Abdominal Workouts: Every Day or with Rest Days?

One of the big misconceptions about ab workouts is that getting a six-pack and a strong core requires doing lots of abdominal exercises. But working out your abs every day is unnecessary and possibly even detrimental to your fitness.

Doing too many dedicated ab workouts too frequently may worsen whatever posture problems you have; by forcing your ab muscles to get tighter and shorter, too many crunches will make your back hunch over even more. Moreover, intense ab exercises can lead to muscle imbalances if you overdo it because other muscle groups will be neglected in the process. And if you’re really overzealous with your crunches and your abs become much stronger relative to your lower back and other core muscles, you run the risk of being more vulnerable to injuries.

It’s better to do a dedicated ab workout just 2-3 times a week, and to use circuits for a better workout in less time. Your ab muscles respond better to less frequent exercise, giving you better results and less chance of injury.

The best way to strengthen your abs

The fact is that you need to focus on your core as a whole with full-body exercises. Doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) for 10-20 min a day is more important and efficient at improving your core strength and six-pack abs than doing daily ab exercises. Try front squats with a barbell, dumbbell lunges, or even plyometric push-ups to have impressive core strength and muscle tone. Also consider stability exercises that work on your balance, lower back, arms and shoulders in addition to your abs.

Many people falsely think that ab exercises will get rid of stubborn belly fat, but in fact, getting a six-pack requires a very low level of body fat, and tons of crunches have nothing to do with that. You’re better off planning and preparing healthy meals and focusing more on your core as a whole and general fitness level.

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