

All the exercise in the world won't give you results if you don't watch what you eat

Siobhan Byrne

Published 02/06/2015 | 02:30

Siobhan Byrne
Siobhan Byrne
Crunch reach step one
Crunch reach step two
Jack knife step one
Jack knife step two
Side bridge step one
Side bridge step two
Spiderman step one
Spiderman step two
Spiderman step three

Last week, we discussed how the benefits of working your abs and core together can really help develop strong muscles, and this week we are continuing on the same theme.

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Watching your calorie intake and sticking to good abdominal workouts will help you get rid of unwanted body fat. When combined, these work together to give you that lean, toned look so many people want today.

Of course, if you don't watch those calories, you will never get to see the results of all your hard work in the gym. This is a crucial point that many people often forget when trying to get in shape.

As the old saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen, so unless you are prepared to do the hard work there, it's more than likely that you will struggle to see great results. But even if you find diets difficult, it is still important to work every muscle group to keep them all strong and equally balanced.

Last time, we looked at how strong abdominal muscles can help your posture and stability. Likewise, if you are a sports enthusiast or, for example, a runner, you might be surprised to learn just how beneficial having strong abs can be to overall performance. Strong obliques, for example, can prove incredibly useful in golf, helping to make your swing stronger and your drive longer.

Finally, for women, strong abdominal muscles have been proven to be a great boon during pregnancy and in getting back into shape after giving birth. Many of the complaints common during pregnancy, such as lower back problems, can be alleviated, if not avoided altogether, by sticking to a regime of core and abdominal workouts.

Crunch reach

1 Start by lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and your hands on  top of your thighs.

2 Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and slide your hands up to your knees. Keep your feet flat throughout. Lower your head, shoulders and hands, then repeat the movement.

Jack knife

1 Lie on your back with your legs straight and hands sitting to sides of your head.

2 Lift your head and shoulders off the floor while bringing your knees in to your chest, allowing the knees to meet the elbows. Lower to the start position and repeat.

Spiderman push up

1 Start off in  the top position  of a push-up.

2 Bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor while bending a knee and bringing it to your elbow with your foot off the floor.

3 Push back to top position and repeat with opposite leg.

For a harder version, start with your right knee at your elbow, extend your right hand out to crawl and bring your left knee up towards the left elbow, then repeat.

Side bridge

1 Lean on your elbow, and on the side of your foot, with one foot on the other. Hold in side-bridge position with your hips and shoulders in line.

2 Dip at the hip and return to the start position. Repeat all reps on one side before changing sides.

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