I’m past the age that I want to show off my midriff. Yes, that’s me – hopefully showing that it is possible to get a toned tummy with hard work! This is pre-workout (no sweat!) and I just snapped the picture to show that it’s possible at any age to get the results you want if you work for it!
I was never a bikini girl, and the only 2-piece bathing suits I wore kept that part covered! But I still want a strong core. A flatter stomach would be nice too.
And, I’ve talked about it before but it’s true! A strong core means a stronger back! If you want less back pain, work on your core! Have you ever felt that twinge when you bent over and felt something in your back? Me too. Less now than I used to, thankfully. A few years ago I had spasms when my sciatica acted up. (I sound so old… Bursitis and sciatica…)
But I’ve been working to make my core stronger and it doesn’t take sit-ups or crunches! Professional trainer and dancer Jennifer Williams says that a toned midsection will improve your posture, relieve back pain (I can vouch for that!) and even help maximize toning of other parts of your body when you work out.
Here are five easy ways to work your abs all day for a strong core and a strong back!
Suck it in all day! Whenever you think about it, contract your abdominals, flex them, contract them – make them work! This will add so much strength to your core. Every so often, when I finish part of a task, I focus on pulling in my stomach. I do get distracted (SQUIRREL!) and sometimes let go, but then I re-focus and tighten.
Stand tall! Correcting your posture when you think about it also strengthens your core. Pull in your stomach, and feel yourself lifting up higher.
Sit up straight! We all tend to slouch when we’re sitting down. When you’re at your desk, focus on sitting up straight and pulling in your abs. Make sure your posture is erect and controlled. Pulling in your abdominal muscles gives them a workout when you’re not at the gym.
When you exercise, exhale sharply. You’ll feel your abdominals pulling in. Hold them there! On each exhale, think about pulling them in more. You’re not only working your abs more, your breathing during your workout is better, so your session will be more effective.
When you’re doing your abdominal exercises, focus on the deepest muscles. You may not be able to feel them, but they’re under the top layer of muscles and they’re the ones that will give you a flatter stomach! I’m focusing on those! Easier said than done – I still can’t feel those deep transverse muscles, and I’ve been trying to strengthen my core for years…
So, no matter what you’re doing, you can work your abs for a strong core and a stronger back!