Core toning core strength is important for everyone because: 1. the muscles of the mid-body support the weight of the body when standing 2. it helps to minimize pain often felt in one area due to weakness of muscles in another area lower back pain if often felt because of weakness in either the: 1. abdominal muscles 2. lower back muscles abdominal muscles most of the attention that is paid to the abdominal muscles is directed toward the rectus abdominis or the 6-pack. this is the group of muscles covering the abdominal cavity, housing the organs; which is the outermost muscle from the bottom of the ribs to the navel. however, there are other muscles in the abdominal region that are essential to proper core strength. 1. lower abdominals are located below the navel 2. external obliques are the muscles of the side which are accessible to the touch 3. internal obliques are located underneath the external obliques and cannot be touched 4. transverse abdominis is located underneath the internal obliques and are the deepest of the abdominal muscles. this muscle is most important for protection of the spine and internal organs. this sheet of muscle is also known as the body’s corset as it is the muscle that tightens the mid-section and flattens the belly. women who go through pregnancy will experience a dramatic distension of this muscle allowing for the growth of the baby. quite often post-pregnancy, the muscle does not return to its original shape and strength. exercises targeting this muscle can help in strengthening it and returning it to a flatter shape. back muscles there are many muscles of the back as it is very large and complex. but when it comes to the core, the muscle of interest is the lower back muscle or erector spine. these are two muscles on either side of the spine attaching to the hip bones or pelvis. pain in the lower back can be due to: 1. weakness in the lower back muscles 2. weakness in the abdominal muscles causing lower back pain 3. standing for extended periods will often cause lower back pain especially with weak lower back muscles. exercises crunches: while lying on your back on a bench, lift your shoulders upwards just a few inches, enough to feel full contraction of the rectus abdominis or 6-pack. as there are 3 “rows” of muscles forming this group, there are 3 variations to completely work the area and this is based upon leg positioning. the upper body movement described above is done with the legs: 1. forming a 90-degree angle between the upper and lower legs to work the top row 2. lowering the legs to form a 45-degree angle will target the middle row 3. feet flat on the floor targets the lower row obliques are exercised with the same movement describe above except that the body should be turned slightly to one side and then to the other. lower abdominals are exercise by lying flat on either a bench or the floor. the beginning position is with the legs together vertically in the air. you should be able to feel your tailbone against the bench or floor. slowly move your feet over your face while maintaining the legs outstretched. this contracts the muscle when done slowly! people often do this movement too quickly which only uses momentum to move the feet from point a to point b rather than by contracting the muscle itself. transverse abdominis can be worked on the weight stack/pulley machine by grasping a rope, hands by the side of your head while your knees are on the floor. the upper leg should remain vertical and only bend forward at the waist. do not allow your hips to drop during this movement as that is simply using body weight to lift the weight rather than the contraction of the muscle. to correctly work the 6-pack, the spine must curve in the lower back. to work the transverse muscle, the back remains flat. digestion during the process of food digestion, the solid food is: 1. chewed into small pieces and combines with an enzyme in the saliva and is then swallowed 2. when in the stomach, acids reduce this to a gel-like mixture that moves into the small intestine where most of the nutrients are absorbed into the blood and transported for use. 3. this remaining mixture later leaves the body as solid waste the digestion process can be aided through the consumption of: 1. dietary fiber which comes in two forms, soluble or insoluble. a. soluble fiber will combine with the mixture aiding in the absorption of the nutrients b. insoluble fiber allows for smooth passage of the mixture through the digestive tract. this is important as is prevents a build-up of solid waste causing bloating and cramping. and if movement through the gi tract is too slow, irritation can occur known as diverticulitis or a more chronic condition called diverticulosis. 2. water is important for the following reasons: a. ensuring that the mixture traveling through the body is soft b. hydration of the body, as dehydration, can cause problems with digestion as well as retention of water in the skin and solid waste in the intestinal tract developing strength in the core muscles while not consuming enough water and fiber to improve digestion might feel like putting a belt around a balloon, both are important. most people don’t drink enough water and don’t care about it. but if you consider that drinking 2-3 liters per day will aid in weight loss by eliminating solid waste and retained water, as well as removing salt from the body, it might become more of a desire.Jun 06,2018 0
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