As a healthy individual I am displeased; no angry, at my no-results-training.
I am overweight, especially around my midsection, even though every night I faithfully perform 50 full situps and 50 leg raises.
But my abdominal muscles just refuse to show. Help me please.
I look forward to reading your new book when it is published, but for now please answer this letter through your regular column in MuscleMag International. I never miss an issue.
First, it should be understood that full situps and leg raises are not abdominal exercises. These movements work the Psoas Major and Psoas Minor group.
The Quadratus Lumborum are also utilized. The Psoas muscles connect the upper femur bones of the leg to the lower lumbar region of the spine. This large muscle pulls the upper body to a sitting position, or pulls the legs up, as in the leg raise.
You are also employing the Sartorius in the leg raise. The stomach muscles of Rectus Abdominus attach to the sternum and the pelvic basin and the junction of these two points.
To illustrate, lie flat on your back, roll your shoulders and head forward. At the same time raise your pelvis upward and back towards your chest. This movement is basically the only function of the abdominals.
To isolate the Psoas muscles so that you don’t inadvertently pull with them, spread your knees and pull your heels up towards your buttocks. Now, in this frog position place your hands behind your neck and perform ¼ sit ups. Cramp the Rectus at the top of the movement by performing one burn.
Treat your abdominals like any other muscle. Do no more sets and reps than you would on biceps, or triceps, etc. Add weight by holding a plate behind your head.
Let’s take first things first: get rid of all the fat you can before you start your abdominal program. Otherwise, you will be disappointed because abdominal exercise does not reduce fat. Only fast training where heart and lungs are involved will have any effect on your metabolic rate. And you must eat less at each meal.
Another aspect of which no one is aware, is that abdominal work should never be done by a beginner in weight training. Any abdominal exercises involve the Solar Plexus.
This is the area sometimes known as the “second brain” and direct abdominal exercises can stunt muscle growth in other areas, especially where the starting bodybuilder is concerned.