Ab workouts get a lot of publicity. We see it in ads for six pack abs to advertisements for that Summer swimsuit. But, strong abs come from hard work and they mean a lot more to your health than looking great at the beach.
Your abdominal muscles provide needed needed strength and support to your body. Ab workouts are one way to create a strong core and benefit your overall health.
The Knoxville YMCA is here to support you as you work to create a healthier body and life. If you are looking to add ab workouts to your fitness program, we’re here to help you reach your goals.
Why focus on abdominal muscles?
The muscles in your core are what links the upper and lower parts of your body. You use them every day and with most every physical action.
They literally are at work in everything from bending down to sitting to twisting and lifting.
If your core is weak, it can affect how the rest of your body is able to respond, reducing stability, strength and agility.
Benefits of ab workouts
Since you use your abs for so much in your daily life, strengthening them should be a priority in your exercise regimen. Here are a few benefits you can get from good ab workouts.
A healthier heart
Fat settles in your abdomen outside of your organs. By reducing this fat through ab workouts, you’ll reduce the risk of heart issues.
You abdominal muscles help you keep your balance, move and stand. Not only will a strong core help you be more agile, it can also help prevent falls.
Less fat, more muscle
More muscles in your core will help you burn more calories, which will decrease fat around your waist. Less fat contributes greatly to your overall health.
Good breathing is essential to your health, physical activity and sleep. A strong core will help your diaphragm function optimally and increase oxygen to your body.
Ab workouts strengthen your core, but they also stretch it. Achieving that will help your organs function better and improve digestion.
Increased sports performance
Strong abdominal muscles allow you to:
- Lift heavier weights
- Throw farther
- Swing harder
- Aim better
- Increase your energy and agility
It will help you excel at any sport or physical activity, from football to weightlifting to yoga.
Weakened abs can make you slouch. That can affect your spine, your breathing and other systems in your body.
Lower back pain plagues millions of Americans. Much of that might be prevented with a strong core. Often times, clinicians will prescribe core exercises as part of a treatment program.
Improved self image
A strengthened core will help you have a better physical profile, which can help you feel more confident.
If you decide to add ab workouts to your fitness program, you’ll find the support you need at the Y, including group exercise classes, equipment and personal training.
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