Abs Advice; Do It On Your Back!
It is a great occasion when we can give out fitness advice that will be welcome to our readers, listeners and TDL Fitness fans. We don't mean that you are all lazy people who love cutting corners, but here's some advice that will make it EASIER for you to achieve what we all want; that toned stomach. We aren't going to advise you to create some internal pain in order to get there. We are going to say; lie down, on your back and think of England, and abs.
Specifically we are talking about what ab exercises are best; the ones in which your torso and face are facing down (e.g. mountain climbers, planks) and the ones in which you are facing up (e.g. crunches, jack knives). After years of doing both it has come to my own attention as to which is more effective? If you are deciding what exercises to do when creating an ab routine it is of course advisable to make the workout effective. Sometimes it is great to do both and yes of course i would advise this; but which of the two different ones are more efficient if you have to decide which one to favour more than the other then do it on your back (Ooh err missus).
So why is this? Well if you think of most of the exercises on your front (aside from superman exercises) you are doing ab workouts using your arms or legs to keep you up above the floor. This means that the body can use other parts of the body aside from your abs to take the strain meaning you are using less of your abs during a workout and a bit more on your chest, legs, butt, obliques etc. Think about it; if you are doing a plank the longer you go the more you transfer weight forwards or backs meaning your abs are having to work less and less. Remember; the harder you workout the more your body will seek to make ti easier for you. Isn't the body an incredibly intelligent beast?
Workouts in which you are on your back require fewer muscles to stabilize your body during a workout and therefore there are less muscles to in effect take the strain. Therefore you can work on your abs harder and longer because your abs are more likely to be used even if you are tired; more-so than if you are on your front. Exercises on your front are more likely to increase ab strength and therefore the size of abs rather than burning stomach fat but if that difference can be negated by working more on your abs in totality then the shortfall can be made up.
Does this mean therefore that you can workout on your back? If you are looking for increased efficiency then the answer is that ab workouts on your back work your abs more; that is true. We must of course understand that we are talking about purely ab exercises. Ab exercises on your front will work more of your body and it is therefore more of a compound workout; better for all over losing fat. Therefore it is sensible to put front ab workouts like mountain climbers, planks etc in the same boat as burpees and other exercises which use more of the body. when it comes to a purely ab workout; get on your back!
Here at TDL Fitness we strive to improve efficiency in the gym as well as other things. When it comes to abs this is made even more important because most of us are working on that very area. So when you design your next ab workout favour the ones that have you on your back. It will be easier to collapse when you can do no more; and you will get to that state better with back ab workouts rather than waiting for the rest of your body to collapse too.