5th Mar 2020

Our Aging Abdominals

So have you been reading along about abdominals through the years? You can catch up at Along with this entry, you should find some useful information that applies to you, no matter your current age.

Today, I’m addressing the maturing segment of the population. I look around these days, and I see women and men in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond with phenomenal physiques. Exercise science and the sharing of information has come a long way, and we are provided with much more useful and accurate information than ever when it comes to our bodies, our health, and how fitness and nutrition play key roles through the years. They say 50 is the new 30, and I’m down with that! However, I still receive countless questions regularly regarding the abdominals as we age, what changes to expect, and how to regain strength, tone, and potentially a svelte midsection (if all good advice has been ignored to this point).

Let’s return to a basic physiology lesson for a brief moment. Putting aside questions about how to recapture six-pack abs, one of the biggest complaints I hear of is increased chronic issues in the lower back. It seems like for so many people, getting older = bad lower back, and it’s not necessarily an incorrect connection. The connection between strong abdominals and a healthy back is easily forgotten when problems aren’t occurring. But exercises for the core are critical for maintaining that “corset” that helps control trunk motions, including twisting and bending, provides good posture, protect your organs, and helps you move functionally 24/7. As we get older (and busier), it’s so easy to forget how the abdominals and the lower back work together, and how when one is allowed to weaken, the other is quick to follow. Maintaining strong abdominals will enable us to avoid a lot of chronic back pain and movement problems as we age.

For both men and women, the reduction in activity or inactivity that tends to occur as we age often leads to a tightened spine and tightened pelvic muscles. Such tightening requires the knees and the back to compensate for a deteriorating posture and weakened abdominals. And THAT brings on the lower backache that becomes far too common! Now for women specifically, increased belly fat is widespread, especially as hormones shift both during and after menopause. Increased fat around the midsection increases risks for diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease, and gall bladder issues. If you’re committed to a regular fitness regimen and maintaining a healthy diet, weight gain around the midsection shouldn’t be much of a problem. You should continue to exercise and eat right and make sure you include core exercises in your daily routine. If you aren’t currently engaged in regular exercise, it’s never too late to start, and exercises for the abdominals are a MUST. You’ll find your tummy getting tighter and flatter very quickly, especially if you’ve been sedentary to this point! I have plenty of workouts that can help you do all this and more

For some great ideas on strengthening those abdominals, whether you’re 30 or 70, check out my collection of exercise videos, including the well known Abs of Steel. There are plenty of options on my web site or my subscription site DesignYourFitPlans for any age, and any fitness level.

Take care of your Body, and Your Body will take care of YOU!