So you’ve been endlessly crunching away at the end of every workout, but still aren’t seeing any ab definition? You’re likely making one of these common mistakes.
- Spot Training your Body Fat
Unfortunately no matter how hard you try, you cannot spot reduce. I hear endlessly, ” I want slimmer arms, or a smaller waist.”
The only way to make certain body parts leaner, is to lose body fat throughout the entire body by weight training, incorporating cardio and being smart about your nutrition.
If you cannot see ab definition, you likely have too much body fat covering that area. No amount of crunches can help you. Lowering your body fat will start in the kitchen. With a smart meal plan and consistency.
- Inconsistent Nutrition
Speaking of sticking to a healthy diet, if you are following a ‘fad’ diet, or making drastic changes (that you aren’t likely to continue), you are not doing yourself a favor. The key is to find a nutrition plan, that is easy, one that works for you, and one you can continue with – even after treating yourself to a cheat meal.
The yo-yo dieting, is never going to help. Find a plan and stick with it.
- Training Abs after Every Workout
Many people like to incorporate ab and core work at the end of their daily routines. However it is likely you are OVER-TRAINING your core!
You wouldn’t train legs everyday right? Exactly! Stick to training CORE (not just ab crunches) 2-3x a week.
- Too Many Reps – Not Enough Weight
Too often, I see gym members fit themselves into an ab machine and crank out 300 reps… this isn’t helpful. If it’s taking you 100 reps to feel a burn, or feel the exercise… ADD weight! Start light. Adding 5lbs, then 10lbs, 15lbs.. etc.
Lower your rep range to 8-12 or 15-20.
All muscles need resistance in order to grow.
- Your Ab Routine Includes – Crunches, Crunches and Crunches
Going back to point #4. many people lack the knowledge and experience to understand that your abs DO NOT just run ‘up and down’ your stomach.
Ab and Core muscles actually run in FOUR different directions. In order to get the most out of your training, you need to incorporate exercise that train in all these directions.
The Internal and External Abdominal Obliques, lay on top of each other, on both sides of your body. They are responsible for rotating your torso. – Exercises like the Russian Twist or Bicycles will help train this area.
The Transverse Abdominis is often neglected and plays the biggest role in preventing and limiting low back pain. Practicing the VACCUUM technique or exercise will help strengthening the Transverse Abdominis. You can do it while sitting up or lying down. All you have to do is suck your belly in as far as you can and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Make sure you are pulling your abs in as they were meeting your back. – Try this at work, on the couch, etc!
The Rectus Abdominis is what is known as the ‘six pack’ – These muscles are responsible for bending the trunk and stability. Floor Crunches with your feet elevated or crunches on a stability ball will help isolate this group.
Stay Tuned and Check back later this week to view my favorite Ab Routine!!