Functional Ab Exercise

 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “functional training” tossed around at the gym or used by your personal trainer. Chances are you aren’t really sure what it means. Functional training is simply doing exercises that are similar to real life movements. For example, when you climb stairs, you use your legs, thighs, hips, core, back, arms and abs. Some stair stepper machines don’t work your arms or work only your lower body. Functional training uses more natural movements that simulate real life activities. Your muscles work in planes of motion that are normal. Many injuries occur when you exercise beyond the normal planes of movement. Functional training helps eliminate this risk. Functional training also strengthens your muscles, which makes every day activities easier. Your abdominal muscles stabilize your spine and hips, as well as assist in maintaining balance and lifting. A weak core impacts your overall level of fitness and endurance. Strengthen your core to be stronger, enjoy better balance and avoid back pain.

One of the best exercises to strengthen your core muscles as well as your back muscles for a stable spine is the plank. Your abdominal muscles help to stabilize your spine. The plank exercises is function in that you aren’t crunching or twisting in an unnatural manner. Your aren’t actually moving at all. The plank exercise trains your abdominal muscles, so that you develop stability and support for your spine. Keep your spine in a neutral, or straight, position when doing planks and squeeze your abdominal muscles to help keep your spine straight. Make a straight line with your body from the top of your head to your heels and hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds. It’s okay if you can hold a plank for only a few seconds in the beginning. Add 5 seconds to your hold each time you do planks and soon you will be holding the position for 30 seconds or longer without sagging your back.

 

Advertisements

About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: