By Cody Frank
The sun is out, you are longing to go outside and perhaps even hit the beach. Guess what that means. It’s swimsuit season. Now is a great time to start toning and strengthening your stomach muscles. Summer is a great motivator. Below are some tips to help you get those lean abs and have a strong core throughout the day happily.
1. Engage your pelvic floor before and during abdominal exercises. (Pretend you are trying to stop in the middle of peeing). This helps to engage your transverse muscles that hold in your entire core.
2. Focus during your workout. Better focus = better mind & body connection. This increases the amount of muscle fibers you use and decreases the chance for injury.
3. Breathe! Your muscles need oxygen to function at their full capacity. Inhale typically on the easier part and exhale on the strenuous part. Inhale as you release your crunch and exhale as you contract the crunch.
4. Practice looking leaner and taller. If throughout the day you are consciously keeping the abdominal muscles firm, muscle memory will automatically keep the muscles firm.
5. Use all dimensions. Your body doesn’t move in one dimension. When doing ab work, include exercises that rotate, twist and turn your body. This will challenge your muscles to be strong all around.
6. Watch your chin. When doing ab work, do not drop your chin to your chest. This puts unnecessary strain on your neck and takes the focus away from the core. Pretend there’s a grapefruit or a baseball between your chin and your chest as you are doing the movements.
7. Take Yoga or Pilates, because both are core strengthening exercises.