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Six-Pack Mistakes


We all want a beach body with a stunning ripped six-pack but endless crunching is no fun for anybody. We have compiled the 8 most common, and the most damaging ab training mistakes that are stealing your six-pack from right under your nose (well, chest!) and causing you to spend many more hours crunching than you need to!

Are you making any of these killer ab training errors?

Ab Training Mistake - Tip One

Remember to warm up first

Whatever exercise you are doing you must warm up first. When you warm up your muscles before you begin training you maximise the benefits from your session. The blood flow to your muscles increases and you substantially reduce the risk of injury.

Many people skip the warm up because they want to maximise their training time focusing on the actual exercise. This is a huge mistake! If you split your session time, allowing a few minutes for a proper warm up before you start training your overall benefit from the same time investment will be much higher, and even more importantly, you are far less likely to cause yourself an injury.

Warming up is essential, skipping it is one of the biggest mistakes you can make during your ab session.

Your warm up doesn't need to specifically target your abs, you just need to get your blood pumping. Performing a few jumping jacks and running on the spot is enough to work up a sweat and only takes a minute or two.

Think of your routine like this...

If you skip the warm up then each ab exercise you do is only giving you 70% of the potential benefit (and you run the risk of causing yourself a serious injury!)

But when you spend just a few minutes getting your blood pumping you are feeding your muscles much more oxygen and that makes them thrive! You're now hitting 100% of the exercise potential and before you're even half way through your routine you will have easily recovered any time spent warming up.

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Ab Training Mistake - Tip Two

Train the muscles you can't see too!

Your ab muscles consist of a few muscles that you'll never see, no matter how hard you train. But those hidden muscles are important. Adjusting your exercise to include them will help your six-pack pop.... and it'll strengthen your core, reducing the risk of injury.

Think of the various muscles of your abs in a similar way to a chain. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and if you neglect vital members of your ab muscle family then the rest will suffer too.

One of the most commonly neglected muscles is the transverse abdominis, this is the deepest of the ab muscles. So think of it as your ab foundation. The ripped six pack you desire sits on top of this muscle so when you train it it makes everything else pop. This muscles is engaged during ab compression movements. Doing planks is one of the most effective ways to train this muscle.

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Ab Training Mistake - Tip Three

Get into a routine, but don't get into a routine!

What I mean by this is exercise often. Regular exercise is a routine that you really need to get into. Three or four short sessions a week is much more effective than one long session at the weekend. Even if the long session is many hours and substantially exceeds the shorter sessions combined.

Regular exercise also reduces the risk on injury.

So what routine do you want to avoid? Avoid doing the same thing at every session. You need to mix it up so that you train all of the ab muscles and you need to add additional resistance and increase your reps as your abs develop.

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Ab Training Mistake - Tip Four ... Part 1


Working out everyday is huge mistake. In order to grow muscles you need rest days.

When you exercise a muscle you physically damage the muscles fibres. During recovery a cellular process fuses the

fibres back together to form new muscle protein strands, called myofibrils. Muscle growth happens when you increase the thickness and number of myofibrils. And this doesn't happen when you train. It happens when you rest!

If you skip rest days your muscles will not benefit from this process and the rate of growth will be considerably slower. If you want to train everyday then be sure to focus on different areas so that the muscles you worked on the previous day get a rest.

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Ab Training Mistake - Tip Four... Part 2!

Don't REST!!!

Rest days between sessions are important. But resting between reps is a crime! When you are doing a set of reps keep tension throughout and don't rest between the reps. This is something you need to monitor and discipline yourself.

The first few are warming up the muscle, the next two or three are tiring the muscle and pushing the limits of the muscle fibres and the last one or two are breaking the muscle fibres so that your muscle is forced to create new myofibrils, and as you know it's this fibre fusing process that causes muscle growth. So if you rest between reps you never reach this point and the muscle never grows! The golden rule is to do as many reps as you can, and then do one more. It's that last rep that is the most important, this threshold is called momentary muscular failure and it's the point where you feel like you can't go on. The 'one more rep' is the one that makes the muscle grow, but of course you need all of the other reps to get to it. If you can't reach momentary muscular failure during your set, then you need to increase your resistance.

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Ab Training Mistake - Tip Five

Increase Resistance

We've already covered this one in the previous tip but I wanted to give it some special attention because it's vitally important.

As you learned in tip four, the most important rep of the set is the last one. This is the 'just one more' rep and it's what causes your muscle to grow.

If you can get to that last rep faster you save time. The only way you can do this is to increase resistance. This means adding weight of using higher tension bands.

If you don't use any resistance at all then over time you'll find that it becomes easier and easier to complete your set. If the last rep is easy then you're not reaching that vital stage of momentary muscular failure. Your muscles will still grow, but very very slowly.

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Ab Training Mistake - Tip Six

Stop counting!

This tip is related to the last two. And I'm sure you already know what I'm going to say. Don't count your reps! The number of reps you manage to do means nothing. Doing more reps doesn't mean your getting stronger. Our muscles have good and bad days and there are many factors that will affect the number of reps you need to do to hit momentary muscular failure, how well rested you are, how good your warm up was and what you've eaten are all factors that affect the way your muscles will perform on any given day.

As we've said several times now the last rep is the one that makes your muscles grow. Don't count, just do your reps properly and focus on correct form. When you reach the point where you can't go on dig deep and find the power to do just one more.

When you can't manage just one more you've done the perfect number of reps.

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Ab Training Mistake - Tip Seven

Relax your legs

Be consciously aware of your legs and make sure they are fully relaxed. Many people unintentionally activate the hip flexors when training instead of isolating the crunch to the ab muscles.

One way to avoid this is to increase the angle of your thighs. Taking your time and being aware of what your body is doing is far more effective than rushing through your set. Good form is paramount to success.

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Ab Training Mistake - Tip Eight

Don't Pull On Your Head!

Pulling on your head doesn't exercise your abs at all. But it does put you at a high risk of disrupting your spinal alignment... and that's something you really don't want.

Many ab exercises require you to have your hands behind your head. Instead of doing this keep your hands at the side of your head and gently rest your fingers just above your ears. If you usually pull on your head or use the 'behind the head' grip for support than you'll notice that this 'side of the head' position will also help you to engage your core during the crunch and increase the effectiveness of the exercise.

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