Everyone, I mean everyone wants to have amazing six pack abs. Not everyone wants biceps: they can be bulky and ugly.
But abs look great whether you’re a bodybuilder, a bikini model or anyone in between.
Thus, it’s no surprise that people are willing to do whatever they think it will take in order to get a six pack. And that means, sometimes, following some rather poor advice.
The unfortunate thing is that if you follow this advice, you can actually end up reducing your chances of getting the amazing six pack that you’ve been craving. In this post, we’ll look at three of the most common mistakes and why you need to avoid them.
Doing oblique crunches
The first tip is to stop doing oblique crunches if you’re doing them currently. You know this one: you crunch from side to side, often while loading up more weight on top.
The aim is to build the obliques and create more definition here. That’s a good thing, seeing as adding obliques can really bring out the detail around your midsection.
The problem is that your spine isn’t designed to crunch sideways in this manner – it’s intended to move forward and back. And so by doing this move, you can actually create a lot of damage on your back and it’s very important that you stop!
Doing sit ups wrong
Think sit ups are more macho than crunches? Wrong!
In fact, the way that most people perform sit ups means that they won’t be likely to work at all. That’s because doing sit ups makes it very easy for you to bend at the waist and to essentially fold your body in half at this point.
The problem is that the ‘pivot point’ is at the hips and you’re therefore actually using the hip flexors (the muscles that bring your legs up) instead of your abs! A lot of people make this mistake when performing leg raises too.
Instead, focus on rolling the stomach and really crunching those abs down as you do.
Again as mentioned, many people do leg raises completely wrong: pivoting at the hips rather than crunching the stomach. Again, you want to create curvature in the spine when you perform this movement.
To get this right, try to remember what the abs are designed for. Their job is to counteract the constant force applied by your posterior chain. If you didn’t have abs, your back would snap backward thanks to pressure from your lats, traps and erector spinae. Abs pull everything down and forward, like tucking your shirt into your jeans at the front.
So if you want better abs, that’s the movement you need to focus on.
And that’s why one of the very most powerful exercises for the abs of all is the myotatic crunch, where you lean all the way back on a bosu ball or similar. This works because you are increasing the range of motion for the target muscle.
Now you know!