The beat goes on and so does the controversy surrounding how to work your abdominal muscles. The approach we discussed earlier this week of pulling the abs in (Scooping which comes out of Australia) or the McGill approach of “bracing” can welcome to their group the Gary Gray/Functional Approach.
Those who train with me are no stranger to Gary Gray. We have been doing his functional approach for the last few years. This approach is very different from the other two approaches. Gray believes it is not functional to lie on the ground and work your abs. All workouts for the abs are done standing. If you don’t think it works come to one of my Body Sculpting Classes on Monday nights. Instead of trying to isolate one muscle we work them together. This isn’t ground breaking information either folks. These ongoing discussions have been around since at least 2009.
So, where have we been? Doing the best we can with what we have got. So armed with this information we want to approach abdominal work in a functional way, keeping the spine safe and when we find something that works just keep doing it.
Don’t panic and think you are headed for low back trouble. The chances of you injuring your spine decrease when you consider that you aren’t going to be doing the hundreds and hundreds of ab exercises that McGill’s athletes perform. Moderation in all things including abdominal work. After all, great abs are built in the kitchen.