News

Healthy cane column: Find ‘The Burn:’ tips for taking your stomach from flab to ab

What is it that every gym goer wants more than anything for Christmas? World peace? Economic recovery? No, my friends, it’s something more important than any of those things.
They want a trophy to wear under their skin with pride and pomp; the visual proof of ultimate fitness. I’m talking about a shredded midsection capable of grating parmesan of course! If you walk into any gym at any time, the mat area is the most populated. A sea of people contorting in ways you never thought possible as they try desperately to find “the burn” that lets them know their efforts are not in vain. Every day they are at the gym, abs are part of their routines, a part of their lives.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about the abs baby, but there are some considerations that should be shared to make your quest much more fruitful. First, how will you be able to see those brand new ripples with a blanket of fat conveniently stored between your muscles and skin?
If you have a little extra meat around the midsection, then you should be focusing more on cardio. Increase the aerobic component of your workout until you reach a leanness that permits you to see your hard work.
Second, people like to say they want a “flat stomach.” What happens when you exercise any muscle? It gets bigger! This is called hypertrophy, and how do you propose to get your abs more defined without them getting bigger and bulging out more?  Your best bet is to get rid of the weights you are using to make your abs workout more difficult, and instead just focus on doing more repetitions and hitting them from more angles. This will serve two purposes: you will actually burn more calories, making you leaner, and you will avoid the bulking you see when using heavy weights.
So remember, if you want to trade in that keg for a six-pack, then hit the treadmill and get creative on the mat using your body weight as resistance.

Extra Tip: When performing straight leg lifts while lying on your back, make sure your lower back stays on the mat and that you maintain a slight bend in the knees. This puts the emphasis on the abdominals and not the hip flexors.

Jeremy Albelda is a senior exercise physiology major and a personal trainer. E-mail health questions to him at jalbelda@themiamihurricane.com.

February 6, 2010

Reporters

Jeremy Albelda

Contributing News Writer


29 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Healthy cane column: Find ‘The Burn:’ tips for taking your stomach from flab to ab”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

New Multi-State Institute Focuses on Reducing Damage from Severe Storms ...

Eighteen Hurricane student-athletes graduated from four schools and colleges at the University of Mi ...

Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem's incredible career earned her a place ...

Check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Members from the Miami track and field team spent the afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami ...

UM administrators, coaches and alums took part in yesterday's allCanes Holiday Shopping Spree f ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.