Strength and Conditioning for Leg Amputees Part 3: – Top 3 Difficulties in Strengthening The Abdominal Muscles

The top 3 difficulties faced by leg amputees are:

 

  • Nutrition

Are you looking for that aesthetic look of a six-pack, looking to lose some fat and get leaner then nutrition is going to play a massive part in getting you there.

*Simple tips to lower your body fat percentage and become leaner:  Increase your protein uptake, you should be trying to have some form of lean protein (chicken, turkey, eggs, salmon, mackerel etc.) in all 3 of your meals daily. Supplementation of fish oils, as the UK government recommendations of 1-2 portion of fish a week is simply not enough. A rough guideline is to choose the right dosage, use 1 gram of fish oil per percentage of body fat, for example if you have 20% body fat take 20 grams or 30% take 30 grams, however this will depend on your current diet. Last but not least, consume more vegetables in your diet. If you are struggling to have 1-2 portions with every meal, you might want to consider a vegetable supplement.

  • Lower Abdominal Muscles

The lower abdominal muscles are a problem area for most amputees or even anyone with a disability period. What most people tend to do is to engage their abdominal muscles by tilting their pelvis. This will cause you to crunch the abdominal which in turn will push the muscles out causing that bloated look.

  • A simple tip to avoid causing that bloated look is to perform the “stomach vacuum technique”: Inhale deeply and on the exhale pull your belly inwards as much as you can (don’t move bone) hold the contraction for as long as you can. This is going to work the internal muscle called transverse abdominus which acts a bit like a natural weight belt.
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  • Oblique Muscles

Yes, you have your obvious exercises for working the oblique muscles: side plank, Russian twists, etc … But the exercises you should be doing involves being on your feet. A good example would be a cable rotation (high-low and low-high) as, not only will this contract your oblique muscles but also you are using your complete core to perform the exercise. Another great exercise for targeting the obliques is the uneven farmer walk or carry as you are having to engage your obliques to stop you from falling over on the heavier side (i.e. 15 kg dumbbell in your right hand and a 10 kg dumbbell in your left hand, the obliques are going to work muscles harder on the left hand side).

 

  • Using the stomach vacuum technique, I talked about earlier in this blog, engaging the transverse abdominal before and keeping the contraction throughout all your exercises, you will see an increase in your strength. Better pelvic alignment with the implementation of the strength and conditioning leg exercises and a stronger core.

 

PS: If you found this information helpful do get in contact if you would be interested in me writing you a personalised training programme.

 

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