5 ‘Ab Training’ Mistakes You Don’t Know You Are Making
Be it a beginner, an intermediate or an advanced lifter, everybody wants a chiselled six pack. However, in the chase for it, a lot of people make terrible mistakes and end up screwing their metabolism and muscle mass. With this article, I will be shedding light on 5 common ‘ab’ training mistakes that people make.
Understanding The Core
The Core aka the torso involves the rectus abdominis (abs), lower/middle back muscles, internal/external oblique and the pelvic muscles. It is basically the central part of a human body which determines most of your daily activities like bending, twisting, standing, stabilizing the body and last but not least, lifting weights.
Mistake 1: Performing Crunches To Burn Belly
This is one of the most common myths of all. Performing crunches to burn belly fat is the most idiotic thing you can do. If you really want to shred belly fat, then cut down your calorie intake. Mind it, training your abs for hours will not give you a flat tummy. There is a famous phrase on abs, i.e. ‘abs are made in the kitchen’. Hence, eat clean if you really want a tight and crisp core.
Mistake 2: Not training abs enough
Okay, now there are people who spend almost an hour on their abs workout and some don’t do anything at all. Both the approaches are incorrect. Abdominal muscles are similar to other muscles and need rest and recovery as well. In my opinion, training abs twice or thrice a week would be an optimum split. If you train abs regularly, you will end up entering the over training zone.
Mistake 3: Missing The Mind And Muscle Connection
While training abs, especially during crunches, it is really important to contract your abs properly. While performing a crunch, most people think that they are training their abs whereas they involve their hip flexors predominately. In order to train your abs precisely, one should perform crunches without involving their hip flexors. For this, avoid doing a full crunch i.e. your lower back should not go off the floor. This will compromise your crunch range, but scientifically it is the safest and most ideal range for your rectus abdominis workout.
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Mistake 4: Not Adding Resistance to Abs Workout
As mentioned above, abs are similar to other muscles and like any other muscle, even they grow based on the progressive overload protocol. If you can easily perform 15+ repetitions in your ab workouts, then it’s time to add some resistance to that particular exercise.
Mistake 5: Going On A Crash Diet To Get The Shredded Look
I see a lot of people going on a crash diet just to get a shredded core. However, it actually becomes a counterproductive practice. Your hard earned gains go for a toss on a prolonged crash diet. Moreover, you also mess up your metabolism. As a result, the moment you start eating normally, the lost weight bounces back and very quickly. Therefore, always consume a balanced diet that will help you shed fat while preserving muscle mass.
Rachit Dua is an advanced K11 certified fitness coach for general and special population (people with medical issues, old age people, pregnant women, and children) and a certified sports nutritionist. You can get in touch with him.