Let's talk about abs

I had quite a revelation about abs yesterday. As some of you may know, they are my least favorite muscles to work on. Mostly because I hate interrupting an awesome weight training workout to lay on the floor and attempt to whittle this middle.

That’s not me, by the way, ha ha…

It should come as no surprise to me that since they are my least favorite muscles to work on that they are my biggest “trouble spot” if you will. I have some other issues going on in this area too, like extra skin as a result of a 70 lb weight loss.

But, I think I’m over being vain for the time being. I really just want a stronger and more stable core to help me run, have better posture and to prevent any future back problems. So it’s time to focus on these abs!

On Sunday, I did a really quick 15 minute ab program on Exercise TV. The best part of this was that the entire routine was STANDING. It included a lot of movements with the hips and legs, but I felt more during this workout than I have on the floor in a long time.

Then on Monday I took a yoga class and the instructor said something that really resonated with me. As we went through our asanas, he mentioned how crunches are not ideal for the core because it’s not based on the purpose of those muscles.

“Our cores are not meant to crunch us better,” he said. They are meant to stabilize us. So that is the most effective way to work them out.

One example he gave was the plank. Holding steady in that position requires a strong core (and thus develops a stronger one) because without it, the back would arch and your form would be incorrect and you could hurt yourself. We also did bridge pose a few times, which really made my back feel good.

And I got to do this!

Photo from Eternal Health Yoga Facebook page

I’ve never been able to do full wheel on my own before and having support from another person really made it seem so much easier! And I also got to be a support person and see what that felt like from the other side. It was a really neat experience.

Anyway, the point of this is that I am done doing exercises I don’t like that aren’t really going to help me anyway. And I hope this new revelation about abs (the entire core, really) will help me figure out a way to work them into my workouts more often!

Do you like doing ab work? What do you do?

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About Sarah Frankel

I am 29 years old and a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. I've been married to my husband Josh for 6 years and we have a 5 year old beagle named Suzie. Four years ago, I changed my eating and exercise habits, dropping 70 pounds and gaining an entirely new life. I took up running in September 2007 and became vegan in October 2009. I am constantly striving to improve my life so that I can live it to the fullest! I hope you will join me on my life journey.

Posted on June 9, 2010, in abs, yoga. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hey girl.
    I love abs. I love how my abs look when I’ve been working on them, so a little vain!
    “But, I think I’m over being vain for the time being. I really just want a stronger and more stable core to help me run, have better posture and to prevent any future back problems. So it’s time to focus on these abs!” My back feels totally better when my core is strong. Yoga has been good, it definitely helps running. I like holding a kettlebell in one hand and doing side drops (standing) or holding it in front of me, squatting, and twisting – these really define your obliques. And Planks of course. I was thinking about you yesterday as I was doing the pigeon pose to stretch my hips out from the race on Saturday. I could literally fall asleep – thank you for introducing me to it!

  2. I hate working on my abs too. I am just never in the mood to work on them. I definitely need to though. I’ll try more planks this week though, thanks for the tip!

  3. The Wheel is my FAVORITE yoga pose!!!! try doing pushups in wheel pose =) Great workout!

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