You’ll often look at people in the gym doing all sorts of things to get their abs to show, after all that’s the ultimate goal for a lot of people and that’s what defines the ideal physique for many of them.
You’ll see people churning out crunches after crunches in order to get their abs to show because that’s what has been advertised to us from the fitness magazines and the ads that we’ve seen on TV. A muscular dude with 6-pack abs doing crunches.
Now, don’t get me wrong — crunches are great, but only doing crunches while other aspects of fitness go for a toss won’t do you any good.
Hence, in an attempt to make things simpler for you, I’ll be going over some of the most common ab workout mistakes that I see people making and how you can avoid them! Let’s get started.
Mistake #1 Not Taking Care Of Overall Body Fat
It’s as simple as it gets, if your overall body fat is not low then your abs will not show no matter how many crunches you do in the gym. Period.
For your abs to show you’ll have to really invest your time and energy to curate a diet for yourself that will keep you in a caloric deficit which will lower your overall body fat.
Spot fat reduction is not a thing, meaning, you cannot lose fat from just one part of your body. That’s not how your body works. As you proceed to lose fat from your body and get below 15% body fat, that’s really when you’ll start seeing your abs.
Now, you know nutrition and exercise go hand in hand.
Mistake #2 Not Focusing On Your Abs
In addition to your compound movements like the bench press, squat, deadlift & overhead presses, you also need to supplement your ab muscles with certain isolation exercises to get them stronger.
Only doing compound movements will definitely give your core the functional strength it needs but in order to really sculpt your abs, you gotta show them some extra love.
Mistake #3 Ignoring The Fundamental Movements
Now, this might seem like an exaggeration or an unnecessary point but it isn’t.
You’ll come across a lot of people at the gym who only do ab workout as they don’t want a muscle mass, just some abs that they can flaunt.
Doing this might get you abs if your body fat percentage is low enough but you’ll lack the core stability and functional strength that you need to do some heavy lifting in life, the abs will be more of show piece that lack actual strength.
So, I would urge you to get the fundamentals right if you really want a well built and balanced physique.
Mistake #4 Improper Form
Working out with improper form will not get you good results not just in abs but any exercise in general.
Make it a rule to do every exercise with proper form that you can learn from the internet, youtube videos or SBF Exercise Guide.
Whatever the source maybe, do the movements right. Doing the movements with improper form will make you more prone to injuries which will thwart your progress in the long run.
Mistake #5 Overtraining
If you think you’re losing fat on the abs or strengthening the abdominal muscles the more frequently you engage them in your workout, then you need to stop.
You should treat your abs the way you treat other muscles in your body, like the chest, back, etc.
You should train your abs max 2-3 times a week and give proper rest in between sets. There’s no need to overstrain yourself, train smarter not harder.
Mistake #6 Not Training Them Properly
When training your abs, it’s just not churning out crunches in the gym.
You should bring variety in the type of exercises you include in your ab workout as you would want to train your abs from every angle. I’ll explain.
You need to train your Transversus Abdominis, Rectus Abdominis and Obliques and in order to do that you need to include a variety of exercises in your ab workout session.
Also, you should increase the difficulty level of the exercise if it gets easier rather than increasing the repetitions. Doing 100 crunches will improve your endurance but will not strengthen the ab muscles as much as doing 20 crunches with 50 pounds of weight on your chest will.
Now, this brings me to the final point for the article.
Mistake #7 Not Breathing While Exercising
I’ve seen a bunch of people just stop breathing while they’re doing a crunch or any exercise for that matter.
Breathing is crucial while you’re working out so don’t forget to breathe.
A general rule to follow is that you breathe in when you’re not working with the resistance and breathe out when you’re working against the resistance. For Example, in the case of bench presses, you breathe in as you lower the barbell towards your chest and breathe out as you push it towards the ceiling.
These are all the common ab workout mistakes that I’ve seen people make in the gym. If I’ve missed something, make sure you comment it down below. If there’s a topic that you would want to be addressed on the website, mention it in the comments below. Cheers.