Sunday, August 22, 2010

Make your ab workout a good workout.

It's funny, in the past week alone, I added two clients to my rotation—both of which want to focus primarily on abdominal exercises. Lucky for them, I love this particular muscle group and there are a gazillion different abdominal exercises out there. Google "abdominal exercises" and you'll get 448,000 links. Google "core exercises" and you'll get a whopping 14,700,000 links. I'll let you dive into the exercises as you see fit, but in honor of my new clients, I'd like to share a few pointers that will hopefully help you make your ab workout a good workout. (Some of which I've mentioned before, so consider this a bit of a review as well.)

1) Many say that practice makes perfect, while others say that perfect practice makes perfect. And I tend to believe them. Sloppy form gets you nowhere, especially when it comes to abdominal exercises. The core can be a tricky thing to engage, and only the best form will help you do so.

2) What's the rush? It's not about how quickly you complete your abdominal exercises, it's about how effectively you complete them. So take it slow. Or at least medium slow.

3) It's about quality, not quantity. You can do 100 crunches, but you'll probably lean toward improper form. 15 to 25 really good, solid crunches would be better.

4) Breathe. And avoid momentum. 'Nuff said.

5) Take a break. Just like every other muscle group, your abs need a rest day in between sessions.

6) Behind every set of abdominal muscles is a stomach, so mind what you put in that stomach because it ultimately makes or breaks your ab routine. Eat well, and you'll feature a whittled middle. Eat like crap, and your ab workout is a wash.

Question: How often do you train your abdominal muscles?

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