Strong Abs: Their Value, Effective Exercises, and Proper Food

Keeping strong abdominal muscles goes beyond the attractive appearance of a washboard stomach! Indeed, strong core muscles including your abdominal muscles, hip flexors and rotators, and lower back muscles are crucial in your daily life activities, aside from your workout routines. Keep these things in mind so that you will have a deeper appreciation of their value, as well as the effective food and exercises to strengthen them.

Daily Health Benefits of Strong Core Muscles

When you think of your core muscles as the hub that holds the upper and lower parts of your body together, your appreciation of its crucial role in your overall healthy will deepen. Your dedication to strengthening your core muscles with proper diet and exercise will pay off in the form of these benefits.

Improved strength, stability and balance

Your ability to maintain your balance and remain stable during your daily life activities and exercises will improve, partly thanks to the fact that your core muscles act as your body’s anchor. You can walk and run better even on uneven terrain because your core muscles remain engaged, aside from being strong enough, throughout the movements.

Effective performance of daily life activities

Most of your daily life activities demand strong core muscles so strengthening them will be to your benefit, as well as to the benefit of your family and friends who depend on your physical capacity to do these daily activities well.  Standing up and sitting down, walking and running, climbing and jumping, lifting and twisting – name whatever waking activity you engage in and your core muscles will be engaged.  The stronger they are, the better you can perform your activities.

Prevention and management of injuries and illnesses

Strong abdominal muscles decreases the risk of injuries while at work, especially among people who perform pulling, pushing and lifting motions as part of their jobs. These are also essential in preventing or managing the symptoms of lower back pain, which affects nearly four out of five Americans at certain points of their lives. The lower back pain can be caused by hyperextending the erector spinae muscles and by increased rigidness in the sacroiliac joints.

Get yourself to the nearest gym, such as Anytime Fitness (you can view Anytime Fitness prices on PriceListo), and start working on your core muscles now! Soon enough, you will enjoy these benefits and more.

Effective Exercises for Stronger Core Muscles

One of the best things about core muscles exercises is that these can be performed with minimum equipment. You can, in fact, perform them on a yoga mat or carpeted floor, perhaps with a medicine ball, resistance bands, and the like. Your bodyweight is often the only thing that you will need to perform these exercises.

But don’t just dive into core muscle-building exercises. You should first plan the what, when and how of core muscles development based on the four different parts of your midsection.

  • The rectus abdominus covers the area from the pelvis bone to the sternum while its main function is pulling the upper torso to the hips. The best exercises for it are sit-ups and crunches, which have several variations to prevent boredom from performing the same movements over and over again.
  • The oblique muscles, which consist of the internal, transverse, and external oblique muscles, are located at the sides of the waist. These are essential for twisting and tilting the torso. These are also best developed through decline oblique crunches and side bends, among others.
  • The intercostals are located between the sides of the rib cage and, as such, are essential in the depression and elevation of the ribs. These are best exercises through air bike exercises.
  • The serratus muscles are located between the lats and front abs, thus, these benefit most from cable crunches and barbell pullovers. Their main function is pulling the scapula forward and around, such as when throwing a punch in boxing.

You and your personal trainer should discuss the best combinations of exercises that will strengthen your midsection as a whole. You don’t want to end up with an unbalanced look, thus, the careful considerations of the sets and reps for each exercise.

Proper Food for Core Muscles Development

You have to feed your muscles, too! Since muscles grow on protein, your diet should contain sufficient amounts of foods like:

  • Eggs, which contain protein, vitamin A, and vitamin B12 for fast muscle recovery
  • Unsweetened and unflavored instant oatmeal, which contains fiber and complex carbs necessary for energy production. Steel-cut oats and cereals are also recommended.
  • Lean meats are the best sources of protein, the building blocks of your muscles
  • Protein shakes are also recommended after your workouts

Be sure to adopt a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, too, as your foundation for muscle building.

With the right diet and exercise plan, your core muscles will eventually emerge from their layers of fat and flab!  Just remember that it doesn’t happen overnight so your patience and perseverance are a must.

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