Abdominal training involves the use of various types of exercises meant to give the ab muscles a total workout. Often, this may also be referred to as core training. The purpose of abdominal training is to significantly strengthen this inner area. This is especially useful for those who participate in sports that need a strong body core, such as a variety of hitting sports such as golf and tennis, as well as rowing and various others.
While many work on abdominal training simply because of the looks, they may quickly become disappointed. While it is possible to tone the ab muscles, these exercises will not do much to really bring definition to the area if the fat content is high. Therefore, getting a washboard-like appearance in the abdominal muscles requires losing body fat as well.
While, for the sake of simplification, most body trainers and exercise manuals may refer to abdominal muscles as a group, there are very distinct and separate muscle groups. Each must receive a fair amount of attention or abdominal training can produce undesired results. In fact, if training is not done properly, it may result in a person looking as if they have a beer belly, even though they have very little body fat.
The main groups of muscles that are affected by abdominal training include: the rectus abdominis, which is a group of long, vertical muscle fibers extending from near the rectum all the way up to the upper portion of the ribs; the obliques, which many refer to as love handles; and the transversus abdominis, which is responsible for pulling the abdominal wall back and thus avoiding the look of a large belly.
One of the keys to abdominal training is not to overdue any routine. While many may think they need to train hard in order to get that six-pack look, the fact is there are other factors involved. Training to the point where you get tired will only encourage bad form and the use of other muscles that may not be good for the type of exercise you are attempting and could lead to injury.
Common exercises for abdominal training ab crunches and sit ups for beginners. Doing three sets of 15 with a minute break in between two to three times a week is a good start. Once you feel comfortable, you can move onto hanging knee raises and finally hanging parallel leg raises. Together, using these exercises with a good diet and cardiovascular program will help you get that flat stomach.