Abs working you or you working them?

Transverse abs and Diaphragm facilitation

For many of us washboard abs seem unattainable. For those of us putting in hours a week to barely maintain our shape, which may resemble a fruit, something isn’t working. Of course diet and drinking alcohol plays a huge role but there is often another reason people can’t seem to target certain areas with efficacy. It is usually due to a neuromuscular compensation that literally turns off the target muscle when used in conjunction with another muscle that inhibits it. Many times weakness in the muscle itself causes the dysfunctional cycle to be set in motion. We have all done the whole New Years resolution thing where we decide to get in shape. We pay for a gym or get the latest workout video promising abs of some metal ore found deep in the earth. The first workout usually sucks and we only do it twice more (if that much) without continuing the practice. In the gym, we may have a trainer or workout partner, but if not, the communal atmosphere of competition usually pushes us to squeeze out two more reps, thinking this is a good practice. Many times, its that last two reps that get us into trouble. When a muscle is weak or inhibited, it doesn’t work. In order to accomplish a physical demand from the brain, the body recruits another muscle to do its work for it. Outsourcing is a common practice in the body when the demands can’t be met locally. Common global compensation patterns are often delegated to the diaphragm when core stability has been compromised. This happens specifically in the case of the transverse abdominis (TvA). The TvA is the true inner core everyone talks about when they talk about the midsection. It is the inner support that allows our abdominals to create movement freely and to get those little bumps we love. Without a strong TvA, the stomach can’t be flat. It’s job is to stabilize the contents of our abdomen and create a scaffold upon which movement can occur. Do you want to be strong or do you want to do reps? Any kinetic chain work such as kettle bell work without addressing these instability issues may create compensation if there is inhibition or fatigue followed by intense muscle recruitment. The muscles you need to strengthen are not as strong as the rest and need to be given time to rest. Stop when you are holding your breath, breaking form, speeding up or straining. No pain no gain is not the case here. Smooth and easy is true strength. Compensation is false strength that leads to dysfunction and pain.
Make an appointment today! Come in and see if you are truly strong or compensating. Erase compensatory inhibition for good and take your workouts to the next level.

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