“Exercise for Weight Loss” is an article series detailing the most successful exercise strategies that can be used to assist in speeding up the weight loss process, and help you end-up with a sleek, toned physique once your body weight gets down to your goal-weight. 

“I want abs, so I do lots of sit-ups”

This makes sense, right? Abdominals are stomach muscles, so when you want them to show you need to do lots of stomach exercises. It’s so obvious that it MUST be true…

Except that it’s not.

You see, while your abs ARE stomach muscles, and sit-ups do work them to some degree, the primary job of your abs is NOT to crunch your body over. It’s to keep you upright by supporting your spine. So doing thousands of sit-ups and crunches and planks is not going to give them a full workout.

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Your abs are really important for stabilising your spine. This is because the spine is just a series of bones which needs something to hold it in position, otherwise you’d just fold in half. Your abs help to keep it in a straight line unless you don’t want it to be. And when you carry things on your back, or out in front of you, your abs brace to keep your spine from collapsing under the weight.

So how does one train the abs more effectively then?

Easy! Load some weight on your back (a barbell works very well for this) and then do exercises where you move that weight without falling over. This is far more effective for training your abs and training your back for strength. It helps to relieve back pain, and it helps improve posture significantly.

Squats and standing presses are great examples of the types of exercises you should be doing.

In both of these exercises your abs need to hold your body in the correct position to do the exercise properly. You’ll be amazed at how hard your abs work in a heavy set of squats or presses, just to stabilise the spinal column.

So you want abs?

Start slowly, by learning to do a bodyweight SQUAT PROPERLY – knees out, back straight, chest up – so you don’t hurt yourself. As a trainer for help, or watch some YouTube tutorials, and film yourself so you can check your technique. Once you can do a fair number of bodyweight squats, progress to a light bar, and increase the weight over time.

Your abs will grow along with the amount of weight you add to the bar. To see your abs, you’ll have to stick to a strict diet to lower your body fat. No one’s abs will ever show through the ‘spare tyre’ no matter how big and strong they get.

 

READ MORE:

Take a look at the articles below for more information exercising for weight loss:

 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.