What I have found is clients love a specific goal. The numbers mean something to them because they know ultimately the results will follow. Fitness testing is in my estimation is in its infancy. There is allot more that we can do today but first we must set tangible goals for our clients to obtain. One of the most effective and fun ways to motivate us is a colorful poster with specific day by day goals. Combine these goals with a photo of the results you are seeking to receive and you have crafted a winning combination to motivate either yourself or your client to achieve a specific set of fitness goals. Stay with us and learn about the abdominal muscles and the many exercises that engage this core that offers us stability. See first hand over 10 different posters that showcase various ways to motivate us to achieve a higher level of daily fitness goals. Check out the many different Ab Challenge posters and see what triggers your desire.
As a fitness professional with certifications for both group fitness and personal training, I have studied fitness and more importantly practiced with clients ranging in ages from 18 to 98. I have worked at both medical rehabilitation centers and also elite fitness clubs in some of the most premier resorts in the world. I know firsthand how difficult it is to motivate clients. I know firsthand how important it is to connect with clients. To be able to actively engage a client, any client, you even perhaps yourself, from age 18 to 98 whether in good health or in rehab is challenging. All clients, young and old need a challenge.
Do you know what research has proven about our waist circumference? Do you fully understand the health risks of carrying extra weight around our mid-section? Do you know that target toning is only piece of the solution? If not, stay tune and learn more.
Or perhaps your fitness pathway has been diverted or sidetracked and you need to refresh and revise your goals? If so, you have come to the right place - join with us today on this journey and pick the fitness poster that best motivates you!
Abdominal Muscle - The Ultimate in Fitness Tests
Standing Ab Crunch
Flat Abs Are More Than Just Beautiful
Flat abs are more than just beautiful, they are an obvious sign that you are healthy. While every body type is different and those who are extremely tall or extremely petite cannot use this generalization, for the majority of our populace, our waist circumference tells us an important health story.
Your Health Story Told in Your Waist Circumference
Studies have found that we can readily measure our health risk by measuring our waist. Research has shown a direct link between carrying weight in our middle and a risk for a heart attack.
Interestingly, if you are fitness professional, you know flat abs do not take place with just target toning the mid section. Flat abs can only be achieved in combination with cardio. Yes, that is right - all the hype about crunches aside, you must have cardio.
What Your Waist Tells You About Your Health Risk
Harvard's Report of Research Findings to Support the Waist Circumference Risk
Harvard University's published this study and here are their results supporting the waist circumference risk assessment:
"Organization Measurement used Definition of abdominal obesity American Heart Association, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute ( 10 ) Waist circumference Women: > 88 cm (35 inches), Men: > 102 cm (40 inches) International Diabetes Federation ( 11 ) Waist circumference Women: > 80 cm (31.5 inches), Men: > 90 cm (35.5 inches)Different cut-points for different ethnic groups World Health Organization ( 12 )Waist-to-hip ratioWomen: > 0.85, Men: > 0.9"
How to Measure Your Waist and Measure Your Health Risk
- Health-calc - Waist circumference
Waist circumference is a reliable indicator of obesity and increased risk of lifestyle diseases. Waist-to-hip ratio is also being used for the same purpose, but research has shown that using only the waist measurement gives you the same level of info
Harvard University Information About Health Risks
- Waist Size Matters | Obesity Prevention Source | Harvard School of Public Health
"nearly double the risk of dying from heart disease, compared to women who had reported the lowest waist sizes (less than 28 inches)."
Workout for Cardio and Your Abdominal Muscles
Belly Fat Loss - Cardio and Target Toning
Perfect Sit Up Fundamentals
You Cannot Have Flat Abs Without Cardio!
Find a Fitness Routine that Works for You - Be Sure to Combine Target Toning Your Abs with Cardio
The many videos that are out in the marketplace that make you dance and move and raise your cardio offer some of the best and fun fitness programs around.
Yes, we are reviewing posters here today but I would be remiss as a fitness professional if I did not shout at you and say you CANNOT HAVE FLAT ABS WITHOUT CARDIO.
If you know me, I never shout so this is a critical statement. Enjoy these ab challenge posters but know you cannot simply target tone your abs - you MUST have cardio in your fitness program too.
Diversity is the Key To Your Core
Mixing up your target toning may seem overwhelming at first for target toning your abs but really there are a number of different exercises. So don't believe you cannot trim your waistline because you don't like sit-ups.
From floor exercises to standing crunches, there are a multitude of exercises available to you for trimming your mid section.
