Abdominals and Lower Back

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Model: Lim Ee Lin // Apparel: Asics // Shoes: Asics // Venue: CHi Fitness @ PJ Trade Centre

It is everyone’s dream to have 6 packs abs but the most important fact of having a solid abs and strong lower back is for it to hold your torso upright when you run or going about your daily chores.

With the weighted abdominal machines, you should start with light weight just like any other muscle group if you are a beginner.

Also included in this final issue of strength training with machines is the common mistake everyone do on the treadmill and stepper machine, the two most popular cardio machines in gyms.

FACTS OF THE MONTH

Doing a thousand abs crunches will only strengthen your midsection but the visible six packs come from good diet and having very little fat in your body. And, overdoing your abs while neglecting your lower back will create muscle imbalance and lower back pain.

Benefit of Abdominals and Lowerback Machines

A strong abdominals with a balanced lower back strength gives you a good posture and avoid lower back pain in long runs.

Medical Clearance/Advice

Regardless of age, you should get a doctors clearance before embarking on the exercises shown here, especially if you are a smoker, have generic heart problems, high blood pressure or any serious injuries of past or present. Regardless of age, you should get a doctors clearance before embarking on the exercises shown here, especially if you are a smoker, have generic heart problems, high blood pressure or any serious injuries of past or present.  Chances of minor injuries and minor muscle pulls are possible from any form of exercises and extra care should be taken to understand the exercise shown here with proper warm up. If you are not sure of the exercises, please write to missionfit@yahoo.com

How to Start

If you have never done strength training before, you may feel soreness after the first session. It is normal and should subside in a few days. Take it really easy on your first attempt and increase the intensity gradually by adding more repetitions every other week.

Rules of Thumb

  • Intensity Always use the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion) from 1-10, one being the easiest and 10 being the hardest. Keep the scale at 5-7 on your first few sessions always and progress to 8 or max gradually as you get stronger. Focus on 8-12 repetitions (reps) to near fatigue of 3 sets per exercise for general fitness and increase to 15-25 reps to near fatigue to train on muscular endurance for running benefit after a few weeks.
  • Frequency Twice a week is a good start with some rest days in between strength training. You may do three sessions a week with a day of rest in between after a few weeks.
  • Caution Stay away from strength training 2-3 days to your key races so that your muscles are not sore and fresh for the race. Focus on stretching instead.

 


Lower Back Extension

Rest your hip on the support pad and slowly lower yourself, once you reach the bottom or where you are comfortable, raise/lift your body back to start by using your lower back. Exhale while you are lifting.

Mistake:

Lower back are delicate and should be done in controlled movement, don’t jerk up or move too fast. Don’t raise beyond the horizontal line of your body. The support pad should support the hip and not too low on your thighs or too high on stomach.

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