Some six pack abs workouts can be so counter productive that they can actually hurt your progress. In this article we’re going to talk about the five biggest ab workout mistakes that are absolutely KILLING your six pack abs and any chances of you ever seeing them.
Seriously, I’m gonna give you some real tips that I’ve used to build up six pack abs much faster than most people.
Believe it or not some six pack abs workouts can be so counter productive that they can actually hurt your progress and your joints rather than helping you build some rock solid six pack abs.
Most people are working their six pack abs all wrong.
For that reason you really want to make sure that you read every word on this page so you can avoid these mistakes and not waste your time on the floor doing crunches that aren’t working.
Mistake #1 – Not Using Weight
The number one mistake that kills any chance of getting six pack abs more than anything else is not using weights for your ab exercises.
I will say that it’s super important to make sure that your form is correct before adding weight.
So start each new exercise with your body weight only, but you want to get to the point where you can add some weight while still maintaining proper form as soon as possible.
Most of you know about something known as Progressive overload.
If you’ve never heard of Progressive overload you should know that you absolutely need it to experience improvements in almost every area related to exercise.
It’s defined as the gradual increase of stress placed on your body during training.
There are different ways that you can overload a muscle which will ultimately lead to the growth of that muscle, but by far the best and most time efficient way is by increasing the intensity.
The easiest way to increase intensity is to gradually increase the weight.
Most people know this, but for some reason they apply progressive overload to every other muscle except their abs.
I very rarely see anyone at the gym doing weighted crunches, weighted planks or weighted leg raises.
I constantly see people doing all these exercises with no weight. Unless you’re a brand new beginner you should try to incorporate a little bit of weight into your ab movements.
It does not have to be very heavy weight. You could use a weight that is as light as a 2.5 lb plate. This will add some extra resistance and progressively overload your abs.
When I see someone week after week come into the gym and do body weight crunches, to my eyes it looks the same as someone walking into the gym week after week trying to build their biceps by curling an ez bar with no weight on the bar.
If you saw someone standing there curling away with no weights on a EZ bar you’d be like, “damn that dude’s wasting his time.” Why?
Because the intensity is so low that he’s never going to progressively overload his biceps.
Your abs are some of the strongest muscles in your whole body. They literally hold you up and connect your upper and lower body together. These are very tough muscles and they’re used every single day even if you don’t work out.
Just to get out of bed you have to use your abs so why in the world would you not use weights to challenge them?
While diet is critical for seeing your abs, it’s also about creating enough tension so your abs can pop out and the most effective and efficient way to do that is by using weights for your ab exercises.
Instead of doing regular crunches, take a plate and put it behind your head. Instead of doing regular leg raises put a dumbbell between your feet. Instead of doing planks for 2 or 3 minutes put a weight on your back and do it for only 45 seconds.
Like I said, when your first starting out it can be as light as a 2.5 pound plate.
The key is to progress over time with the weight load.
The bottom line is that you want to shoot for about eight to ten reps with a heavy weight load for your abs and once you start doing 10 reps easily increase your weight.
Mistake #2 Using A Short Range Of Motion
The second biggest mistake that I see is sticking to a short range of motion.
Everyone knows the most common ab exercise are crunches.
The problem is that you’re not stretching your ab muscles very much at all when doing crunches on the floor and the negative stretch portion of that movement is the part of the movement that actually breaks down the muscle so it can heal stronger.
So when training your abs, you should take every opportunity that you get to increase your range of motion.
If you have a way in your gym to do decline crunches you’re taking a floor crunch with a range of motion that is less than 90 degrees and increasing it to a decline crunch with a range of motion of over 120 degrees.
This is going to lead to a lot more breakdown of your ab muscles during the eccentric or the negative portion of that movement
However, a decline bench is not the only way to increase your range of motion. You can also use a stability ball or a BOSU ball to increase your range of motion.
Stability ball crunches (when done correctly) are about a million times more effective than regular crunches on the floor.
Mistake #3 Form
The third mistake that’s super common is a mistake related to form.
Whenever you do ab exercises, you want to focus on trunk flexion rather than hip or neck flexion.
Most people do their crunches by pulling on their head and neck up and down when really the proper way to do crunches is by lifting your shoulder blades.
When you lift your shoulder blades off the ground you incorporate trunk flexion.
When you’re just pulling on your neck you’re hurting yourself and simply working on cervical or neck flexion which is obviously not going to build you abs.
This problem goes a lot further than just crunches with leg raises and knee tucks. Most people are just working their hip flexors.
It’s super important to curve your hips and knees into your chest during leg raising exercises or else you’ll not incorporate trunk flexion or tension on your abs.
One of the best methods that I found for myself is to make sure that I incorporate trunk flexion.
This is done by simply focusing on bending around my belly button.
If the movement is only happening around my hip or neck joint, then I know that I’m doing something wrong.
Mistake #4 – Sticking With The Same Routine
The fourth mistake is never switching up your ab workouts. This is a mistake that doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation
In order to have results, you have to constantly stimulate your muscles in new ways.
I recommend you change up your ab routine every four to six weeks.
Every ab workout will still have some form of crunching or leg raising in the workout, but you can just change up how you do it.
One month you might be doing crunches on a stability ball while the next month you’ll do crunches on a BOSU ball.
This might not sound like a big change, but these tiny changes are absolutely necessary to always stimulate your abs.
Mistake #5 – Using Selected Equipment
The last mistake that I see and this one’s a big one, is using selected equipment
I’m sure you’ve seen those exercises where you take the pin out, you select your weight, you grab the handles behind your head and you start doing crunches up and down with a very limited range of motion.
That crunch machine is absolutely useless at everything except for maybe messing up your lower back.
Let’s take another one.
How about the machine where you put your knees between the two pads and you just twist side to side for your obliques. This machine is another one that’s completely useless.
Stay away from all ab machines that don’t have a free range of motion, they’re a complete waste of your time.
In general you’re gonna be way better off using free weights and things like stability balls than any machine that cost thousands of dollars.
- Start using weights for most of your ab exercises.
- Increase the range of motion with benches stability balls pads and many other creative ways.
- Use trunk flexion by focusing on bending around your belly button and for all crunch movements focus on your
shoulder blades elevating off the ground.
- Switch up your ab routine every single month.
- Stay away from selected machines and stick to very basic forms of equipment.
That’s it guys! I really hope this article has helped you out and if you enjoyed it make sure to leave a comment below.
Have you ever seen the abs of an Olympic Level gymnast or a boxer?
Let’s face it, every 4 years we’re amazed by these athletes. Their feats of strength are legendary and their lean, toned mid-sections are the most desired in the world…
That’s why if you’d love a flat stomach or the six-pack abs of a world-class gymnast or boxer WITHOUT leaving your own living room, you’ll want to check this out…