The quest for the elusive six-pack often leaves guys hitting their midsection hard after every workout thinking more will inevitably be better.
The truth is that your abdomen is just like any other muscle in your body when you engage in bodybuilding (so to speak).
They need some rest in between exercise bouts as well. Doing some crunches or planks at the end of every workout leaves your midsection in a constantly overworked state preventing any results you’d like to see.
Now if you are working out on your abs 3-4 times a week does that make sense ??? NO DO YOU WORKOUT ON YOUR BICEP OR TRICEPS OR LEGS 3-4 times a week? NO, we don’t do that. That is over-training. Any muscle of your body depending on your goals should not be worked out more than 2 times a week and abs are no different. Did you know that you workout on your core even when doing legs, back, and practically pull-push movements? So 5 times a week crunches will not help you, my dear friend. Below I discuss the top mistakes you are making for your abs.
Frequently I get asked the question “How can I get a nice set of abs?” I also get “I do a thousand sit-ups a day but I still cannot see my abs. What’s wrong with me?”
Before I answer the two questions above, let’s examine the conditions that enable us to see our abdominal muscles.
In girls a percentage of body fat of 12-13% and in guys, a percentage in the 6-8% range enables the visibility of such muscles. Therefore, visible abdominal muscles come as a result of low body fat levels.
If you think of crunches when you think of working your abs, you’re not alone. Crunches are a great way to target the abs, but there are more ways to workout. For one, crunches mainly work just one of the muscle groups in your core: the rectus abdomen. And they only work it from one angle. You can train your abs without ever doing a single crunch, and if crunches are your go-to abs exercise, it’s probably time that you do! Need some crunch-free workout ideas?
Doing Too Many Reps
There is no need to do 50, 100, or thousands of crunches each day. Many people do more, thinking it will help them spot-reduce (lose fat) from the belly, but that is a myth. In fact, if you are doing your exercises correctly, 8-15 repetitions are all that you need to target those muscles and get results. Here’s an easy rule: Train the abs like you would any other muscle, which typically involves 1-3 sets of 8-20 repetitions per exercise
Not Focusing on Form
If you’re doing an abdominal exercise and you’re not really feeling it, I’m going to tell you a cold, hard truth: It’s probably not because you’re super strong and fit. More likely, you’re not doing it properly.
The key to really working your abs is to focus on your form, by deeply engaging your abs throughout each movement. This is commonly described as “pulling your navel towards your spine,” or “scooping” the abs inward and it will help you engage more muscle fibers (especially the transverse abs), making each repetition more effective.
And did you know: Mentally focusing on the muscles you’re trying to engage during any exercise (abs or otherwise) actually does make a difference in how well you execute the move? Try it next time and you’ll notice a difference!
Believing in Belly Fat Burners
Can specific foods, nutrients, diet pills, or supplements really target belly fat and help you melt it away? Probably not. There is some research to show that certain nutrients may help people lose more belly fat, but most of this “research” is sketchy at best—poorly controlled, poorly designed, and not well replicated.
It’d be nice to think that you could just eat an exotic berry or pepper—or pop a pill that contains them—and melt away the inches from your waist, but don’t fall for this hype. The person telling you that any food or product can burn fat from your belly has one goal in mind: selling you something. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Neglecting the Rest of Your Core
The rectus abdominis (or abs, for short) run down the front of the torso, from the center of the ribcage to the pubic bone.
These are the main muscles that work when you do any sort of “crunching” motion (spinal flexion). But your torso also extends, bends, and rotates—and all of those motions should be part of your abs training repertoire.
A good rule of thumb is that every time you train your abs, you should also target the obliques and lower back as well. Most people I know DONT PLANK!!! Planking is the best workout to activate all your core muscles
There is no thing as Spot Training
You may be surprised to know that most people actually DO have strong, defined abs…they just happen to be covered by a layer of fat. So how do you get rid of that layer of fat? More crunches, right? Wrong. More of the exercises listed above? Also wrong. All the abs-toning exercises in the world won’t burn the fat on top of the muscle. To accomplish this, you need a combination of Cardio a good weight lifting routine to add lean muscle, and a healthy diet to create a caloric deficit necessary to lose weight.
DIET IS EVERYTHING
Now you don’t expect to get a set of great abs while you are guzzling away alcohol and indulging in extra food.
The phrase you heard is right ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN! the only way you can see your well-ripped abs is when your body fat is low enough which I have mentioned above.
If your diet is not correct then hours of cardio also will leave you frustrated during the end of the day. Be smart and make healthy eating a part of your lifestyle. If you think starving will speed up things then you are wrong.
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A poetess and an inquisitive soul, Meher is currently finishing her graduation in fashion media communication besides working in the industry as she explores her likings.