8 Pilates-inspired abdominal exercises
Summer is coming and the research on the most effective abdominal exercises is increasing. They are done primarily to get a flat stomach, complicit in the return of low-rise pants, but not only. “Strengthening the abdominal wall serves to support the back, especially helpful for people who suffer from lower back pain, lead a sedentary lifestyle and need to correct their posture, and to perform better in all high-impact activities that involve jumping and require running,” says Eleonora Pellegrin, Pilates teacher. Slimming the waist is not only a matter of aesthetics, but also of health. Visceral fat, which is concentrated around the waist, in excess promotes the production of free radicals and inflammatory substances that accelerate aging and increase the risk of developing various diseases over time.
We are made to be on the go
As psychologist and neuroscientist Andrea Bariselli explains in the podcast A wild spirit, “The human body, the metabolism, the muscles have to do what they were made to function properly, which is to be in motion. Form is closely related to function; if the activity of a tissue changes, its structure deteriorates. A simple example is muscle tissue: muscles must move to maintain their structure, when they stop contracting, they shrivel.All our tissues are chiseled to match our lifestyle and are shaped to meet the energy needs of our daily lives.We need our mitochondria . and heart to be active most of the time.” So exercise is a complex matter of wellness and lifestyle, and it is functional for our body to be healthy. Our biological system is calibrated to support intensive daily motor activity, as our ancestors did and which we perform moderately. To balance and provide mental and physical benefits, it is important to combine physical activity with a healthy diet.
8 abdominal exercises (derived from pilates)
“Ideally, you should be doing ab exercises for 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a week with an ad hoc workout,” says Eleonora.
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1. The Hundred
This exercise works all abdominal muscles, the rectus abdominis, obliques and transverse abdominis. Lying on back, arms extended to sides with palms facing the floor, head raised, legs raised inward tabletops or straight, the exercise involves jumping the arms up and down rhythmically, counting to 100, and letting each inhale and exhale last five seconds.
2. Stretch one leg
Single leg stretch is not a stretching exercise as the name suggests. From supine position, head up, right knee bent to chest (with hands on shin), left leg extended and lifted off the floor. Inverted leg position rhythmically, exhale and inhale every two changes.
3. Double leg stretch
Extending both legs allows deep work on the entire core. On your back, with your legs up tabletops, arms are extended to the sides of the torso and the lower back is attached to the floor. The exercise involves stretching the arms and legs so that they assume a V-shaped position with the body. Then bend the knees again and return to the plank position while also bringing the arms back down to the floor.
Exercise to train the oblique muscles of the abdominal wall. Lying, head up and shoulder blades straight I bring the right elbow to the left (opposite) knee bent, while the right leg is straightened and lifted. Change intersections and exhale each time the elbow is to the opposite side of the knee.
The “scissors” exercise works the entire core muscles. From the candlestick position, alternate the torso with the hands and alternate the position of the legs (which are tense) by cutting. The abdominal muscles should always be contracted tightly to avoid unloading weight on the neck.
This exercise is very intensive. It is performed from the supine position, with arms extended behind the head, legs extended on the floor or raised to 45 degrees. Then lift your legs and arms at the same time and hold the position by applying force with your abs. When you get into the position, rest the coccygeal part of the body, open the shoulders and chest and get into the J-turn with the pelvis.
7. Isometric High Shelf
The plank stimulates the entire anterior abdominal wall and involves maintaining a balanced position by contracting all muscles. High plank is the variation of handstand with arms outstretched.
8. Side Plank Hip Lift
Side plank with hip lift, is dedicated to the obliques, but strengthens the entire core and stabilizes the muscles. From the floor, on your side, with one elbow bent, lift your pelvis while contracting all of your abs so you don’t lose alignment and return to the floor.
This article first appeared on www.vogue.it
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