Strengthen and Tighten Your Abdominal Muscles With This Trainer's 4-Week Program
If your goal is to strengthen and tighten your abdominal muscles, you've come to the right place. I'm a NASM certified personal trainer, and a request I often get is to help people lower their body fat percentage, especially the fat around their stomach. To be 100 percent transparent: I'm not a fan of spot reduction, and the thought of it makes me cringe a little bit, because in my opinion, it's a waste of time. Instead, I like to teach my clients (and anyone who reads my work) about training for performance, because it will improve how your body looks overall and, most importantly, how it functions.
That said, instead of just helping clients get a six-pack, my goal is to teach my clients and all of you about the true importance of their abdominal muscles. Our abs consist of four muscles: the external obliques, internal obliques, transversus abdominis, and rectus abdominis muscles.
These muscles form a wall that protects your internal organs, and this muscular wall also helps support the muscles of the spine, allowing you to maintain an erect posture. The obliques aid in rotation and flexion of the torso (twisting and bending), the transversus abdominis muscle stabilizes your lower back (aka lumbar spine) and pelvis, and the rectus abdominis (aka the six-pack) muscle helps with your posture and is often activated with exercises like toe touches. The group of ab muscles are essential for functions like breathing, sneezing, coughing, bowel movements, and giving birth — not just for looking good.
Now back to the six-pack. I'm not guaranteeing that you'll have a six-pack at the end of four weeks, but you can expect to have a stronger core once you've completed the program. As I mentioned before, it's important to train your entire body, not just a specific area, which is why I recommend doing this plan along with strength workouts. Do the core portion first to activate your abs, then complete the strength portion of your workout. You'll also want to ensure that you're fueling your body with clean foods — foods that will give you energy and help you recover. Doing these two things consistently (the keyword here is "consistently"!) will have you feeling and looking your best.
For the exercises that involve a weight or medicine ball, begin with a 7.5- to 10-pound weight/ball. If you find that this is too easy or too heavy, adjust the weight accordingly.
Get ready to put in work with the four-week program ahead.