Many people are so focused on a flat tummy that they dedicate all their time to training the abdominal muscles. This is problematic for at least 2 reasons:
1. A toned tummy requires a strong core. This includes not only the rectus abdominus muscles but the obliques and lower back.
2. Over-training your abdominals and neglecting the supporting low back muscles can lead to imbalances and injury.
In addition, researchers found that people with chronic lower back pain had small and weak lower back muscles. So to prevent your own low back pain, poor posture and weak core, make sure you throw some back strengthening moves into the mix. Bird-dog, cobra and plank are some of my favorite moves.
Here’s a good test of strength: -Perform an easy cobra stretch (pictured above)- only lifting up halfway -Squeeze your butt and lift your hands completely off the floor for a count of 10 -Return to the floor and repeat. If this is exercise is easy, try it lifting up all the way, trying to get your ribs off the floor.