- A strong core will help you prevent injury and perform exercises correctly.
- If you focus on every single muscle fiber you'll get a much better workout.
- If you want to kick up your workout a notch try adding outside stress.
4 Quick Tips To Get More From Your Ab Workout
Regardless of the time of year, if there's one goal that almost everyone has all season long, getting a lean and defined midsection is it. You could have the primary goal of adding ten pounds of lean muscle to your frame, completing changing your look, or the goal to strip off those final few pounds that have taken up home on your upper thighs but regardless of what your primary goal, you still want abs.
Abs are hot, significant dedication, and help create a very well rounded physique. This is not to even mention the fact that a strong core is going to set you up to prevent injury and perform all the other exercises in your program correctly.
Click To Enlarge.
Abs Are Hot, Significant Dedication, And Help
Create A Very Well Rounded Physique.
So what's stopping you? How come so many people are going into the gym but are not coming out with a rock-hard stomach?
The problem is their training strategy.
Let's take a brief look at some of the most critical things that must be in place in your abs workout if you're going to take your results up to the next level.
1. Mind-Muscle Connection
The very first thing that you'll want to ensure is in place if you're going to increase the total tension that you place on the abs is a good mind-muscle connection.
Think for a second about the last time you did your ab workout. Did you just go about doing the exercises, never really paying too much attention to what you were actually doing? Perhaps you were thinking about your post-workout meal all lined up or what you were going to be doing later on in the day.
You were still doing your ab exercises but you weren't mentally there like you should be. As soon as you 'mentally check-out', you're going to immediately reduce the overall intensity that you work the abs and decrease the overall muscular recruitment.
This will then cause you to see fewer results from each ab workout, moving you further away from reaching your goals.
If you can instead focus on squeezing every single muscle fiber in the abs as you rise up and come down again, you'll get that much better of a workout and ensure that you are hitting those muscles deepest within the core.
Second, the next thing that you should be doing is seeking out exercises that increase the intensity. While the standard crunch is great and can provide some benefits, after a while it likely just isn't going to cut it any longer. You're going to need something else to shock the system and provide a higher level of stimulus to keep those muscles responding.
That's where intensity comes in.
You can either add more intensity to your ab workout by shortening up the rest break you take between the exercises you're doing therefore causing the ab muscles to work that much harder as you progress through the session or by adding some form of weight resistance to the exercises themselves.
So for example if you're doing a decline sit-up, you may consider doing weighted decline sit-ups instead.
Or, if you're doing a hanging leg raise, consider attaching a cable band to the legs before you get into position and pulling up into the leg raise from there.
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Any method that you can use to increase the amount of resistance that the abs must work against is going to cause them to contract that much harder, bringing you that much closer to top level definition.
Another very critical thing that must be in place if you're going to see results from your ab workouts is variation. Just like you wouldn't go into the gym and perform the same leg workout for months on end, you should never rely on the same ab exercises either.
The abs are even more likely to adapt to any given stress than any of the other muscle groups in the body, so you should actually be changing them out more frequently than any other exercises.
Click To Enlarge.
Another Very Critical Thing That Must Be In Place If You're Going
To See Results From Your Ab Workouts Is Variation.
Come up with a repertoire of ten to fifteen different exercises that you can incorporate into your ab workout. There really is no shortage when it comes to options so get creative or better yet, check out our exercise database. If you can swap out one of the ab exercises in your routine each time you're in the gym (the others can remain constant), you'll be on your way to seeing better results than before.
4. Outside Stress
Finally, if you really want to kick the workout up a notch, consider using some outside stress that is applied away from the body. This type of stress is slightly different than just adding weight to the muscles because it's going to come at you from an outside force, throwing you off your intended pattern of movement.
For instance, you may have someone stand in front of you while you're performing your crunches and toss a medicine ball to the side of your body so you have to twist over and catch it.
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Since you'll not only then be adding the twisting motion but you'll also have to contract the ab muscles in order to combat the force of the medicine ball being propelled forward, you're going to raise the level of intensity yet again.
Likewise, you may even just want to do a simple drill where you stand in the ready position with the knees slightly bent and a partner comes at you from the side (within reason so as to not cause injury) and tries to twist you off balance.
Many athletes who do play contact sports (such as football or hockey) will utilize this technique to improve their ability to withstand force and maintain balance. You can use it too in order to see a higher level of muscular contraction and really get the most from your workouts.
So keep all of these quick tips in mind. It doesn't take all that much in order to see better results from your ab workouts but you absolutely must understand what you're doing.
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