5) Training Them Every Day
“But Arnold worked the abs every day!” Save it. Abs are just like any other muscle in your body. That means they need time to recover. When they get worked hard, a couple of days’ reprieve is necessary, in my opinion.
If you can crunch yourself into submission one day and then wake up the next morning ready for more, take it as proof that crunches aren’t actually working your abs as hard as they should be. Try a harder movement and tell me if you’re up for repeating it tomorrow.
6) Only Doing Crunches
I heard the question you just screamed “So what’s better than a crunch, maaan?” There are dozens of exercises that are much more effective than the traditional crunch.
In fact, the traditional crunch is one of the least effective ab exercises you can do. And just because you can’t perform these other movements for hundreds of reps doesn’t mean they’re not effective. Trust me, this one is:
Pike Roll-Out On A Fitness Ball
7) Not Focusing On Form
Again, abs are just like any other muscle in your body. So why are you writhing around like you’re on fire to work them, when you’re a stickler for form on your squats and presses? Focus on form and make sure your abs engage in every rep.
When you start doing more advanced and effective ab movements like the pike roll-out, you’ll discover that they’re pretty much impossible to perform sloppily.
8) Forgetting About Your Lower Back
The core has a front and a side, but it has a back, too. A lot of people neglect the lower back muscles (erector spinae), so make sure to train them just as you would with every other muscle.
If you want to have a strong core, treat your lower back like your abs. Train it hard and smart, and you’ll feel as strong as you look.
9) Only Working In One Angle
Your obliques, transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and erector spinae are all part of your core, but they’re different muscles with fibers running in all manner of directions. You must train them in more than just one angle.
Complex, difficult movements like windshield wipers can work the whole team at the same time, but if you’re not there yet, don’t take it as an excuse to revert back to middle-school-crunch tests.
- seated twists (spinal rotation)
- hyperextensions (spinal extension)
- side bends (lateral spinal flexion)
are all movements that target your core in more comprehensive ways than the typical crunch(spinal flexion).
10) Using Infomercial Ab Gizmos
Seriously? That thing brings you about as close as possible to kicking your own ass. And if you really think that wiggling from side to side is enough to make you lose 10 pounds in two weeks, you’ve got the kick coming!