Will Abdominal Crunches tone my Stomach?

Abdominal crunches only focus on your rectus abdominus (6-pack muscle). In addition to performing crunching exercises, you should focus on strengthening your core muscles. These muscles surround your rectus abdominus and connect to your back musculature. To truly tone your stomach muscles, you need to address more than your 6-pack.

An example of a good core strengthening exercise is to lie on your back and lift your knees to a 90/90 position. Lower one leg to tap your foot on the surface then bring the leg
back up. Alternate lowering each leg and tapping each foot on the surface.
Perform this exercise for 10 reps. Progress to 2 sets of 10, then 3 sets
of ten.
Check out the video below for a demonstration of this exercise by Dr. Amanda Macht
Lumbar Stabilization Exercise- Table Top Taps

Sitting Long Term and Stretching

Do you sit in front of the computer most of the day? Do you get tension headaches, neck pain, and sore chest muscles?

This is a result of repetitive forward head movement that can be from typing, reading and looking down to write. Excessive forward head posture puts strain on your neck and shoulder muscles. Perform the pectoralis stretch below to decrease strain to your neck and shoulder muscles.

Stand in a doorway and place your arms about 90 degrees along the sides of the door frame. Step through the door frame until you feel a stretch across your chest. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Alternate your foot forward with each stretch.

Pectoralis Stretch
Pectoralis Stretch

Do You Suffer From Calf Cramps?

Calf cramps come from tight muscle. The calf muscles can get tight from running, excessive walking, wearing high heels, and poor shoe support. If your calves are tight, begin a stretching program. In the following video, you will learn several ways to stretch your calves. Please note, you can hold the stretch for as little as 15 seconds for 2-3 repetitions to obtain results.

Calf Stretching Video

Toning Stomach Muscles

Most people perform various abdominal crunching exercises to achieve their goal of toning stomach muscles. Abdominal Crunches strengthen the rectus abdominis muscle (6-pack muscle) and the obliques. The muscle that most people neglect when toning their stomach is the transversus abdominis, also known as the core muscle. The transversus abdominis provides spinal stability and tones the sides of the torso (“the love handles”). Click here to watch a video to see how to perform the basic contraction of the transversus abdominis. To learn more stabilization exercises to strengthen the transversus abdominis, contact Harbor Physical Therapy.

Tips to Decrease Neck Pain with Computer Usage

1. Make sure your computer screen is at eye level so you do not have to look up or down for a long period of time.

2. Be at a comfortable distance from your computer so you can see the screen clearly. If not, you will flex your neck forward causing strain to the area.

3. Place your mouse in front of your dominant arm at a position where your elbow and shoulder are at rest. Avoid placing your computer on a table that is too high, this will elevate your shoulder causing strain to the area.

If you continue to have neck discomfort, contact Harbor Physical Therapy for an evaluation of your sitting posture and treatment.