As a beginner to exercise or working out, it is important that you begin by strengthening the deep abdominal and core muscles. The last thing you want to do right out of the gate is perform hundreds of sit-ups - that will only create more muscle imbalances and put greater strain on your low back.
Instead, you should focus on the 4 ab exercises that I've demonstrated in the core workout video (above). And I know you might be saying...
"But Yuri, these exercises are going to help gut rid of my gut! What about sit-ups?"
Again, forget the sit-ups. Any movements that creates flexion about the hips (ie. sit-ups) will create a tremendous amount of strain on your lower back. The 4 ab exercises that I've shown you are static exercises that recruit deeper abdominal muscles such as your transverse abdominus, quadratus lumborum, and internal and external obliques.
These muscles are the true heroes of spinal health and developing a rock solid core. The reason that they're important is because, with training, they become more toned, which enables them to better support the surrounding structures (ie. the spine and pelvis).
Once again, these "pseudo" ab exercises are the Plank, Side Plank, Birddog, and Hip Bridge.
As I explain in the video, all of the exercises should begin with your "abdominal brace". This ensures that your core is tight and is providing optimal support for your spine.
The key with these core exercises is that they are done with endurance in mind. The goal is to train them to become more endurant, not stronger.
Therefore, every time you do this core workout try to add an extra 5 seconds to each of the ab exercises. After just a few workouts you'll begin to notice a big difference and as these muscles continue to become more toned they will naturally pull your belly in. Thus, if you're looking to reduce the size of your waist or want to lose weight fast, then you've got to use these exercises to start with. With time, they will create a tight waistline that naturally acts like girdle keeping everything where it should be.
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