If you want to cut six relief cubes, try to avoid these mistakes during the days of training the press!
Author: Bill Geiger
Twists for the press may seem like a simple movement. It's clear, if everything was so simple, everyone would have six clear cubes. On the road between approaches to twisting and relief torso, much can go wrong.
Many traps lie in wait for you in the kitchen. Instead of emphasizing your waist, they cover the press with a thick layer of fat. But much can get out of hand and during the training of abdominal muscles.
We have identified nine things that are not the place in the training press. Before you start working on bugs, let's say that you do not need a special "day for the press". You can get off the beaten path by training abdominal muscles every day, twice a week or in any other mode.
Of course, the complete disregard for the press training is the most blatant mistake you can make!
1. Do not consider the press a single muscle
Six cubes can be your cherished goal, but you need to know about all the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall. The first straight abdominal muscle is a wide and thin layer that stretches from the sternum to the pelvic bones. It performs two main functions: bending the trunk forward and lifting the pelvis.
Skew muscles, both internal and external, pass on both sides of the trunk. External oblique – the most distant muscle from the middle line. Its fibers go diagonally from the lower ribs to the anterior part of the hip bone. It participates in flexing the trunk. It also works during rotation and lateral bending of the trunk.
Next comes the transverse abdominal muscle – the deepest of the muscles of the press. It passes under the rectus muscle. This muscle is involved in the tension of the abdominal wall, for example, when you strain your stomach during the execution of the bar. Since it is not visible, many sets of exercises bypass it, which is a mistake.
Understanding which muscles form the abdominal press, and how they work, you can better plan your workouts and focus on your strengths and weaknesses. Take at least a straight muscle. Formally, this is one muscle, but you can shift the focus to any of its fragments – the upper or lower section – by adjusting the technique of the exercise. (Note, we did not say that you can "isolate" some part of it.)
To work mainly on the upper section of the rectus, fix the lower part of the body and twist the top of the trunk, pulling the chest to the pelvis. A good example of an exercise on the upper abdomen is twisting on the block, during which the lower part of the body remains stationary. To purposefully practice the lower area, proceed exactly the opposite: the top of the body stabilizes, and you raise your legs, pulling the pelvis up. A good example is lifting the legs in the vise.
Some exercises for the press allow you to cut the muscle along the entire length. For example, twists in which the chest and pelvis move towards each other. The movement successfully works both the lower and upper press.
In exercises for oblique muscles, you turn, rotate the body or work in the lateral plane, as during inclines to the side with dumbbells.
2. Do not be afraid to add burdens
We can choose from several dozen exercises for the press. A big plus: many of them can be performed at home without having to go to the gym, and they do not require any special equipment.
Minus? As training increases, you will be able to do more repetitions or shorten rest between approaches, but in movements with body weight there is no real possibility to raise the load. That's why we recommend you bet on exercises with weights. When you get stronger, it's easier to add a plate in the cargo stack and keep the pace of progress.
Although in the muscles of the abdomen the percentage of slow-contracting muscle fibers is higher than in other groups of skeletal muscles, the rapidly-contracting fibers make up almost half of the muscles of your press. In many exercises with body weight, you can make a huge number of repetitions, but in terms of stimulating fast-cutting fibers, there will be no use from them. Moreover, slow fibers that have greater endurance also do not respond to such stimuli with further growth. Instead, their efficiency in aerobic exercise is increased.
The most difficult approaches with low and medium repetitions are ideally suited for the growth of fast fibers with a large growth potential. Using additional resistance in exercises with no more than 8-12 repetitions will help create bricks that make up six cubes on the abdomen. In this respect, training of the abdomen differs little from working with other muscle groups.
Use flexions on the blocks and in the simulators, and relatively lightweight exercises with body weight leave on the end of the workout to cause real burning sensation in the muscles.
3. Do not get used to press training
Staying in the comfort zone is your worst enemy. This applies to the training of the press and any other part of the body. In addition to increasing weights to increase the overload of the target muscle, you can also increase the number of repetitions or shorten the rest intervals between approaches.
Progression in progression is as important for press training as it is for any other part of the body. As your muscles adapt to training stimuli, you need to systematically increase the load in order to continue to make progress. This is a progressive part of progressive overload.
If your press complex is based on exercises with 3 sets for 20 repetitions, and you do the same monotonous work on each workout, it's time to raise bets and deliberately complicate your life. As soon as you become stronger and perform more repetitions in each exercise, lift the load. Try to always do more than you did before.
Too many trainees erroneously keep their back straight while performing twists on the block, an incline bench and other exercises. Smooth back – echoes of mastering the proper traction technique in the slope, deadlift, squats and dumbbell lifts to the sides in slope.
But judge for yourself: by isometrically cutting the muscles of the waist to keep your back straight, you can not actively contract the abdominal muscles, because they are antagonists of the muscles of the lower back. Consequently, flat back prevents the abdominal muscles from contracting.
