Ab Exercise – Core Safety

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,647
    Personal trainer Margie Weiss demonstrates how to practice core safety when doing ab workouts.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    Margie Weiss: I'm Margie Weiss. This is the safety segment of Simply Abs. Working your core is absolutely critical no matter whether you are 2-years-old or 97. but working it safely is the most critical thing to do because without having a safe position on all of these lifts and twists, you could injure your back, could injure your core muscles. So, we want to do is make you from the beginning know exactly what you want to do, so that a whole half hours worth of abs and you are going to feel them in the right way and not in the wrong way.

    First thing we are going to talk about is the head position. You want your head on the ground neutral. Notice that the neck is an extension of the back. So, you want it to always be in the same general curvature as you go up and down in say a crunch. So, what we want to do, you can put your fist right under your chin. If you can do a crunch, which is a basic lift and come down without having your chin touch your neck like this, this would be the proper way. Here is an improper and its very common.

    What she is doing now is working her neck muscles. Do that for a half hour you going to have sore neck. So, as she is going up and down, she is making sure that the neck and the head are stable, but they are not moving on their own. The movement of the head is a result of the core workout. There is also that her elbows are out to the side. She can't see them, if she had her elbows in; she would then tense to crunch her neck again. So, thats two reasons neck out, elbows out, keep the back nice and flat as you lift in lower. This way we take the weight and a concentration right to the core, which is where we wanted because this is Simply Abs. From there, we are moving the body. What is the core actually have to do? It shouldnt be called a sit up, really should be called a crunch down because what Jeremy is doing here now is as her chin rises her back is actually pressing downwards. If you put your hand underneath your back, you should feel the pressure of your back on your hand as the core rises. What you dont want to do is start a lift, an abs workout with your back in an arch like this, a lot of strain on your lower back, those muscles are not very strong, by pressing them down into the ground, youre actually strengthening them at the same time that you are strengthening the muscles in the front of the core. Moving down the body, at the hip area, you want to make sure that you are squeezing your glute really timely together and pressing them into the floor. Thats stabilizes you. Heels, shoulder with apart, with the legs, heels digging into the floor. This is going to stabilize the lower half of the body. Once we have got those positions, no matter whether you lift, twist, lift the legs, or lift the chest, you are going to get a safe workout and you can do it for a half hour.