We asked five of our top trainers and nutritionists with over 60 years of experience what the most common ab training mistakes clients make when it comes to abs.
Here’s what they had to say:
7 Most Common Ab Training Mistakes
Mistake 1: Not focusing on your diet
You have a six pack, your grandma has a six pack… everyone has a six pack. But just because everyone has a six pack doesn’t mean you can always see it. In order to have a visible six pack, you have to have a low enough body fat percentage.
So, if your goal is to have a visible six pack, take control of your nutrition. Eating right will have more meaningful results than doing miserable planks and crunches everyday.
Remember though, having a strong, healthy core is much more important in the long run than visible abs.
Mistake 2: Neglecting the rest of your core
Your six pack is just one part of your core. Your core wraps all the way around your spine and includes other muscles like the obliques, erector spinae, etc. in your sides and lower back.
Training your core is not just about seeing abs, it’s about protecting your spine and improving your overall strength, health and posture.
Mistake 3: Doing abs at the beginning of your workout
To build on #2, your core protects your spine and keeps your lumbar stable while doing other movements squats, lunges, presses, etc.
For these big heavy exercises you want your core operating on a full tank of gas. Taxing them before these big movements puts you at risk for injury. So… save the ab exercises for the end of your workout.
Mistake 4: Training abs every day
Just like other muscle groups, your abs need time to recover. If your abs are sore from yesterday’s workout, don’t train them directly today.
Mistake 5: Only doing crunches
This is a VERY common mistake. There are many different muscles that make up the muscles of the core and abdomen. Use a variety of exercises to build up their strength (leg lifts, planks, roll outs, etc.)
Mistake 6: Not focusing on form
Just like any other exercise or muscle group, focus on form. Keeping good form will be harder and you’ll get better results.
Mistake 7: Judging the success of a nutrition or training program on having visible abs
Not trying to get too existential here, but why are you working out and improving your nutrition? Is it to have visible abs so you can impress others? Or is it to become the strongest, healthiest version of yourself both inside and out?
Yes, seeing your abs is a great benchmark that your program is working. However, there are plenty of other ways to measure the success of any nutrition or workout program. Ab training is just one part of it.
So don’t worry if you don’t see a six pack. Just continue to improve and get stronger every day. And give yourself a hug while you’re at it. You’re the bees knees!