During the training of the press, you need to forget that under other circumstances it is a very useful habit. Keeping (fixing) the back flat or with a slight deflection in the lower back, you inhibit the development of abdominal muscles. People who keep their backs straight, end up bending in the hips, not at the waist. Only bending at the waist, you can fully cut the straight muscle; and the muscles of the lower back at this time are stretched when the lower back is rounded.
Imagine that you deliberately twist the spine in a concentric phase of motion, and then unwind in an eccentric phase of the exercise on the press. This will help to better focus on muscle development.
5. Never rest between repetitions
If you train on a block or in a simulator, never let the plates "land" between repetitions. When the load reaches the bottom point, all your efforts, directed against the action of gravity throughout the entire movement, instantly evaporate. This is called the "stretch reflex". When the load lands on the stack, the tension in the muscles disappears, and this allows them to get a moment to rest.
All this is easy to see in the simulators, but less obvious in many exercises for the press, especially with its own weight. In these exercises, you often lie on your back. During the movement, as a rule, you just need to get up and tear off the shoulder blades from the gym mat. Too often, however, the practitioner fully returns to the starting position. This allows you to start the next repetition from the rest position.
To keep the target muscles in tension throughout the whole approach, you need to clearly understand when the amplitude of motion is too increased and several "rest" points are created. In fully extended position, you still need to feel the tension in the muscles, so as not to start repetition from any rest position.
6. Never fly through repetitions
An inexperienced trainer often performs an approach in order to complete the maximum possible number of repetitions, and moreover he tries to do it as quickly as possible. The number of repetitions should not become an end in itself; Instead, you should monitor the quality of repetitions and completely exhaust the muscles of the press. Haste in the approach opens the gate to an additional impulse, which is equivalent to removing some of the load from the abdominal muscles.
Qualitative repetition is a repetition that begins with a strain in the muscles (see the fifth point). The target muscle, one or the other end of the rectus abdominis muscle, is worked through the entire range of motion. To ensure that the pulse is kept to a minimum, hold the top position (peak of contractions) on the account and consciously squeeze the abdominal muscles.
Switch attention from the number of repetitions to their quality. In the end, you will be able to do less repetitions, but the muscles will have to work with more impact, and this is what we are trying to achieve.
7. Never connect hip flexors during a workout
You probably heard about this before, but let's figure out what is going on. Hip flexors are the muscles of the upper part of the femoral region that are attached just below the pelvis, while the rectus abdominis is attached above the pelvis. Many people mistakenly train hip flexors, thinking they are doing exercises for the lower press. But this is not the same thing.
Hang on the crossbar and keep the body straight. Now lift your legs to 60 degrees. Note that the lower back is still flat – it does not even begin to round off. This is a sign that the bottom press has not yet turned on; hip flexors work because they are responsible for lifting your legs (hip flexion).
Now keep raising your legs far beyond the point at which your hips are parallel to the floor – as high as you can. You will notice that the lower back begins to round up as the pelvis rolls upward. This is a very important difference.
Simple lifting of the legs does not guarantee activation of the lower press, until you overcome the point at which the lower back begins to round off. Again, when the lower part of the spine begins to twist, this is a sign of a reduction in the abdominal muscles.
Exercises with body weight always have a place in the training complex, especially towards the end of the workout, or when you are at home. In many of them you hold your hands behind your head as a means of support. But too often the trainees pull their heads forward to facilitate movement. This does not give anything, except pulling the chin in the chest.
By pulling your head, you will not work the press, but risk jeopardizing the position of the spine. During the exercise, the back should be aligned from the lumbar region to the cervical spine. Attraction of the head only puts your neck in a vulnerable position.
In exercises with own weight, the risk of injury is small, but one must remember the importance of the correct position of the back and the whole body. Let's just say, this is a lesson that no one would like to learn during a shrag with a hundred kilograms in his hands.
9. Do not try to compensate for bad food
Some think that if they break a diet – say, they sentence a chocolate cake for dessert – they can easily compensate for this by a large number of repetitions, and the exercises will wash off excess calories. If everything was so simple.
Let's assume for a second that the cake is delayed by 500 calories, and these calories do not fit into your daily norm. This means that you have to do exercises "for 500 calories," only to make extra calories fall into fat tissue. This can not be done by twisting, because abdominal muscles are miniature dwarfs in comparison with large muscle massifs. Therefore, cardio-loading, even such a banal as walking, is a more suitable option.
How long do I have to stomp to burn this piece of cake? If you weigh 75 kg, you should walk on the treadmill for 125 minutes, provided that you burn four calories per minute. Two hours of payment for one extra dessert! And what if your diet already requires serious work?
I've never met a well-built athlete who would not agree that a press is being created in the kitchen, and that you can not overtrain a bad diet. If your cubes are hidden under a layer of fat, you can not exercise them alone. And if you are not ready to plow for hours on cardiovascular equipment, your food is a key factor of success when creating a relief abdomen.
Thanks for the helpful article. Only here it is not clear – why the author so often speaks about "6 cubes"? Unless the number of cubes of the press is not determined at birth?