The hot topic of this month is staying diligent and focused on your toned, or soon-to-be toned, abdominals. Fitness experts understand how easy it is to succumb to temptations everywhere you go. Whether you are an advanced gym-attendee or considering starting your New Year’s resolutions before 2014, knowing where to stomach exercises and proper equipment on the gym floor is beneficial knowledge for you.

Ask your primary physician about any exercise you are considering doing to ensure there are not areas you need to avoid, how exercise will affect any conditions you currently have and for advice in what is primary for you to start with.

Additionally, you need to be aware of your body before jumping into any type of exercise, especially abdominal exercises, because your abdominal area is considered your core. The centralized area from above your pelvic bone and just under your pectoral muscles, also known as the chest, is your abdominal core. It consists of your upper abs (above your navel), lower abs (below your navel to your pelvic bone), transverse abs (internal muscles that support your spine and pull in your navel area) and oblique (side) muscles.

Breathing is essential to any type of weight-assisted exercise including body resistance. Fitness experts have analyzed the best way to breathe during any type of strength exercise. Their recommendation is to breathe out during the most strenuous part of the exercise and breathe in when returning back to starting position because this action gives you the best oxygen intake for the exercise. Oxygen is essential to blood flow in your muscles. Your muscles are what give you a toned body look.

Not all selectorized strength machines, or assisted strength machines, are considered easy for users, but the one featured here by Hammer Strength features 2-D pictures to instruct you on its use. This machine allows the user to perform an upper body crunch for the upper abdominal muscles, while pulling the legs up at the same time to work the lower abdominal region. This machine also has the option to include up to 150 pounds in addition to your own body resistance.

  1. Adjust the seat, so your feet are directly underneath the footpad. Your shins will press against the footpad
  2. Move the weight pin to your desired additional weight to pull. Beginners: let the pin hang un-connected to any weight
  3. Raise your arms in an L-shaped position to where your elbows are bent facing forward, and your hands grip the two long bars above your head
  4. Using a crunching motion, curl your shoulders down towards your waist while pulling up your knees at the same time. Breathe out as you do this movement and inhale as you return to the beginning position.
  5. Adjust your weight and seat as necessary for comfort and abdominal engagement. You want to feel the contraction within your abdominal core
  6. Focus on also pulling in your abdominals for a deeper contraction of your abs as you breathe out. Extra Burn Tip: Do 20 repetitions at the lowest weight or lack of weight. Increase your weight to the next option and try 10 repetitions. Finalize your exercise with the next weight increment with five repetitions.

Other selectorized strength machines you could use to engage your core are torso rotation and back extension. Consult the 2-D pictures on the machines for instructions and form. You can also ask a trainer to watch you to ensure you are using the machine properly. Take this week to try and master this and other selectorized strength machines such as the assisted abdominal crunch or back extension. Next week we will talk about advanced abdominal exercises using body resistance with frame support.

If you have any questions about any equipment for stomach exercises that will help engage your abdominal core and assist you in toning it, you can speak with any Advanced Exercise Equipment associate. We are well-trained and knowledgeable about our products!

Advanced Exercise carries a wide variety of exercise equipment and accessories to help people tone up or maintain their current physique. Our experts can meet the needs of any interested individual desiring to create a personalized gym space. Our product selection is sure to impress, and complimentary gym design tops off your experience with Advanced Exercise!