5 Common Ab Workout Mistakes
Avoid These Ab Exercise and Ab Training Mistakes
This page discusses some of the most common ab workout mistakes. If you avoid these ab training mistakes, you'll reach your fitness goals twice as fast.
There is more than one way to skin a cat, and the same is true for working your abdominal muscles. Here are some workout tips that may help you to workout smarter and more efficiently.
Abdominal Workout Mistake #1:
Attempting Spot Reduction through Ab Exercises
This is probably the most common abdominal workout mistake. If you are performing ab exercises simply to reduce your stomach fat, then you are wasting your time.
Ab Exercises cannot magically get rid of stomach fat. Spot Reduction is the #1 Ab Exercise Myth.
If you want to lose stomach fat, you need to take a comprehensive approach to fitness, fat loss, and weight loss by performing aerobic exercise, weight training, and eat a healthy diet.
Abdominal Workout Mistake #2: No Progression of Ab Exercises
If you want to continually make progress and improve your fitness, then you must continually challenge your body so that you don't hit a plateau.
As a personal trainer in the gym, I often meet people who have been doing the same ab exercises for months and months. Their ab training routine is boring, repetitive, and less effective.
When you start doing ab crunches for the first time, you may find that it's hard to finish one set of 15. But after a couple of weeks, 15 crunches will seem easy. Once your ab exercises become really easy, that's a sign that it's time to progress to a more challenging abdominal exercise.
A simple way to progress ab exercises is to increase the resistance on your abdominal muscles with weights, cables, inclines, or ankle weights.
You can also progress your ab workout by using a more challenging workout technique such as supersets or circuit training.
Abdominal Workout Mistake #3: No Variety of Ab Movements
When I first started practicing yoga, I remember reading about the benefits of exercising your spine in all directions- forwards, backwards, side to side, twisting left and right.
If you want to have a healthy and strong spine, you must be strong in all directions. Since crunches are so popular, most people make the mistake of focusing solely on moving forwards to work their abdominal muscles.
In addition to doing exercises like crunches, you should also practice movements of the pelvis and legs like during marching, leg raises, or reverse crunches. You should also practice twisting motions like oblique crunches or bicycle crunches. You should also practice side to side motions such as standing side bends or moving side planks.
Also, try to vary the positions that you work your abdominal muscles. Every ab exercise shouldn't be done while lying on your back. Practice exercises in which you're faced down like the plank or sitting as in Russian Twists. And also practice exercises from standing like cable lifts or cable rotations.
Your body must do a variety of movements so, prepare for many different functional challenges by training your abdominal muscles in many directions and multiple positions.
Check out the picture Directory of Abdominal Exercises to see all the Ab Exercises on this site. Ab Exercise Pictures Part I and Ab Exercise Pictures Part II.
Abdominal Workout Mistake #4: Doing 1000's of Repetitions and Overtraining
Your abdominal muscles are similar to other muscles, and sometimes more is actually less. You do not need to spend hours on end doing thousands of repetitions to achieve fitness improvements.
You can develop your abdominals by focusing on ab training 2-3 days a week. If you are a hard core athlete, you may be able to push your ab training to 4 days a week and still have adequate time to recover after your ab workout.
When you work any muscle really hard and you're super sore the next day, that's a sign to let that muscle recover before another intense workout. 6-12 sets 2-4 days a week is plenty for ab training. Of course, this is just a sample range for your ab workout. If you are a beginner 1-3 exercises for 1-2 sets gets you started in the right direction, and if you are at an advanced level, 3-4 exercises for 2-4 sets keep you super strong.
In a quest for perfection, we sometimes over train our muscles. Three signs of overtraining are persistent soreness that lasts for days, decreasing strength, or overuse type injuries such as tendonitis. Don't make the mistake of overtraining your abs.
Abdominal Workout Mistake #5: No Lower Back Exercises
In a quest for 6 pack abs and a flat stomach, most people focus solely on abs and neglect their lower back, and this is a mistake in training.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. When one area of your body is much stronger than the opposite area, muscle imbalances can develop leading to altered movement, posture, function, and performance.
If you want to maximize your abdominal development, you must also have a strong and stable lower back. Here are Pictures of Lower Back Exercises.
Summary of Ab Workout Mistakes
Above are some common ab training and ab workout mistakes. In order to be effective, your ab training must be progressive and diverse. Use this site as a resource to learn different types of ab exercises or try a free abdominal workout routine from this site.
Yours in Health,
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