-- Neglected muscles , unbalanced bodies ! Part 3 - The Lower Abdominal Muscles

In the earlier parts we dealt with the most neglected muscles - the hamstrings and the glutes . This time let us consider the third most neglected muscle group of the body the Lower Abdominals .

The lower abdominals are amongst the most misunderstood muscles of the body . This is so as the protruding tummy is seen by all and it inflates around the belly button and majorly in the pubic area. So we have the talk of training or restraining our lower abdominal muscles . Actually no such separate muscles exist !

The two muscle groups which make up the stomach coating are rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominus. Both start at the rib cage and end at the pubis bone . The six pack stomach look is that of the rectus abdominus while the love handles are fats stored on and near the transverse abdominis .

The main function of these muscles is to contain the stomach organs .

Any area of the body which is perceived by the body as devoid of movement is a safe game for fat storage and abdominal muscles fit this description to the tee. In sedentary lifestyle the stomach muscles have nothing to do . Imagine a computer operator hunched over his keyboard in a bucket chair . His abdominal muscles are getting a nice cushion from below and are getting pressed from above and they are doing nothing !

The basic reason that we keep alluding to the lower abdominal muscles is that with our sedentary lifestyle , over eating , less exercise , these muscles begin to sag , like a filled potato sack does . The sagging is more visible on the lower side , it also leads to increase in the waist size , a measure which we use frequently to buy clothes , thus bringing back the painful memories . For the amateurs who join a gym routine , the number one enemy to tame is the so called lower abdominal muscles !

These people go in for countless sit ups with a vengeance. Irony of the situation is that sit ups ( most popular abdominal exercise ) have miniscule effect on the abdominal muscles . The maximum effort during sit ups is reserved for the lower back muscles . Just think about it . When the abdominal muscles sag and put on fat , which muscles get loaded the most ? The lower back muscles as they have to support the spine and the added weight of swollen abdominal muscles . And then who do we drag into the exercise to set things right ? The lower back muscles !

We have to have two pronged strategy to help the abdominal muscles . One is reduction in total fat storage all over the body . This can mainly be achieved by dietary control . The second part is doing exercises which make the abdominal muscles work . Three best exercises for this purpose are

1. Deep and Rapid breathing

Sit comfortably , preferably cross legged on floor . Inhale and notice your stomach blowing up . Exhale deeply , feel the stomach reaching right upto the back . Do this rapidly ten times . You will feel your abdominal muscles aching . Do this regularly to tone up the abdominal muscles .

2.Dr. Morrison's Primordial Walk -

The primordial walk is walking on hands and feet (not hand and knees). Look in front not down when you walk . Do this walk on plain , smooth surface or grass . In the beginning you will get tired within two minutes . Over a period of time you will learn your own rhythm and will be able to continue this exercise upto five minutes . Besides strengthening glutes this exercise has many other advantages .

3. Goosestepping walk -

The goose step is a special marching step performed on formal military parades and other ceremonies. While marching in parade formation, troops swing their legs in unison high off the ground, while keeping their knees locked. You walk straight . Every time you take a stride you lift your leg as high as you can without bending the knee . Keep it down . Repeat with the other leg . Initially even if you walk ten steps you will feel tired .

Take the test : One indication of the condition of the abdominal muscles is your waistline . Do these exercises for three weeks and check your waistline . You will be surprised to see the substantial reduction .

Author's Bio: 

Anand K. Ghurye is a Mumbai based Holistic Management Consultant and Growth and Development trainer. Simplifying work , enriching life and energising relationships are his major focus areas . He hosts group programs and also takes part in individual counselling .

He actively promotes application of Ancient Wisdom and Synectics to day to day life .He can be reached at anand.ghurye@gmail.com