HOW TO GET A SIX PACK

Uncategorized Aug 05, 2020

HOW TO GET A SIX PACK

Well, here's one way:

Is your Peleton bike collecting dust in the corner of your house? Are your virtual Barre classes not cutting it? Or perhaps you're trying to follow your gym's online classes but don't have the right equipment at home. Then this is for you!

Our all-access training pass is for those new to our community who want to try out our live, virtual workouts. While each small group personal training session is full-body, we focus specifically on developing a strong core and glute muscles, regardless of the equipment you have available.

Click here or on the ticket above to claim your spot by August 21. If you have any questions before starting your free trial, please email us at [email protected]com.

Now, back to getting that six-pack... keep reading for a bonus core activation sequence at the end!

When you think of core muscles, do you envision a pair of six-pack abs?

True, these muscles are included in the core, but it's so much more than that. Our core muscles include the abdominal muscle group, erector spinae, and glutes.

Although glutes are not likely considering part of your core, they attach to your pelvis and are the opposing muscle group of your lower abdominals as they connect at the opposing parts of the pelvis.

The lower rectus abdominus (we will go over what that is in a moment) attaches to the front of the pelvis, and the gluteus attach to the back of the pelvis.

As one contracts, the other really has to contract in kind as they are pulling and supporting each other. This is like any other partnering (agonist and antagonistic) muscle pairing, but we are talking about the core here so that is where our focus will be currently.

Let's break down the different parts of the core muscles and what function they have.

With this knowledge under your belt, you will have a much better understanding as to WHY you would choose to do certain core activities as opposed to others depending on what kind of core you want to build.

ANTERIOR (front) CORE MUSCLES:

Rectus Abdominus aka Your Six Pack - These are the glamour muscles. Not everyone has the genetics to have those ice cube tray muscles that pop out of the skin, but we ALL have a six pack. Your diet and training style will depict how much of them we can actually see...... good thing you guys have your nutrition game in place! The function of the rectus abdominus is forward flexion. This means whenever you have to sit up in bed, you are using your six pack. Whenever you do a movement that shortens the distance from your pelvis to your rib cage, you are using your six pack to do the job.

Internal Obliques - We can't see these guys as they lie under our external obliques which we will talk about next. The thing to note is that the internal oblique fibers run from the crest of your pelvis upwards towards your lower ribs. They are a very thin sheath of muscle fiber which helps to compress the abdominal wall during forced or concentrated expiration. So when you are actually thinking about exhaling and pulling your belly button in, the internal obliques help with this action. They also assistance in later flexion of the spine as well as rotation of the torso.

External Obliques - On to some more glamour muscles, our external obliques. These lie on either side of our six pack and run directly on top of our internal obliques. The direction of fibers from the internal to external oblique is slightly different which allows them to create rotation of the spine and torso. The internal oblique fibers run towards the mid line of the body and the external obliques run towards the spine from the front of the pelvis on either side of the waist. With this weaving nature of the two oblique groups, they work together to push and pull our torso in one direction and another. They are also responsible for lateral flexion. So those side bends in yoga or leaning to one side to grab a bag, will be highly dependent on the obliques.

Transverse Abdominus - I love this muscle! I mostly love this muscle because it enables me to do some of the moves that I really love in trapeze, AND when this muscle is strong, it supports the body in such an incredible way. It feels like a superhuman muscle. Every lift feels stronger, every jump more stable. Our Transverse abdominus are like a girdle that runs around our waist, holding our organs into place as well as stabilizing our vertebrae. It doesn't necessarily move our vertebrae, but it does help to stabilize them. A pretty important job. The transverse abdominal is engaged primarily through exhalation which means that we have to consciously exhale and draw our belly button into our spine to engage the transverse abdominal. It also becomes quite active with coughing or vomiting but we don't want to make a habit of either of those so let's stick with the exercises that will be somewhat enjoyable.

POSTERIOR (back) CORE MUSCLES:

Erector Spinae - When we look at muscles that support a function like the six pack as it provides forward flexion, we can immediately look at the muscle that has to extend on the opposite side of the body to allow that to happen. That would be your erector spinae in this equation. Although the erector spinae is generally considered a part of the muscle groups of the back, I like to place it here as it is imperative for proper core stabilization. If we have week erectors, our other core muscles will not function properly. This is why we will train the core from all sides! Crunches as effective core training, are a thing of the deep past. Our erector spinae is actually comprised of 9 different spinal erectors and lateral flexors, each attaching at different point of the pelvis, rib cage, and vertebrae. It's primary movements are back extension and lateral flexion. When we have overactive spinal erectors, our abdominal contraction will be inhibited which can then cause a slew of different injuries and poor movement patterns. This is again why we want to address the core as a complete unit.

Gluteus - Oh the booty..... It took me too long to truly appreciate how important strong glutes can be for movement of ANY kind. Our gluteus muscle group has multiple muscles included which we will get more into once we cover the muscle of the legs in a couple of weeks. The muscles of the glutes are primarily responsible for hip extension, and abduction of the leg (bringing the leg away from the center of the body). Learning to engage your glutes properly can be life changing and as a generation that sits more than any generation that came before us, we have a major lack of strong glute contraction in our current generation.

Try out the following circuit to get that core activated and firing! This simple sequence can be used for all levels as an activation or warm up to your strength training, or as a standalone sequence to do mid day (perhaps between meetings) to get some core activation going to support your seated posture. 

Ab Activation Sequence:

  • 5x Roll Downs (Rectus Abdominus)
  • 5x Articulated Bridge (Transverse Abdominuns/Glutes/Erector Spinae)
  • 10x Seated Russian Twist (Internal + External Obliques)
  • 10x Bicycle Crunch (Internal + External Obliques)
  • 5x Bird Dogs (Erector Spinae, Glutes, Transverse Abdominus)
  • 10x Glute Bridge (Glutes, Erector Spinae,)
  • 10x Quadruped Leg Lift (Glutes)

Hit reply and let us know which ab exercise was the most challenging!

P.S. Looking for more nutrition and training support? Here are 3 ways we can help you: 

(1) LOSE 10 POUNDS → If you’re ready to permanently lose at least 10 pounds in as little as 8 weeks, then book a call with us. Our clients are still losing weight, even in a pandemic!

(2) WORKOUT AT HOME → no gym, limited equipment, no problem! The full-body workouts in our training app are designed to help you burn body fat all over, increase your metabolism, and build lean muscle mass.

 

(3) DE-STRESS → enjoy a 7-day FREE trial to our meditation and breath work group to start your mornings off on the right and set the tone for the day!

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