When it comes to the abdominal region, the majority of individuals – whether male or female, endurance or power athletes, young or old – want to achieve that flat toned stomach and six pack definition. Much of this is down to a combination of both social pressure and an attempt to attract the opposite sex through an aesthetically pleasing physique.
The problem with the abdominal region is that although many individuals rate it as the body region which they care about the most, this is not necessary reflected in their training, with many individuals performing several lackluster crunches at the end of a session before quickly making good their escape from the gym! This article aims to identify 5 common mistakes when it comes to abdominal workouts, in an attempt to right your wrongs and provide you with that torso you always dreamed of.
5 Common Abdominal Workout Mistakes
- Neglecting the abdominals: Quite simply, as stated above individuals seem quite regimented about other body parts, such as chest and back and will have prescriptive exercises to complete. However, this mentality is not transferred to their abdominal workout which ultimately means, at best, several randomly selected crunch variations are selected and this is considered adequate. The abdominal muscles are not given the attention they deserve and require and the results reflect this.
- Lacking the intensity: Why is it that individuals who want to gain shape and size on their chest and back will perform repetitions of 8-12 using a relatively heavy resistance but will not apply the same principles to their abdominals? The abdominal is just like any other muscle in your body and requires adequate stimulation to develop and enhance. You wouldn’t perform chest and back exercises with no resistance and undertake high repetitions – so why apply this logic to your abdominals?
- Missing the abdominals: This particular reason is really quite astonishing. It’s the equivalent of attempting to train your chest but actually targeting a completely different muscle group! Believe it or not, many individuals carrying out so called abdominal exercises are actually targeting the lower hip flexor muscles rather than the abdominal region. Always ensure the exercise you select is targeting the muscle region you wish to exercise and complete your movements with textbook form.
- Only targeting the upper abdominals: Most individuals only perform abdominal exercises which target the upper abdominal region. However, if you look closely at the muscular make-up of the abdominal region there are in fact a further 3 sections to target; those being the lower abdominal region, the external obliques positioned either side of your mid section and transverse abdominis which runs beneath all of the above. Only targeting the upper abdominals means 75% of the torso is being neglected!
- Neglecting diet and cardiovascular training: It is all well and good performing abdominal exercises but the truth is, if you have excess fat around your torso region then your six pack is unlikely to shine through. There is a myth that performing abdominal exercises will actually target this fatty tissue and shred it away, unfortunately this is simply not true. The best method to remove unwanted fat around the torso is through a combination of cardiovascular exercise and diet.
So there you have it, 5 common mistakes when it comes to abdominal workouts highlighted and listed for all to see. If you are guilty of one or more of the above, then why not attempt to rectify these errors accordingly and start to reap the rewards.