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Old 10-27-2007, 07:32 AM   #1
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ab muscles

Is holding in and contracting your ab muscles (sucking it in to fit into your jeans) an effective way to strengthen your muscles? I've been holding in thoses muscles as often as I can, hoping that it'll help tone. This isn't my only way of working thoses muscles, but are my efforts worth it?

 
Old 11-05-2007, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: ab muscles

It's as effective as any other ab exercise but it depends on what your goal is? There's a saying - a six pack is made in the kitchen, not the gym.......

 
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:19 AM   #3
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Re: ab muscles

There is a book out by a nurse named Julie Tupler, which explains the "Tupler" method of contracting the abdominal muscles back to flatness after child birth. This appealed to me because my 76 year old father has never had the slightest pooch, and ever since I was a child he told me to hold my lower stomach muscles in, and they would stay taut and flat. Of course, I quit that with two pregnancies and C-sections. Now, years later, I am starting over. I think it would have to help, not hurt.

 
Old 01-07-2008, 04:34 PM   #4
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Re: ab muscles

Sucking in won't significantly help your ab muscles. Muscles are toned by dynamic movement, meaning back and forth. Consider bicep curls momentarily. You raise the barbell up in one part of the exercise. That's like sucking in. You then lower the barbell. This is where sucking in isn't dynamic as there is no opposite movement. You need a motion in the other direction such as where in situps, you sit up then you return to the original position.

To develop the ab muscles better, try dynamic exercises such as situps, crunches and bicycles.

 
Old 01-08-2008, 01:02 AM   #5
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Re: ab muscles

kelliott31:

You may have a point, but keep in mind the abs aren't quite the same as the muscles in the limbs. Limb muscles are designed to move back and forth, abs are designed to hold you up and support your diaphragm all day without moving much.

lazedays:

It might help some, but in order to get real muscle-changing results, you have to feel "the burn" of properly fatigued muscles. Just a hint of next-day soreness is also a clue you've hit the right workout intensity. If you can't get to that level just tensing, you might want to add in some crunches, or (a favorite of mine) lie on your back and lift both legs at once straight up. Still, if you actually remember to keep them tense for a significant period of time, it might work.

 
Old 01-08-2008, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: ab muscles

OK let me try again. I may have phrased that wrong. I meant to see more obvious toning results, more intense exercises would be better. The best exercises for abs are dynamic. Sorry for any confusion there.

 
Old 01-08-2008, 04:38 PM   #7
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Re: ab muscles

i do this nearly daily: loose clothes, bend forward slightly, hands on quads, breathe out totally, pull stomach in, release and repeat 10-20-30 times. Relax for a minute and repeat. I think it dynamically works the muscles, increases heart rate and lung capacity, and helps on food intake control as the muscles surrounding the stomach are a bit more 'in tune' to my brain. This is a well known yoga techinque, look in Iyengar's book, or other author, for similar ab workouts. For flat front, only weight loss can help. But even if lean may have small 'pooch' as years accumulate.

 
Old 01-08-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: ab muscles

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazedays View Post
Is holding in and contracting your ab muscles (sucking it in to fit into your jeans) an effective way to strengthen your muscles? I've been holding in thoses muscles as often as I can, hoping that it'll help tone. This isn't my only way of working thoses muscles, but are my efforts worth it?
If my memory is correct, the stomach vacuum works the transverse abdominals, which are primarily used in stabilization. You won't see results, but you'll be able to better stabilize yourself during other exercises so that you get better results.

 
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