40 Different Abdominal Exercises
Yes, sit-ups are the one exercise EVERYONE thinks of with abs - but sit-ups are simply the tip of the iceberg. Check out the posters to the right and you will see the many different opportunities we have for target toning our waistline.
What is fun as a fitness professional is to introduce these exercises with full instruction but without the muscle groups targeted and after performing a set to inform your clients that you have targeted their abdominal muscles. I like to open with asking them what muscles they felt with that exercise after one set. I want to her their thoughts and I want to encourage them to start listening to their body.
No Equipment Needed Exercises for Training Your Abdominal and Core Muscles
No Equipment Needed
While I prefer in my personal home my ab roller, no equipment is really necessary. I like the ab roller, sometimes called the AbEx, because it keeps my neck stable. I fought for many years with deteriorating discs in my neck and the ab roller is my crutch.
What works best for you is whatever you feel comfortable with enough to do daily.
While ab work doesn't need equipment, stretching your muscles I have been told is exceptional with the foam roller. I have not tried this. If you have, please leave comments below.
Favorite Fitness Tool - For Home or The Gym
By far the best and most popular piece of fitness equipment (and rightfully so) is the balance ball. The balance ball is versatile and effective.
The balance ball works well both at the fancy fitness center and in your home gym. If you don't have room at home, clear out the closet or find room in the basement. My fitness ball sits proudly in my bedroom - reigning over that corner and reminding me daily of the need to not only brush my teeth daily but also attend to my abs daily.
Easy Balance Fitness Ball - Beyond Round
Reverse Fly with the Balance Ball
Round or Peanut Shaped Balance Ball
I prefer the peanut shaped balance ball. I was first introduced to this shape when I was training at a premier hospital for my personal trainer certificate. As a professional trainer, this shape worked great for all of our clients - both those in rehabilitation and those advanced fitness clients.
For home use, the peanut shaped balance ball does take up more space but consider this added advantage - you can use the peanut shaped balance ball more readily in lieu of a weight bench.
Weight benches demand space. I like the peanut shaped ball so that I can do some of my weight bench exercises with the peanut shaped ball in stead of the dedicated weight bench. As you can see by the photo to the right, the peanut shaped ball would readily substitute for both the round balance ball and/or weight bench. The reverse fly is just one exercise that I would add in to your fitness routine. The other exercise I like is the one leg squat - again the peanut shaped ball works well.
Ball Size Matters
The balance ball is a multipurpose tool but only if it is sized properly for you.
Pros and Cons of Equipment
Ball or chair? Is a balance ball really necessary? Absolutely not. There are a hundreds of exercises available that demand no equipment at all. Another substitution that is effective is the chair - yes, the commonly chair. No weight bench is mandatory - no balance ball is mandatory. Fitness professional and avid fitness clients prefer the balance ball because of the added challenge to the core - you have to use your core to stabilize the ball - you don't engage your core muscles as much with a chair or weight bench.
Best Fitness Poster for the Abs and Your Balance Ball
Here is a fitness poster from Brazil that offers some of the very best abdominal exercises with the balance ball. I dare you to tell me you don't wish to try these! And all of these can work (with minor movement changes) with the peanut shaped ball.
This fitness poster is my favorite and sadly as yet, I have not been able to purchase that poster here in the United States. I hope someday someone changes that. I do want this poster for my home gym and probably would buy two and donate one to our local gym.
Anatomy of the Abdominal Muscles
Workouts and Abdominal Muscles
The two posters to the right clearly detail the many muscles involved in our workouts. In the human body we have over 640 muscles, perhaps the most important for our safety is our core. The core determines if we readily fall but as we mentioned before our core also is a clear predictor of our risk of a heart attack.
Don't ambush your health, do understand the health risks and take them seriously. The waist line circumference to the lay person is the best tool for understanding how your weight is hurting you.
When I volunteered at the hospital, there was a young associate and we were discussing the health risks of obesity. She was appalled at the obesity numbers because they reported her as obese! And she was! The waist circumference needs to be taken seriously. Our perceptions of ourselves is something that health professional must address.
I have in another articles called for offering to all clients visiting the doctor or medical center of any sort to be handed a silhouette of their body in comparison to a silhouette of what they should look like at a healthy weight. Combing a silhouette health analysis along with the waist circumference provides people with a clear picture of their health and how they are at risk and why.
Perception is our reality. If we can see ourselves in the proper perception for our health, we can take the first step in making this a healthy world. For you see, we cannot improve unless we can recognize the problem. We as fitness professionals and our medical industry must stand up and clearly communicate the problem.
