Improving Your Abs! Ab Training, Tip #3


THIS MAY SOUND RATHER BIZARRE:  But proper tongue placement is an important concept in abdominal training. 

The anatomical resting position of the tongue is on the roof of the mouth. just behind the front teeth—swallow and your tongue will naturally move to this area.  

When your tongue is positioned on the roof of your mouth, the muscles near the surface of the neck are primarily responsible for supporting the head during abdominal exercises. When the tongue is not in this position, these muscles can’t effectively function and the much weaker muscles near the cervical (neck) vertebrae must support the head.  These muscles strain easily and are easily injured when exposed to high levels of tension. There’s even reason to believe that overworking these muscles may cause headaches! Even more importantly, since the neck muscles are the weak link in the chain. once they tire. you’ll stop your set prematurely. 

According to Paul Cheh, the therapeutic exercise specialist who discovered this training concept, there’s a simple test to show the effectiveness of proper tongue placement: While standing, have a friend place one hand on your forehead and the other on your upper back for balance. Open your mouth, and place your tongue on the bottom of your mouth. Now have your friend push your forehead back for a few seconds while you resist, stopping when your head starts to move back. Rest a few seconds and repeat the procedure with your tongue against the roof of your mouth. You will find that you’ll be considerably stronger on the second test. In fact, if you perform this test on someone (don’t try it on someone with a neck injury) you’ll probably notice that during the first test, the subject may inadvertently lift his jaw to try to improve leverage. 

According to other experts. Another reason to keep the tongue on the roof of the mouth is what appears to be a direct neurological connection between the neck area and the abs. The simple act of putting the tongue in the proper position seems to recruit more muscle fibers during the workout.  This is because it’s impossible to hold your tongue against the top of your mouth and talk (unless you make a living with puppets), keep quiet when you’re performing abdominal exercises.

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