It is much easier to think about getting the washboard abs then it is to think of taking care of them. When you are doing a lot of crunches and core work, you eventually need to incorporate ab stretches. A simple three-step ab stretch progression can make the difference in athletic performance, ability to breathe and reverse some of the effects of sitting too much. The only thing it requires on your end is a bit of dedication to the abdominal muscles for both strength and health.
Symptoms of Abdominal Muscles that Need an Ab Stretch
The symptoms include abs that are sore to touch from working out. It is critical here that the abs are sore to touch from a hard ab workout and not just randomly sore. If you your abs are painful to touch and you did no such workout you should seek medical attention.
Abs that need an ab stretch often make the front of the body feel tight and scrunched down. This feeling can start in the chest area and work its way to the hips and quads. If your hips are tight and your chest is tight, you can be assured that your abs are tight as well.
Benefits of Ab Stretches for The Abdominal Muscles
Reverse The Effects of Sitting Down
As stated before sitting down tightens the hips, quads, abs, chest, and shoulders. When these muscles all become close, it makes things as simple as walking difficult never mind running. The reason is that running and walking require the front side of your body to be open.
When you go running after sitting down for a long period you are at a greater risk of injury because of the psoas muscle. The psoas is a hip flexor and the only muscle to cross from the lower body to the upper body, and It lays deep underneath the abs. When the psoas gets tight, it wrecks havoc on the lower back. If the abs are tight from sitting there is a good chance the psoas is also.
Relaxation of Abdominal Muscles
Hitting a good ab stretch will help to relax you and reduce anxiety. The reason is that stretching forces you to focus, quiet your mind and breathe deeply. The entire time you are stretching it is almost just like meditation.
When doing ab stretches, you should focus on breathing in slowly through your nose and exhaling even slower out of your mouth. Breathe into your belly when you do this and not into your chest. Breathing into your belly helps to work your diaphragm more, and your diaphragm has a lot of fascial connections to other body parts.
A Healthy Foundation is Key for The Body
If you have no core, you have no foundation. Nothing significant can be built without foundation. When a muscle is sore or in pain, you may avoid using it all together. With the abs, you cannot afford to do this because they play a vital role in almost every single movement.
Daily ab stretches help you take care of an area that makes you the most vulnerable when sore. When the core does not do its job, it makes the whole house unstable, and your risk of injury increases significantly.
Best Ab Stretches for The Abdominal Muscles
Stand and Reach for Abdominal Muscles
- You want to start with this stretch to get the body into a stretch mode
- You are going to stand and slightly lean back
- Reach hands above the head and reach as if you are hanging from your fingertips
- Puts a slight stretch on the entire fascial front line
- Lie flat on your stomach
- Push yourself up with your hands
- Will stretch the abs and hips
- Second stretch in the progression
Wrestlers Bridge for Abdominal Muscles
- Lie on back with knees flexed
- Put hands in a good position to be able to push body off of the ground
- The goal is to push the belly button as high in the air as possible
- The intense stretch of the entire fascial front line
- Will stretch chest, abs, hips, and quads
What if The Ab Stretch Progression Does Not Work?
If you feel the tightness is not going away or you feel a pain worsening, you should see a sports medicine provider. The reason is that you could be developing a hernia. Look for signs like pain in the abs when coughing or sneezing.
If your abs are just tight, sometimes you need treatment from a health care provider to help break up the tension or adhesions in the area. The type of providers you can work with include.
- Physical Therapist
- Registered Dietitian
- Sports Physician
- Massage Therapist
- Holistic Healthcare providers
How to Find Best Healthcare Providers
Kho Health is the best way to find local providers that can help you with your abdominal muscles. The reason is that Kho Health lets you search for healthcare providers based on the type of practitioner as well as a skill set. Let’s say you want to work with a massage therapist, but you also want someone who has fascial stretching abilities, you can find the best local option on Kho Health. You can then sift through the different options and compare Kho Numbers before making a choice.