Do you want to develop a set of abs that is lean and defined? You know, the type that every fitness magazine has been promising you since the dawn of time?
If you’re like most individuals who exercise, the answer is most likely a loud yes. However, despite the focus and attention that they frequently receive, many people make a variety of ab workout errors that prevent them from achieving their goal.
And if this describes you, it’s not your fault. The problem lies with the mainstream fitness industry and its tendency to oversimplify reality.
For years, fitness publications and infomercials have misled us into believing that a ripped six-pack can be obtained by performing countless crunches or by including (or eliminating) specific foods from our diet.
While this isn’t a complete falsehood, it falls well short of what is required to get the chiseled abs that most of us desire.
So, in order to cut through some of the misinformation, in this article, we are going to guide you through the most common ab workout errors that people do and how you can prevent them.
Let’s get started.
10 Biggest AB workout errors
Here are the 10 Biggest AB workout errors that you may be making:
Mistake #1: Your Diet Is Crap
This is the most important. I’m not going to waste your time describing all the things that are harmful to you. You are already aware of this. So put down the cheeseburger. Do you want a flatter belly? Get rid of junk food, processed foods, fried foods, and everything else with a mountain of sugar in it. Toss it in the trash.
You need food that will increase your metabolism and keep you from feeling bloated. Peppers, fruits and vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acid-rich meals such as fish and nuts will all assist. Sweet potatoes, blueberries, legumes, and green tea are all healthy options. You also require protein. Yes, put a week’s supply of grilled chicken in your Spiderman lunchbox.
Mistake #2:Your Form Is Sloppy
The incorrect technique can turn a powerful motion into one that will do nothing for you. Some common mistakes are:
- Pulling on your neck, which enables your abs to slack off
- Using momentum rather than muscular strength
- Drooping your hips in plank and not maintaining your abs pulled in during every move
To receive any real benefit, you must be able to control your abdominal wall. Check your form in the mirror to see how well you’re doing.
Mistake #3: You’re Breathing Incorrectly—Or Not At All
Breathing should be the main focus during ab exercises. Why? Your stomach is located behind your abdominal wall. Breathing incorrectly pushes the stomach out, causing the abdominal wall to protrude, which is the exact opposite of what you want while doing ab workouts.
During a crunch, the proper way to breathe is as follows: Exhale as you pull your belly button into your spine and begin to curl up, keeping your abs pulled in throughout the motion. The trick is to exhale while pulling the abs in. You’ll notice a change right away.
Mistake #4: You’re Doing The Wrong Moves
A sit-up is the worst exercise for a flat stomach, especially when done incorrectly.
When you strain your neck, the hip flexors make most of the effort rather than the abs. Experts’ favorite moves include:
- Pilates-based workouts, such as plank poses
- Bicycle crunches
- Functional motions that engage the entire body
Crunches can be made more powerful by using Bosu and stability balls, which challenge your balance and drive your core to work harder.
Mistake #5: You’re Mailing In Your Cardio
Interval exercise will help you burn off excess belly fat faster than steady-state cardio. All you have to do is increase the speed of your exercise (walking, running, swimming, cycling) or the resistance for 60 or 90 seconds and repeat.
Change the duration, pace, and resistance of your intervals on a regular basis to keep your body engaged and prevent plateaus.
Mistake #6: Not Training At The Right Frequency
People have a tendency to over-train their abs, often wanting to exercise them after each workout. However, while this may appear to progress, it is really counterproductive.
Your abs, like any other muscle, need time for recovery after each workout. As a result, you should work out your abs no more than 2-3 times a week, at most.
And, in reality, many individuals can train them once a week and get fantastic results, as long as they work them out properly each time and avoid many of the mistakes described in this article.
Mistake #7: Missing The Mind And Muscle Connection
It is important to contract your core effectively when exercising abs, especially during crunches. Most people believe that when they perform a crunch, they are exercising their abs. But in reality, they are mostly working their hip flexors. Crunches should be performed without engaging the hip flexors in order to correctly train your abs. Avoid doing a full crunch for this, i.e., your lower back should not get off the floor. This will limit your crunch range. But it is the safest and most effective range for your rectus abdominal workout.
Mistake #8: Living A Sedentary Lifestyle
Because the body must continuously stabilize itself, movement engages the core muscles the most. Whether it’s from falling while walking or doing a specific movement (lift a leg or throw something). Naturally, the more active a person is, the more powerful and strong his core muscles are.
Sedentary people avoid activities that involve a lot of bending. That is one of the main reasons why most people have extra fat around their belly. That is where the majority of the core muscles are concentrated.
Avoid periods of inactivity by moving as often as possible during the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand instead of sitting at your computer, and even clean the home instead of sitting and watching TV. All of this will increase the body’s resiliency, which is the goal of core training.
Mistake #9: Always Doing The Same Routine
When it comes to training abs—or any other body part—falling into a comfort zone is your worst enemy.
Suppose your ab routine involves machine crunches for 3 sets of 20 reps on a regular basis. And you seem to be performing the same work at every ab-training session. In that case, it’s time to increase the ante and intentionally make your training harder. This “progressive overload” can take the form of increased weight, less rest, or increased volume. But, you should always strive to improve on what you accomplished before.
Increasing the stress on a regular basis will continue making progress. That is the progressive component of progressive overload.
Mistake #10: Pushing Your Butt Out While Doing Planks
Doing planks incorrectly provides little to no benefit in terms of working your abs. It is very simple to perform this exercise wrong since you may not even be aware of your error. But it is also very easy to correct once you get your head around it!
Instead of bending over your lower back and pointing up with your buttocks, your entire body should be in one straight line. Your spine should be completely straight and in line with your buttocks.
The Bottom Line
Have you committed any of these ab workout errors when exercising before reading this article? Share the article with your friends and show them how to do their workouts correctly!