Aiming for Abs?

Six pack abs are a common aim for those who work out. The issues is that many people seem to think that consistently focusing their attention on the abdominal area is the fastest path to the ab muscles they desire. However there are several popular mistakes that lots of people make - and we’d like to take a look at those today!

Choosing The Wrong Exercises

One of the main reasons that people struggle to get the abs of their dreams is that they aren’t choosing the right exercises. This can either be because of a lack of expertise, a lack of research, or simply that they do not enjoy doing the exercises that are going to yield the best results. 

Some of the most popular ab exercises are crunches and sit-ups. The problem with both of these exercises is that they actually place a great deal of strain on the weakest point of the spine. This means that doing either of these exercises regularly could lead to back pain and other associated spine issues in the future. These two exercises also aren't generally the most effective when it comes to toning the abs!

Training Too Much

Resting your muscles is just as important as training them, and this means that if you are overdoing it then you are hindering your own efforts.

If you are aching from your last workout then it is advisable that you give yourself a longer rest period before hitting the gym again. Training the same muscle group more than once in a 48 hour period is generally not a good idea and can slow your progress as well as potentially cause harm.

So, how can you succeed if you are aiming for abs?

Choose The Right Exercises

Planks

Planks are possibly one of the most effective exercises that you can do when it comes to developing your abs. However, to feel the full benefit of doing this exercise you will need to be aware of the different variations of the plank. This is because the key to success when it comes to building muscle is to always keep your body guessing, and do not simply stick to the same old exercises in the same old routine.

Suspension Training

Suspension training with a TRX is a great way to mix up your workout and to really challenge your abdominal muscles. This is something that you can do at home, outside of your home and also in the gym - as long as you have the correct equipment. Investing in a TRX is a fantastic way to mix up your exercise regime for better results. 

Don’t Overthink It

If you have a varied exercise routine that involves all of the major muscle groups then the chances are that you are already getting a great ab workout. Your core muscles will be engaged during a massive range of exercises that are designed to primarily build other muscle groups. This is because you will be working to keep your body balanced and stable as you push, pull and lift through each exercise - which is something your core contributes to greatly!

If you are targeting your core in a secondary way during your regular workouts, then you may find that you only need to specifically work on your abs for one or two short bursts of isolation exercises each week. You can also try adding in just one ab exercise after each of your other workouts. 

Take Care Of Yourself

Taking care of your body is a much larger concept than just the exercise regime that you engage in. Your sleep cycle and your diet will have a serious influence over your general health, and if you aren’t prioritising these two things then you are going to find it harder to build muscle.

Lower Your Body Fat

Realistically, if you want great ab definition then your body fat percentage will need to be around the 12% mark. If losing weight hasn't primarily been the aim of your gym sessions then you may struggle with this idea. However, making slight adjustments to your diet, lifestyle and training routine can get you on the right track to dropping body fat. Knowing how to manage your metabolism will also go a long way to helping you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. Upping the amount of cardio that you do can also go a long way to helping with weight loss.

Avoid The Quick Fix

Within the fitness industry (and indeed many other industries!) there is always someone who will sell you the promise of a quick fix. And these promises often unfortunately are without substance. Instead of focusing on how you can get ripped quick, focus that attention on finding a workout that you enjoy but that is also challenging for the entire body. 

References

1) http://www.menshealth.co.uk/building-muscle/abs-workout

2) https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/six-pack-science