The abdomen contains the muscles that most beginners struggle with because they take a long time to develop and need a low level of body fat to be seen. The abdominal muscle group consists of three main muscles:
1. Rectus abdominis – commonly known as the abs, this is a large flat muscle wall that runs from the lower chest to the pubic bone.
2. Obliquus abdominis – commonly known as the obliques, this muscle runs diagonally along the side of the mid-section from the lower ribcage to the pubic area. The internal obliques lie underneath the external obliques.
3. Transversus abdominis – this is a thin strip of muscle that runs horizontally across the abdomen.
You can target these muscles effectively by performing the following exercises:
1. Crunches – 3 sets of 15-20 reps. This exercise will work the upper abs.
2. Pelvic tilts – 3 sets of 15-20 reps.This exercise will target the lower portion of the abdomen below the navel.
3. Side bends – 3 sets of 15-20 reps. This exercise will work the obliques.
As with all exercises you need to take care in scheduling specific body parts. To begin with you should incorporate your abdominal exercises into a program similar to the one suggested below:
Day 1: Biceps, Back, Abs
Day 2: Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs
Day 3: Quads, Forearms, Calves
Day 4: Triceps, Chest, Abs
For the first couple of weeks complete one set but then add one set each week to a maximum of three. At the end of three months you will be ready to move on to more intensive intermediate level exercises.
Body building or even just showing up at a gym can be intimidating for a beginner. Provided below are some tips that can help you get into body building, and into your first fitness club:
Seek Advice – There is no sense trying to learn it everything yourself when starting out in Body Building. Take some time to talk to others who are more experienced, and learn what you can from them. When using new equipment or a new exercise it is also always a good idea to talk to someone, to ensure that you don’t get injured.
When working out for the first time it is important to ensure that your body is getting the rest that it needs. This will usually be more than what you were taking before!
Diet – Just as important as sleep it’s important to ensure that your diet is keeping up with your exercise. This doesn’t just mean eating more, it means eating better. Think of your body as an automobile. The more you drive a car, the more fuel you need to put into it. You need to ensure that you are putting the proper fuel in your car as well, to ensure that it will drive consistently and perform to spec.
Set Goals – Set goals that are attainable. Out of reach goals only set yourself up for failure. Take it one step at a time, and enjoy/celebrate your success all the way up the ladder. Whether it’s another 10pounds to your bench press or just making it to the gym 3 days a week, you need to set goals, otherwise it’s easy for your workout to get pushed aside when life gets busy.
Visualize Success – It’s important to see yourself succeeding before you even begin working out. This winning mind set will take you to new levels in your training and will set yourself up for success!
Be smart about getting into body building to ensure that you will achieve success both mentally and physically.
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