Second Step in Improving Your Health
The first step in improving your health is recognizing the need for improvement. As we detailed before if we don't see ourselves in need, we are unlikely to devote any time or effort to something we don't see as a problem.
Once we have recognized our need, there are a number of great resources. Not everyone has the time or money to hire a personal trainer. Not everyone has the funds for a private health club membership. These avenues are optional and may be right for you. In all cases, do check with your physician before you begin any new physical fitness program.
Medical Review - Before You Begin
Only your personal physician can advise you on your health. Do consult with them before you begin any new physical fitness program.
Posters for Motivation
Before you have medical clearance, do view the many options available. Do consider investing in instructional posters once you have been cleared by your physician.
After you have been cleared, do give these many movements a try to dedicate yourself daily to a fitness challenge to target tone your abdominal muscles. Do reminder that cardio is the needed partner always in all fitness programs. We don't move without our heart and we cannot effectively tone our mid-section without cardiovascular exercise.
Ab Challenge Posters - Challenge Your Core
Know Thy Health
- Do Understand the Health Risks Associated with the Circumference of Our Waistline
- Do Know Your Waist Line and Evaluate Your Health and Fitness Goals
- Do Take a Personal Fitness Challenge
- Do Remember to Include Cardiovascular Exercise
- Do Consult Your Physician Before Beginning Any Fitness Program
Ab Challenge Posters - Motivational
The posters shown above are intended for jump start your motivation and get you to commit to a challenge that is not only appealing to you but right for you.
Some of the posters are simply beautiful, some are simply numbers. Whatever fits your style do invest in a poster and keep it on your fridge or in your fitness room.
While the posters are meant to be motivational, my personal goal is to motivate you to consider a close review of your personal health. Do learn the circumference of your waist. Do measure approximately one inch above your belly button, do document your circumference and actively work to improve it.
Life is about being happy. It is not about numbers, it is not about six pack abs, it is about looking health because you feel good from the inside out. Change your life with new fitness goals and you will change your outlook.
The winds of life, we cannot change, we can reset our sails and change our own course. Take the time today to study where your sails are set and set new goals to change the course of where your personal sails are taking you.
|Sample Abdominal Exercises||Body Position||TRX|
Floor or Standing
Floor or Standing
Floor or Standing
Abdominal Workout Balance Ball
Super Set of 100 Abdominal Exercise Video
Posters and Videos
Do combine your Abdominal Challenge Posters with videos for a full and comprehensive view of the exercises.
The posters are intended to be motivational - the videos are instructional and showcase the proper form.
Proper Form - Critical for Fitness Exercises
Just as a fitness professional would never just recommend target toning, so too, a fitness professional would continue to encourage proper form.
Proper form is not just for the correct activation of the muscles, it is also for your safety. We can do serious damage to our muscles if we do not take care with concern for positions that we use in our fitness exercises.
Even a fitness professional needs reminders and ironically, most certified personal trainers will hire a personal trainer for themselves. Remember, how we discussed perception and reality, a personal trainer will review your posture and show you how to perform these exercises with less strain and possibly serve to prevent injury.
Nothing sets us back in our health like an injury. Do everything possible to know the proper form, do closely review the posters and the videos. Remember, your health is more than 640 muscles, it is also the discs in your back and your neck. Do review your proper form and if you take care of your body, you will feel better from the inside out.
Suspended Crunch with TRX
Always Seek to Have New Goals for Your Fitness for Your Health
The posters presented here are intended to kick start your fitness program. They are not meant to be your whole fitness program. They are not a prescription for always, do look at changing your program on a regular basis. Do seek to set new goals.
One of the new and exciting fitness tools is TRX - they are bands that suspend your body weight for an added fitness challenge.
Fitness professionals love body weight exercises and the TRX combines the power of gravity with fitness in a way unlike any other. Take your abdominal exercises up to the next level and try TRX for the next level of your abdominal workout.
Take the Abdominal Challenge but Don't Forget the Cardio!
In all cases of what you decide to do for your fitness, remember my mantra, do not forget the cardiovascular exercises. Isolating the muscles is great but not if you forget the one muscle that keeps you running. For a car, you wouldn't consider a paint job before fixing the engine so that it could run - would you? So too, with your health, do visit your medical professional and then begin your fitness program targeting toning your abdominal muscles in tandem with an exercise program that takes into account your entire physical needs from nutrition to exercise to the exercise that your heart and lungs need.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2014 Kelly A Burnett