Ask most exercisers what they would like to change most about the way they look, and dollars to doughnuts they'll say they want better abs.
Men and women alike strive for that tight, toned set of abs that could be put on display at the Smithsonian Institution. The fitness product industry makes billions of dollars producing the next great "ab-worker" thing that, as usual, overpromises and under delivers.
Many popular "fitness celebrities" sell out their integrity to promote an ineffective technology that they know won't get you any closer to six-pack abs.
It takes hard work and disciplined eating to get that chiseled six pack, but if you use these four tips, I promise you that you will begin to have tighter, stronger abs in no time.
Ditch the sit-ups
Doing full sit-ups can cause neck damage, lower back injuries and shortened ab muscles. None of this is good.
Unless you are an elite level athlete in supreme condition, take the sit-up completely out of your exercise list.
Stick with crunch and plank variations.
For best results, do crunches and planks variations performed on a stability ball.
Rotational movements are some of the most neglected in most peoples fitness programs. You will rotate a lot more often than you'll perform a crunch-type movement, you why aren't you doing it in the gym?
Rotation movements activate a ton of core muscles, which translates into a powerful set of abdominal and back muscles.
Give 'em a rest
Whuppin up on your abs on a daily basis won't get you any closer to a six-pack than only training your abs two or three times a week.
The muscles in your core need the same amount of rest between workouts that other muscle groups do.
A 24- to 48-hour rest between workouts is ideal for muscle recovery. You'll actually give your abs a chance to rest up and come back stronger next time.
Work the "B" side
Don't overdo the ab work and neglect your lower back. Get out of balance, and you'll pay for it with injuries.
Trust me, a back injury is the last thing you want on your path to better abs.
Developing a strong lower back actually helps pull your abs in, giving you the appearance of flatter abs.
These four tips are a great foundation for some solid ab training.
Getting a nice set af tight, toned abdominal muscles is a marathon, not a sprint, so do it right.
Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer, and FTNS Radio personality. Visit his blog: www.hometeamfitnessblog.com for more of the "Fitness Answer Man."
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