Ab training can be vastly overlooked by many people working out. Everyone may want 6 pack abs, but your abs play a bigger role than just looking good. Your abs are a fundamental body part. They contribute to almost everything you do from your posture to sitting. They're even more important when it comes to training. Sit-ups have become the basis of ab training. They’ve been used since working out has gained popularity and is used in gyms all the time. Is sit-ups the best exercise you should be doing? We’ll answer that below.
Anyone that is working out should have a good basis of ab training. This way you can stay safe and train your abs effectively. If you’re unsure about your ab training or your training program in general you should hire a personal trainer. Your trainer has a wealth of knowledge. They’ve spent the years and studying and gaining experience to teach you the best way to train. Superprof has 100s of personal trainers all over Canada that are ready to be your trainer. They’ll help you reach your fitness goals. Superprof trainers offer sessions online and in-person given you the freedom and flexibility to train when you want to train.
What Are Your Ab Muscles?
Your abs play an important role in almost everyone's position. For instance, your abs are engaged when you sit. They help support your spine and help keep you upright. Everyone always wants a 6 pack ups, but having a strong core should be a primary focus in anyone's training plan. Your abs have multiple muscles.
1. Rectus Abdmonis - The muscles that are shown as 6 pack abs. They help your abs flex forward.
2. External Obliques - The muscle on the side of your abs. They help you rotate your up body.
3. Transverse Abdmonis - The muscle is the deepest ab muscles and wraps around the waist to support the spine.
There are a few more muscles that are considering your abs but these are your core ones. It should be noted your lower back is apart of your abs. Having a strong abdomen and a weak lower back is going to cause pain. Your lower back needs to be tailored to your ab training.
Understanding the muscles of your abdomen can help you train them effectively. Besides training them efficiently you should also know how to use your abs properly when working out. Your abs help support your spine and help shift weight through your upper body to your lower body. You should be thinking about your abs with each exercise. There is a technique called bracing that allows you to keep your core tight well-performing and exercise. Bracing is when you flex your abs. This will keep your core tight when performing exercises. There is lots of video about bracing online that you should look into or talk with a personal trainer.
How To Get a 6 Pack?
Getting a 6 pack is the main reason people train their abs, but just training your abs won't guarantee you a 6 pack. There a few things to consider that will talk about. You may have seen 6 pack abs in 10 days online or something along those lines. This is not the case in the real world. Getting a 6 pack will require hard work and consistency. There is no shortcut to getting a 6 pack.
Eat Right - You can't out-train your bad diet for abs. You need to consistently be eating right to keep those extra pounds off and not eating enough is a problem as well. You need to ensure your body is getting the calories it needs. If you are unsure about eating right talk with your trainer or dietician.
Train your whole body - Working out your whole body will ensure you on your way to getting abs. Training just your abs isn't the way to go to get a 6 pack. Yes, training your abs does strengthen them but it doesn't make the fat disappear.
You Can't Spot Reduce - This point goes in with the other points. Training only one body part doesn't mean you’ll lose weight on that body part. We can’t choose the parts of our body we want to lose weight. Although this would be great, it’s not the case. We all hold weight in different parts of our body, so as you lose weight you’ll start to notice it in other areas of your body most likely before you lose weight in the area you want.
Exercises To Improve Your Ab Training
A good exercise plan will incorporate ab training. In our opinion, ab training should be more functional. It's still an effective way to train your ab muscles than performing a single exercise. For example, we can use is toe touches. Toe touches are when you lie on your back with your legs in the air. Then you reach for your toes and come back to a flat back position. This exercise works primarily in your middle abdomen. It may be good exercise, but it's not ideal. Now, let's compare toe touches to a plank. A plank works your whole abdomen and teaches you to have a strong core. It's more effective than just hitting one muscle.
Effective Ab Exercises
Planks - Planks seem to be the go-to exercise for all ab exercise, but they're inefficient exercises good for anybody. Planks work your lower back and your whole abdomen. Your plank also helps reinforcing bracing which can be used in another exercise in the gym. A quick tip is to think about this exercise. Focus on the muscles your working. When you think about it your actively working each muscle properly.
Glute Bridge - You do feel this in your glutes primarily but you're also working your core. Glute bridges focus on working your abdomen, lower back and glutes. These muscles are used together which make up your core. performing this exercise properly will help build a strong core. You shouldn't feel this exercise in your lower back so also try to perform proper form.
Cable Twists - This exercise is perfect for the core. It primarily works your oblique muscles and stabilizing your core. If you don't have access to have cable machines resistance bands work just as well. Obliques help with rotation of the spine as well as stabilizing. Any time you grab a box from high or low it mimics this movement. Performing this move correctly will transfer to other parts of your day to day task.
Knee Raises - Knee raises can be done by hanging from a bar or lying on your back. When done properly they work your whole abdomen. It's important to focus on bringing your knees close to your chest. This will actively engage your abs. It's also important not to swing during the exercise. You have to keep your abdomen tight to stay still.
Lots of other exercises are going to effective as well we just wanted to give you a good start to your ab training. Most ab exercises can be done by performing 3 sets of at least 8 reps. It's important to go at your own pace and speak with a professional before starting any new routine.
Start Ab Training!
Now that you know the importance of ab training and the exercises you need to start doing it's time to start. Ab training should be added to any good fitness training. It's important to have a strong core. If you are unsure about your training you can always hire a personal trainer with Superprof. They'll take the guess work out for you.
Start training your abs the right way.
For more information about fitness training check out our article about Nutrition, Cardio, Weight Loss or Misconceptions. You can also check out Avoiding Crucial Fitness Mistakes for a complete guide.