Manage episode 172014362 series 1148104
Waistline work is not about vanity. Although it will do more to improve your appearance than anything else you can do, the more important thing is that it will dramatically improve your health.
Having a lean, ripped midsection, from all viewing angles, is a premiere indicator of a healthy body. It means you will have a healthy, vibrant spine and back, the abdominal muscles are critical to support your interior organs and digestion, and the whole supporting musculature of a well-developed ab structure is protective of hernias, and even from blows to the body.
In fact, most of us do this unconsciously: we judge a person’s health and fitness mainly on their waistlines. It’s not that we do it purposely, it’s just that our subconscious mind, just as the instincts of an animal will do, can tell what is healthy and what is not. It would be crucial, this telltale sign, to tell an animal who would make a good mate, and by the same token who would make good prey- a creature that is weak and defenseless versus vibrant with health and vitality!
So- you want a strong, vibrant, health-aura promoting waist- how can you achieve it?
First, eat a paleo sort of diet- lowish carbs, very little sugar, no bread, pasta, cereals, or processed foods. That will take care of any fat that is coating your abs, (and the rest of your body). Really. And it actually works pretty quickly, too.
But the exercise is just as, and perhaps more important for your health! Forget crunches and suchlike nonsense- you want to work all of your core muscles, not isolate one little area. The exercises I recommend will surprise you, probably, since I have seen recommendations for some of the most complicated, ridiculous “ab” exercises, and I’m sure you have to. These are simple, straight-forward, and all you need:
Straight legged sit ups- do these on your living room floor. I lay down a yoga mat for all of my stuff, as I exercise first thing each morning. Lie flat, hands behind head, just as I hope you did in grade school. Curl upwards from the waist, and try to touch your elbows with each rep to your knees. Keep your legs straight out in front of you- this is key! It makes the exercise far harder, and so much more productive. Also, do not anchor your feet under anything- by lifting your upper body without having a lever propped beneath an anchor is crucial. This one exercise is so beneficial, that it is worth mastering. At first, you may only manage a few- that’s fine. Just keep adding reps slowly, eventually you will be able to crank out 30 or more. Do multiple sets, even if your sets are only 5!
Isometrics- Do these every single day! FLEX your entire body, starting with your calves and then entire legs, then upwards through your body all the way up to your neck. Flex as hard as you can, and hold for 5 seconds. Pretend you are Arnold in a bodybuilding competition! Relax, then repeat, and hold for 6 seconds. Relax, and then hold for 7 seconds. You are now done, and have not only flexed and toned your abs, but every single muscle in your body! This exercise is one to do religiously, and it can be done several times in the day. It not only works your entire body with not stress or injury, it also controls blood pressure. Really!
Planks- Side planks are the ones you want- the setups take care of all but the lateral obliques. Lie on your left side on the floor, and raise up on your left elbow. Pulse, up and down, with your hips for reps. This is much more effective than just holding for time. Lie on your right side, and do the same. I like to alternate with the ab roller, but that is an optional exercise.
Those are really all you need for rock hard, healthy, killer abs! Really. Of course, if you are doing lots of pushups as I recommend, those are also a wonderful ab exercise as well as an upper body one. Check out my ebook Perfectly Paleo Exercise for a concise explanation of proper, natural exercise such as almost no one is nowadays doing anymore. No gym, no equipment, and no injury- but very, very effective!
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