We all want great ABS! Don’t get me wrong…the ABS curl, or “crunch”, is a great exercise for toning your ABS. However, most of us are doing them wrong and may not see the “slimness” we are looking for.
Strong ABS are key to good posture—and good posture is sexy. More importantly, strong ABS are key to good performance. For a little kinesiology here: our ABS are the key muscle group of our CORE–aligning and stabilizing our torso so we can move with ease and do our favorite activities like skiing. Also, I like to point out the mind/body/spirit benefits of fitness. So here it is–strengthening our Core has the psychological effect of strengthening our self-esteem…how do I know? Slouch for a moment and notice how you feel. Now stand tall in good posture and see if you notice a positive difference.
So how to get flatter ABS, you ask? When doing ABS curls most people try to see how far up off the floor they can bring their head and shoulders and also try to impress themselves with 100s of reps. The problem is the faster you curl and the higher up you come, the more likely your ABS push out. They can become a bit rounded as result. Rather than trying to come up high in a curl it is better to focus on how far down, or how flat, you can press your ABS-Wall* toward your spine while you curl. I call this technique Activated Position (AP-see below). The key is to move through the curl slowly and fluidly and not to come up any higher once you see your ABS begin to push out. When done properly, you should fatigue much, much faster. With the right form and technique it only takes a few sets of reps to get the best conditioning.