The Truth About Ab Exercises – What Is Effective?
How many of you can relate to this image? You work so hard and you look at yourself in the mirror like, “Where the hell are my abs?” Well let’s talk about a few reasons why you may not see them:
You have too Much Fat Covering your Abdominal Wall: Strong abs aren’t the most important component of a visible six-pack; low body fat is. If you have too much subcutaneous body fat covering your abdominal area, then no matter how many hours of crunches or leg raises you do, you won’t be able to see your six-pack.
The most effective thing you can do to get those abs to start showing is to clean up your diet. You can’t “out train” your diet.When it comes to your abs, training can only get you so far. You need a smart meal plan to lower your body fat percentage and uncover your abs; otherwise, all your hard work in the gym will count for naught. Everybody has the “thing” that totally crushes their operation ab dreams. For me it’s always been sugar, whether in the form of cookies, cakes, breads, muffins,gelato you name it, I’ve always let sugar come in the way of my 6 pack dreams. The ways I’ve found to help me most are 1. Don’t buy it 2.
Constantly have a fruit alternative available 3. Brush my teeth after a meal 4. Have mint ginger lemon or green tea. Now this is not to say I’ll never have a cookie again or “cheat”. You just can’t really be slipping when you’re trying to meet a goal. This should be the same for you. Sugar may not be your “thing” but whatever it is you have to make up your mind to be strong and conquer it so you can finally see the results you want. Like I always say, do what you’ve never done to see what you never see.
Your ab exercises aren’t diverse enough: Most people see abs as the little hard boxes in the middle of their torso, but the muscle system is actually far more complex. Your abdominal wall is built of the rectus abdominus (the six-pack), internal and external obliques that run along the sides of your rectus abdominus, and the transverse abdominus which lies beneath the internal oblique. These muscles help the torso flex, extend, and rotate. Most importantly, the muscles also help the torso stay stable against flexion, extension, and rotation. If you only train them to flex by doing endless crunches, you won’t activate each of the muscles in ways in which they can grow. Like any other muscle in the body, the abdominals need to be trained from various angles and dimensions so they can really pop!
To better address your midsection, vary your exercises so you work each of the ways your abdominal wall functions ( i.e leg lifts, burpees, planks,etc)
You can’t just “crunch away” the fat: Let’s be clear: You cannot lose body fat in specific areas of your body by training that body part more often. We unfortunately can’t send a “please lose fat only in this area” memo to our bodies. If someone ever tells you that you’ll lose your gut by just doing crunches, please correct that person and explain to him or her that it’s impossible to control where body fat comes off your body. The only way to strip the fat from your abs is by slowly and gradually burning it off from your entire body through cardio, nutrition, resistance, and strength training.
Unfortunately, abdominal fat is usually the last bit to come off and the first to come back. The tenacity with which abdominal fat wants to cling to your belly can make dieting and exercise discouraging. The key is
consistency. It may take months or even years to uncover your abs, but if you stick to being smart in the kitchen and diligent with the intensity and variation of your workouts, you’ll eventually see results.