- Ab Mat
- Eating healthy or losing weight is based on knowing the right number of calories for you. Determine how many calories you should be eating.
- Strong abs and back are keep to preventing and treating most types of back pain.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 8 out of 10 people will have significant back pain at some point in life — and I think this is an understatement.
You may have heard of the theory that humans were not made for walking upright. From a pure bony, anatomical standpoint, this may be true. However, humans are blessed with a torso that is full of abdominal and back muscles that are meant to support the spine to a greater extent than bone alone. The problem lies in the fact that many of us have weak abdominal and back muscles resulting in poor core strength. Therefore, our bony spine has to take up the slack of bearing the weight of more than half of your body. The result — wear and tear of the bones, disks and ligaments of the spinal column. Not only can the stress on these bones cause pain, but abnormal bone growth can push on nerves in the spinal column and as they exit the spinal column, which can result in leg pain and weakness. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove bone, ligaments or disc material from the spine to relieve nerve compression. And trust me, surgery is no joke. Once you get to this point, it is difficult to be pain free for the rest of your life. In a sense, there is nothing more perfect than a healthy back because of strong core muscles. Once muscles become weak, your back is headed down the path of chronic pain and dysfunction. Therefore, focus on frequently strengthening your core muscles to take the first step in preventing long-term problems.
Today, I want to teach you one of my favorite and most efficient ab circuit workout routines that will keep all of your core and back muscles strong.
Focused Abs, Core and Back Workout Routine
1. Jog in Place
As you now know the importance of a good warm up…
Warm up for 2 minutes.
Perform each exercise for 90 seconds. Finish all of the exercises, take a one-minute break, and then repeat. If you are using a heavy weight to build muscle, move at a slower pace. If you are using a lighter weight, you may go at a faster pace to build endurance.
2. Wood Chop
Talkin’ about working out most of the muscles in your body all in one exercise… Although this workout routine is focused on on your core, it won’t hurt to squeeze a couple of other key muscles into this exercise. This exercise works you shoulders, triceps, biceps, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core muscles.
Do 45 seconds on each side.
3. Ab Planks
Now let’s put some more focus on our core, while again, exercising some of the other muscles in your body. Your goal here is to hold the Ab Plank for as long as you can during this 90 second period. Take a break if you need to, but make it minimal. This exercise works your abdominal muscles, back muscles, lower leg muscles, triceps.
Be the superhero you are with one of the best exercises for your back! Specifically, this exercise will help to improve your posture, which will ultimately help to improve the overall health of your spine. Similar to the Ab Plank, you want to try to hold this for the full 90 seconds. If you have to break — no problem. Just keep it to a minimum. This exercise works your glutes, hamstrings, back muscles.
5. Ab Twist
Okay! Now it’s time to throw a bit of motion into this workout routine. With the Ab Plank and Superman exercise, we focused on isometric contractions, which means you work muscles without moving them. Isometric contractions should be thrown into your workouts every now and then to help to improve the endurance of your muscles. Now, we will focus on improving the strength of the muscles in your core that are responsible for twisting. You may want to try this exercise without weights, but if your core is relatively strong, I recommend starting out with a 5 pound weight and increasing it as you improve. Again, I want you twisting for the full 90 seconds without taking a break. This exercise works your abdominal muscles, back muscles.
Finish off this circuit with one final isometric exercise, the Pilates Crunch 45 Degree Hold! The key to going the full 90 second distance with this exercise is to make sure that you breathe! Nice deep breaths, in and out, will help you hold this pilates pose longer because you will be constantly delivering much needed oxygen to your muscles. 90 seconds is your goal! This exercise works your abdominal muscles, back muscles.