So you’ve completed 500 sit-ups and crunches for weeks and still, you’re not getting the results you want. What could you be doing wrong? Below are the most common workout mistakes that keep you from achieving the abs of your dreams:
Your Workout Repertoire Lack Variety
One of the best ways to build defined abs is to combine isolation abdominal workout with compound movements. And if you’re only focusing on the crunches, you won’t get the results you want. So mix up your fitness repertoire by adding deadlifts, overhead presses, and squats. These exercises will activate the core.
Working Out the Abs First
The abdominal area is part of the body’s core. To maintain mobility and balance, the core has to be strong. And if you work out the abs so early in your routine, you will stress out the abdominal muscles. You’ll have a hard time completing other exercises that engage the core if you tire out the ab muscles early. As such, always keep the abdominal exercises at the end of your routine.
Crunching the Bad Eating Habits Away
Doing 1,000 crunches won’t erase the sins of eating two-quarter pounder for lunch and a whole pizza for dinner. To achieve chiseled abs, you have to keep the body fat percentage down. And you can’t keep your body fat down if you keep eating fattening foods. Exercising shouldn’t be used as a reason to eat anything you want. To optimize your workout, you have to keep your diet in check.
A Full Abdominal Workout
You only need to work out the midsection for a maximum of 15 minutes to develop definition. If you go beyond that, you’re overworking the muscles. You don’t have to dedicate 45 minutes of your time doing series of abdominal exercises. Just perform compound exercises – like squats and deadlifts – and you’re good to go.
Daily Abdominal Training
You don’t have to work out the midsection every day to develop washboard abs! Working the abdominal muscles too hard won’t speed up the process of building definition.
Just like any muscles, abdominal muscles have to recover from every workout. An intense abdominal workout is hard on the muscles. You have to give your body enough time to heal and recover. And if you’ve done hundreds of crunches the day before and you wake up raring for more, it’s a sign that you didn’t work the abs hard enough.
The Wrong Form
You know you’re engaging the abdominal muscles when you feel “the burn” in the midsection. But if you’ve been working out the midsection and the back is the one feeling the burn, it means you’re not focusing on the right form.
The proper form will apply pressure to the right muscle. The wrong one will engage other muscle groups. That’s efforts wasted right there. Always focus on achieving the correct form, engage the abdominal muscles all the time.
Focusing on One Angle
Just because you want washboard abs doesn’t mean you should concentrate on the midsection alone. You have to train the lower back, the obliques, and the glutes too. An effective workout will not isolate a single group of muscles. It will engage the surrounding muscles too. You want to engage these muscle groups to enhance power and definition.