Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Posture Exercises - Abdominals & External Obliques

When most people think of Abdominal Exercises they think of a sit up or a crunch, unfortunately these are not one of the best posture exercises. Why? To understand this we need to look at the make up of the Abdominal Muscles.

The Abdominal Muscles are made up of 4 different muscles: Transverse Abdominus, External Oblique, Internal Oblique & Rectus Abdominus.

From Wikipedia

Each muscles layers on top of each other, with their muscle fibers being orientated in a different direction. The combined criss cross nature of the their fibers acts like a supporting corset, keeping things in good alignment and protecting the spine.

The sit up and crunch mostly work the Rectus Abdominus, also known as the Six Pack Ab. The Rectus Abdominus is the abdominal muscle furthest from the spine. Because of this it is also the muscle that is least able to contribute to stability and good posture.

A better Abdominal posture exercise is one that exercises the deeper muscles. The video below shows such an exercise.

The key to these exercises is too keep the belly button drawn in towards the spine when moving and not to let the back arch off the ground.

For these posture exercises start with 10 each leg, gradually building up to 3 sets of 10.


Anonymous said...

Like your videos mate. I think this one is mucking up a bit though. Cheers.

Dave Delaney said...

Thanks for the comment. We have had a little trouble with Google hosted videos lately. I checked it this morning and it seem to be working OK now. Please let me know if anyone else experiences problems.

Anonymous said...

Hello - no video - just black screen. The rest are fine! Thanks for posting these!

Dave Delaney said...

I'm not sure what it is about this video. I don't have trouble with any of the others but sometimes this one just doesn't seem to work. I think it is something to do on the Google hosting end.

It appears to be working now.

Anonymous said...

When holding the knee to the chest in progression 2, what effect does the rotation of the hip have? That is, whether the femur and shin "stack up" straight on top of the torso, or whether the leg folds out, down towards the floor.

Dave Delaney said...

The reason to hold the knee to the chest is to flatten, and hold flat, the lower back against the floor. Adding rotation to the hip would also add a rotation component to the spine, which is not the goal of this exercise. I hope this answers your question.

Anonymous said...

the video is featuring a black screen again!

Anonymous said...

And today the video isn't working either. Is there any hope? Becasue, of course,the only other recommendation I've been given is to do the "twisting crunchies."


Dave Delaney said...

I'm not sure why we are having so much trouble with this video.

It was originally on YouTube and for some reason got banned.

I switched to Google video. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I know it is inconvenient, but the best I can suggest is if it isn't working, visit again later.

Anonymous said...

the video is 11 minutes long, but keeps repeating. and there is one exercise with five progression levels and the 4th level is missing.

Dave Delaney said...

You are right. There is something not working properly about this video. For some reason I've had regular trouble just with this video. I'll see what I can do to correct it. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.