When it comes to doing abs, people every day are making some big ab workout mistakes that are making it take longer to see results. In this video, I’m going to show you the biggest ab training problems that I see and help you to fix how you do your ab exercises to get much more out of them. The best part is, the issues shown here can apply to almost every single ab exercise that you do, instantly making them work when you include them into your workouts.
The first thing most people do wrong when it comes to training their abs is speeding through their reps. This is obviously something that people do on other lifts as well but it seems to be even more common on ab exercises. You get no points for finishing more reps of ab work. Instead, you get better results when the reps you do are high quality.
This is something that we have mentioned many times before in our ab videos and that is, stop counting reps and instead make your reps count. Every rep should be initiated by the muscles of your core that you are trying to train instead of using momentum and assistance from every muscle but the one you want to develop.
The next thing people mess up is the tendency to cut the range of motion short on all ab exercises. All you have to do is look at a standard floor crunch to see this in action. Most lift their shoulders off the ground at the very start of the exercise and then never put them back down again until the set is over. That isn’t correct. Instead, take every rep through its full available range of motion (which is already short in most ab exercises) and you will get more out of every set you do.
Next is the incorporation of an incorrect breathing pattern on every repetition. It is generally accepted that when you exert yourself on a rep of an exercise you should exhale and breathe out. That is good. The issue comes with what you allow your abdomen or belly to do when you do this. You want to exhale your breathe but pull down on your belly and cinch it tightly to your spine via the contraction of the transverse abdominus muscle. So think not about blowing your belly out as you blow the air out but tightening the waistline as you blow the air out and you will get this right every time on every ab exercise.
Next up is the tendency of people to skip oblique training for fear that it will give them a blocky waistline. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, at higher body fat levels, the upper obliques are actually something that could still be visible and would contribute to a tapering effect of the torso. When the lower abdominal fat is lost over time, the development of the lower obliques is going to give you that much desired V taper that only comes from training the obliques.
Finally, we can never talk about getting great looking abs without making sure you realize that your ab training begins outside the gym. Nutrition is and always will be the key to seeing your abs (or not). Start including some calf and jaw exercises into your workouts and I promise you’ll start to see the results of your ab exercises and workouts much sooner. Remember, no ab exercise by itself will ever hold the key to getting a ripped six pack. Only the right nutrition plan combined with smart training will.
If you’re looking for a step by step meal plan to go along with your daily ab exercises, head to athleanx.com at the link below and start seeing what it’s like to train like an athlete.
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Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS
Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.