Ab training tends to be the favorite of most aesthetically-inclined people. Nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t want ripped-to-shred 6-pack abs?! I know we all do!
Unfortunately, most people tend go a little overboard with ab training where they make some very common mistakes. We should avoid these ab training mistakes at all costs, as they can lead down the road of counter-productivity.
What Are The Most Common Ab Training Mistakes? Part 1
Let’s run down the list of the most common ab training mistakes and what we can do to correct them. More importantly, how to train abs the RIGHT way!
We found this interesting article on BodyBuilding.com called Ab Abominations, which lists the most common abdominal training mistakes.
But here’s the thing about ab training: What you do is only one half of the equation. What you don’t do is the other—and I’m not just talking about the usual pre-photo shoot fitness model tricks like avoiding sodium, carbs, happiness, or air. I’m referring to the piles of abominable abdominal misinformation lurking out there, both on television and in casual conversation.
1. Forgetting About Compound Exercises
If you strictly perform isolation ab exercises, you’re making a huge mistake. Compound movements like deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses engage every inch of your core.
Simple and smart! Big lifts that incorporate many muscles simultaneously always work your core to a VERY high degree! Get compound movements into your workouts NOW if you don’t have them already.
2. Doing Ab Exercises First
NEVER do ab exercises first. This is a simple one that should be followed to a tee. Just because you want that ridonculous 6-pack midsection does not mean that you can prioritize isolation of your abs over the big, compound exercises. Exercises which activate more abdominal muscles than isolation exercises themselves!
Your abs are part of your core area, which helps stabilize your body. If you fatigue them early in your workout, you will have a hard time doing other ab-intensive exercises like squats. And just so we’re clear, the role that your core plays in squats is to protect your spine, so you want them to have a full tank at that point. Save your ab training for the end.
3. Thinking You Can Out-Crunch Your Diet
Probably the biggest mistake of working out in general, let alone just trying to spot reduce your belly by doing crunches til your blue in the face.
If you eat shitty food, even doing a million crunches will not help your cause. DIET IS KING!! Have a look for yourselves in our diet article here.
The secret to visible abs is no secret at all: Lower your body fat percentage. This doesn’t happen by doing hundreds of reps of ab exercises—nor thousands, nor millions. You can train your abs all you want, but if your diet isn’t in check, you’ll never see that six-pack.
4. Having A Full Workout Just For Abs
C’mon maaaan!! Abs are great and all, but they are not great enough to deserve their own dedicated day! Don’t be silly!
If you’re already doing compound exercises like squats and deadlifts, one or two ab exercises for 2-3 sets each at the end of your workout is sufficient.
Continue on to Part 2 of Ab Training Mistakes