If you are working on toning stomach muscles, here are a few things to think about.
- Not everyone is born with the same set of abdominal muscles.
- Toning muscles involves stretching as well as exercising.
- Swimming is the best single exercise for toning stomach muscles.
- It is easy to strain your back doing abdominal exercises
That’s right. Some of us simply don’t have a pyramidalis muscle. This means that no matter how hard you go for the washboard effect, you will not have the same number of bulges. You’ll get the six pack, but not the 8 pack.
Why are abdominal muscles different in some people? Doctors simply do not know. Consider that this will not just influence the all over number of toned muscles, but the lack of a pyramidalis will influence your ability to strengthen lower abdominals, as well.
Building exercises and toning exercises are not exactly the same thing. While you won’t get toned stomach muscles without a workout that isolates this muscle group, you won’t get the tone without doing a lot of stretching, as well.
People often neglect this as part of a routine. These are some of the easiest and most rewarding exercises to do. They are great for warm ups. As any athlete or aerobics instructor will tell you, they keep you from straining. Arm stretches, leg stretches, bending and twisting are all good ways to limber up before you hit the weights or machines.
A little Yoga added to your routine, with its exaggerated movements, can save hours of discomfort with torn or strained muscles, later.
The best addition to any routine that has focus on toning muscles is swimming. It is not only an all over good workout, with fantastic cardiovascular benefits, but it stretches and works those stomach muscles like no stationary exercise can. Almost every muscle in the body is used in swimming.
If you think it isn’t what you want or you don’t have time to add it to your routine, just look at those professional swimmers’ bodies. They all have long, lean torsos, with well defined abdominals and v shaped bodies. They got those bodies by swimming!
Not only is swimming really good for you, it won’t hurt you. Swimming is considered passive exercise. That means less strain on muscles and organs.
Risk of Injury:
Most crunches can be brutal on your back muscles, so don’t add more than 2 additional repetitions to your current routine at one time. That is repetitions and not sets. When you add a new set to your abs routine, do it by adding 2 reps until you fill it out.
If your back hurts, use a brace, or switch to just ball exercises. You don’t have to stop completely, just modify. Check to see that you are doing your exercises correctly, as this can lead to strain faster than anything.
A little common sense and effort will keep you toning stomach muscles till they look great. Just keep these 4 important things in mind.