How To Know If My Deep Abdominal Muscles Are Working

 

We do a lot of deep abdominal work in my programming. One of the biggest questions I get ask is, "How do I know if my lower core muscles are working?"

It's easy to tell if you top abdominals (rectus abdominis, or your six pack) is working because you can feel it, and sometimes see it flex. However, the core muscles in your lower abdomen are a little trickier. 

The deep core muscles work to stabilize the spine and the pelvis, so you have healthy hips and an aligned low back. When they don't fire properly, your superficial core muscles can take over, and you may also experience low back pain and tightness.

This video explains what to look for and feel when you are working to improve the strength, stability, and activation of your lower core muscles. Look for for what is known as doming or bread-loafing. This is when you initiate a core exercise and your belly turns into a dome. 

You want your belly to flatten when you perform core exercises. I walk you through different...

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Ankle Weights To The Rescue: Two Moves That Build Glutes And Core With Ankle Weights

You've probably seen plenty of fitness personalities showing off these two ankleweight moves. However, many of them fail to stress the importance of core bracing, posture, and positioning when you perform the exercise. Take a close look at my demonstrations below to make sure that you are getting the most out of these glute and core strengthening gems. If adding weight is too challenging, then use bodyweight only until you master the moves. Your glutes and core will thank you.

Rainbow hip extension

When in a quadruped (all fours) position, it’s important to work on lumbopelvic control and core stability.

Keep the spine neutral and core braced so your hips stay aligned. Nothing should move other than your leg. No tail wagging allowed.

Avoid arching the back or swaying the hips side to side.

With any exercise, if it’s easy you’re likely doing it wrong. Control is key. Posture and positioning is key. Your core should be taxed from working just as hard as your glutes....

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