Multi Dimensional Abdominal Training

In some of my previous articles, I’ve written about why you need to change your ab programs frequently to avoid muscle adaptation, repetitive pattern overload injury, muscle imbalance and of course, boredom!. But those aren’t the only reasons you need exercise variety.

The functions of the abdominal and core muscles are so numerous, so varied and so complex, that entire textbooks have been written on functional anatomy and kinesiology without even scratching the surface.

What this means to you is that since there are more actions and functions of the abs and core than any other body part, there are more possible exercises you can do for abs and core than for any other body part.

With literally hundreds of ab and core exercises to choose from, the irony is that most people are STILL doing workouts that revolve around only a few exercises such as crunches, sit ups, leg raises and maybe some ab machines…

This is what I call “training in only one dimension”… and that can spell “trouble”

One dimensional training leads not just to progress plateaus and muscle adaptation, but also failure to engage all the functions of the core region, to strengthen thoroughly in every plane of movement, or to develop the proper neurological link to the muscle.

The end result is muscle weakness, muscle imbalances, injuries, a distended lower abdominal area and or and a not so impressive midsection.

A proper program progression allows you to train every muscle in your core region in every “dimension.” These dimensions include:

Flexion Extension Stabilization Rotation Side flexion Prone Supine Seated Standing Quadruped Stable Unstable

One way to enter a whole new “dimension” of abdominal training is to start using a Swiss ball – also known as a stability ball because a ball is an unstable surface. Training on an unstable surface flips the switch on your nervous system and activates stabilizing muscles that are weak in most people due to sitting at a desk all day long and or doing too much machine training.

I realize if you’re not familiar with Swiss ball and core training, that some of these exercises may look unusual or even “weird” at first.

By expanding your arsenal of ab and core exercises and working them in every capacity and function for which they were designed, you will…

* Increase your strength
* Decrease the odds of ever having back pain
* Improve sports performance
* Avoid plateaus and muscle adaptation…

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