In our journey through life, one thing remains certain: our body changes. As we grow older, it’s natural for our muscle tone to deteriorate, especially in the abdominal region. This is a notorious spot for accumulating fat.
But with age and weakened muscles come more challenges. Our back muscles, in particular, have to work overtime, often leading to lower back pain. So, how do we mitigate these challenges? The answer may lie in a well-curated abdominal routine, according to the experts at Harvard.
Protecting Your Back and Burning Fat: The Abdominal Solution
Abdominal routines have always been hailed as the ultimate solution for those looking to avoid injuries and shield their backs from potential pain. Yet, with so many exercises out there targeting the abdomen, it’s overwhelming to determine which ones are truly effective for both muscle toning and fat burning.
“Over time, our muscle tone deteriorates, particularly in the abdominal area. As a result, our back muscles have to overcompensate, leading to pain in the lower back.”
Harvard’s Insights on Core Strengthening
What are the best exercises for those aged 60 and above? The strength training insights from Harvard’s School of Health provide answers. They emphasize the importance of working on the body’s core. Strengthening this area ensures stability to the mobile parts situated both above and below the core – the back, spine, and hips.
“Traditional sit-ups and crunches are no longer advised,” as per the experts. These exercises have adverse effects on the neck and cervical spine, particularly risky for older adults. Therefore, Harvard’s experts stress the need for exercises that simultaneously work on the abdominal muscles and the prevertebral back muscles. This holistic approach significantly enhances the strength of the entire region.
1. Bridge Exercise: Lie on your back, bend your knees, and lift your back while raising your buttocks. As you do so, tighten your abdomen. Marty Boeh, a therapist associated with Harvard, supports this method, saying it’s effective due to its comprehensive engagement of the muscle groups. “It contracts muscles from the ribcage to the pelvis and from the navel to the back, functioning like a corset,” Boeh suggests.
2. Traditional Planks: A staple in core strengthening, planks are fantastic for toughening the abdomen and reinforcing the back. The key, as Marty Boeh advises, is to “stay as rigid as possible, like a wooden board.” For added comfort, you can also perform these planks with your knees resting on the ground.
“We hope these exercises assist you in your goal to enhance your abdominal area for the future.”
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