Most people want a flatter tummy and a tighter core. But does that mean you should train your abs every day?
The short answer is no, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that ab work is bad. It’s just your approach that might be slightly off.
Here, we’re going over why it’s important to have strong abs and what you can do instead of working abs every day. Keep reading!
What exactly do we mean by abs?
First, let’s quickly talk about what exactly we mean when we say “abs” because, in fact, your abs are actually made up of a combination of muscles including:
- Transverse abdominis
- Rectus abdominis
- External obliques
- Internal obliques
What’s known as a “six-pack” is actually only your rectus abdominis but your other ab muscles wrap all the way across your torso, ribs, and up from your hips. All these muscles are there to stabilize your spine and core and are activated in almost every move you make.
Benefits of Ab Work
There are countless benefits of working your abs including:
- Improved athletic performance
- Better postpartum recovery
- Reduced back pain
In short, working your abs is incredibly important to your overall health and well-being, and ab work should most certainly be incorporated into every workout plan you choose.
However, too much ab work without focusing on any other areas of the body can be detrimental and can even cause potential injuries.
The Importance of Rest
In terms of health and fitness, the importance of rest cannot be overstated. When people get excited to work out, achieve their fitness goals, and train at their max capacity, it’s common to push through rest days and exercise more than is actually beneficial.
Especially when it comes to ab work, it’s easy to train them every day on your journey to developing a six-pack or flattening your belly.
But, as with anything, rest periods are just important as the training periods. Your muscles need time to repair and rebuild. When you work out, your muscles are actually developing microscopic tears, and if you don’t give them time to regenerate, your muscles will be in a constant state of disrepair.
Not to mention, six-packs and flat stomachs aren’t only a result of ab work. Often, zeroing in on your abs can work against you. Instead, focusing on exercises that naturally activate your core (apart from only crunches and V-sits) will be far more conducive to developing abs.
Core Work vs Ab Work
Full-body movements activate your core in a more well-rounded way. Instead of endless crunches, HIIT workouts, kickboxing sessions, upper body exercises, and lower body exercises activate your core holistically, and before you know it, you’re more likely to have abs than if you focus specifically on your mid-section.
In fact, by doing too much training on your abs with crunches and side bends, you could actually be expanding your mid-section. You’re adding muscle mass to your core instead of leaning out naturally and exposing your toned core.
When you build muscles (especially in the large muscle groups of your legs and glutes), your body will naturally continue to burn fat long after your workouts which contributes to a healthier BMI and less weight on your core.
So, instead of training your abs every single day and wondering why you still don’t have a six-pack, try taking a more well-rounded approach to your workouts by incorporating HIIT training as well as resistance workouts.
Sustainable Workout Plans
When you quit overtraining your abs and take a more holistic approach to your workout plans, not only are you more likely to see real results but your exercise routine is bound to be a lot more enjoyable.
And when you enjoy working out, you’re far more likely to stick with it, creating a positive feedback loop that keeps your spirits high, your body strong, and, soon enough, your six-pack at the ready.
So, to answer the question of “should you work abs every day?”: the answer is no.
Go for a more well-rounded approach to exercise that works your core and all the other muscle groups in your body.
Ready to get that six-pack of your dreams? Try the OOMPH app today for a sustainable and enjoyable workout plan for all. Download now!