Everyone tries to mix an ab workout into their daily or weekly routine, as who doesn’t want great looking abs? Working for that six pack can take a lot of time and effort, but sadly it doesn’t usually get the results that you want.
But why not? What’s stopping your abs workout from being as effective and giving you the best results possible? Here are a few reasons your abs workout may not be working:
Reason #1: Lack of Focus
When you do your ab workout, are you doing exercises focused on your abs exclusively or on your core as a whole? While you need to spend time working on your core, you shouldn’t do exercises that work your entire core at once.
The best way to get results is by focusing your exercises on the specific muscle you want to build. When doing an abs workout, make sure that your exercises ONLY focus on your abs. Do your obliques and lower back muscles as well, but use exercises that focus on ONLY those muscles.
Best advice: Do circuits for your core. Don’t just blast your abs with endless exercises, but work out your core in a circuit. Do an abs exercise, and follow it immediately with an exercise for your back, and another for your obliques. By the end of 5 to 8 circuits, you’ll have given your entire core a great workout, but you’ll have placed proper focus on each muscle!
Reason #2: Not Using Your Feet
Think about most of the abs workout exercises you do: crunches, sit-ups, twisting crunches, Russian twists, and more. Most of them involve your upper body, which you think will place the most focus on your abs. Well, while there is a good deal of focus, there is often less strain.
Remember: the harder the exercise is, the more muscle you build. Exercises that focus on upper body movements are good, but they’re not THE BEST.
Best advice: You should do exercises that use your lower body as well, as the weight of your legs is much greater than the weight of your upper body. Exercises that incorporate the weight of your legs are ideal for working out your abs effectively. Plus, you reduce the strain on your hips and strengthen your lower back!
Reason #3: Too Much Twisting
The Russian Twist is just one of the abs exercises you do that involve twisting of your upper body. While these twisting exercises can be good, they reduce the focus on your abs. You work out your sides and your stomach which twisting, and, while your abs muscles are engaged throughout the exercise, it’s never as effective as the pure abs-focused workouts.
Best advice: Try to stick with abs-focused exercises. The more you focus on the abs, the easier it will be to build strength. The stronger your abs muscles are, the more exercise you can do.
Reason #4: Lack of Weight
If you don’t add weight to your abs workout, how are you going to increase your strength? You may be able to do 100 crunches, but that only means that you have good stamina. You won’t see those abs muscles you want, and you’ll never make progress in terms of abs strength.
Best advice: Add some weight to increase the difficulty. If you can do 100 crunches, why not shoot for 20 crunches with a 35-pound weight disc on your chest? You’ll find that it’s MUCH harder than you think, and THAT is how you build the strength that will make your abs stand out!