What’s the number one problem area for men and women alike? You guessed it! The perfect set of abs - and the back strength to support the sought-after 6-pack.
The biggest mistake people make is to believe sit-ups and endless crunches are the secret to the dream body. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The problem with sit-ups and crunches is that the exercises put a great deal of stress on the discs in the lower back - a recipe for ruptures and pain.
The real secret to getting (and keeping) flat abs and a strong back is to focus on the ‘core.’ The “core” refers to the complex intertwined deep muscles of the pelvic floor, diaphragm, abdominal wall, spine and torso.
Before you get started on this month’s core exercise, you need to know how to engage the core.
Take a moment and cough. Pay attention to where you feel the contractions. It’s the same place as when you sneeze. You should feel the belly button pulling into the spine and feel the pelvic floor lifting. This feeling is what you should feel when you activate your core.
One idea is to cough, keep the contraction and then complete the exercise.
And now, here’s the exercise of the month!
‘Dying Bug’ or ‘Dead Bug’
- Lay on your back, with your feet touching the ground. Cough one or two times to get the feel of how your muscles should contract when you perform the exercise.
- Bring knees directly over hips (table top position).
- Raise your arms so that your hands are in the air, directly above your shoulders.
- Inhale, keeping your abs contracted and engaged.
- As you exhale, bring your right hand and left knee together to touch over your abs. Keep your abs contracted and engaged.
- Inhale and return to the start position.
- Repeat with the left hand to the right knee.