⚖️ARTICLE: Balancing Internal and External abs for whole body fitness

Mid Ab Massive Attack - Balancing Internal and External abs for Whole-Body Fitness

-by Paul Van Alstine

Other titles I played with are:

  • Developing a Long, Strong, and Thin Waist With Balanced Breathing
  • Grounding for Emotional Support and Relaxation
  • Killer Abs Sooner with Less Effort
  • Reducing Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain While Making Yourself More Likable.

The reason for so many titles? This is because this week focuses on changing literally everything. When you develop better skills and use them to create more internal strength through your deep core (transversus abdominus, pelvic floor, and respiratory diaphragm) you will be able to maintain more lift and length in your body as well as add more strength and tone to your 6 pack and obliques and external muscles. This higher level of breathing and coordination will reinforce your core and grounding reflexes and enable you to add overall strength safely and beautifully.

What Do I Do? Use the skills, tone, and strength that you have been developing since your first day at Studio One. Your toned feet, inner thighs, and low abs will form the foundation for this week. We will add various exercises and cues to systematically connect these muscles through the chain to your upper transversus, intercostals and respiratory diaphragm. In the following weeks, we will build on this to help you improve postural alignment in the head, neck, and shoulders.

Skill Focus:

  • Making your ab tone come from your deep core
  • Keeping your legs and waist long, as you turn up the heat on your six-pack and obliques…
  • Keeping your internal calm as you increase your effort and focus to a higher level.
  • Breathing smoothly as you learn to burn.
  • Breathing smoothly as you learn to increase your ability to flex, twist and rotate a bit further…

From Mid-ab week you can expect:

  • Longer Waist
  • Feel taller.
  • Sore low, mid, and upper abs
  • A reduction in size at your waist and lower chest
  • More grounded posture
  • Better alignment of the rib cage over the pelvis.
  • Great workouts
  • Skills last forever… Conditioning is not as dependable

One of our specific goals with Mid-ab week is to enhance your essential skills. These skills are like riding a bike. This is why you will see us work the same exercises over and over. Variety is great fun, but mastery is what produces balanced and injury resistant bodies over your life span. These effective workouts are carefully designed to progress your structure systematically and predictably toward a body you want to inhabit. Your workouts this week will focus on helping you to boost your inner strength, timing, and breathing, as we add range of motion and endurance to your outer ab muscles… It's going to be a lot to learn... Take the time to develop these skills, and you will be able to apply them anywhere, anytime. Particularly when you need to rebuild or recondition after some time off or an injury...

Get Ready to Soar On top of increasing your skills, we will also make sure you leave remembering your workout for a couple of days. The studio’s goal is to make sure we take these skills into a hard workout where you’re feeling the burn but developing your outer ab muscles as well. When in doubt - start and stay with internal strength. If this week's workouts feel too difficult, stop and go back to the breath. Re-center and re-start the exercise. Internal strength and balance are the foundation of your strength, tone, and flexibility. Various hard workouts can borrow from that foundation. When you are young or uninjured, tough workouts can be a great shortcut to getting results fast. Many of us (me especially) have tried this route. It can be fun as well as a bit addictive. It can also lead many people to injury. At that point, without strong internal skills, many people will find difficulty recovering. This is because they have not yet learned to workout from their own internal body awareness and knowledge. They are using external measures like # of reps, or how far or how fast to gauge their success, avoiding their own internal messages.

I hope this gets you inspired!

See you in class!