Is ‘more’ better?
I ALWAYS get people requesting more, More, MORE! when it comes to ab training.
For some reason, people seem to think that doing more is better. Doing more core work will flatten their bellies, reduce back pain, give them a six pack, create world peace…(well maybe not quite that far…).
The reasoning is that if 100 reps of an ab move works, imagine what 200 would do? 300?
Sounds good on paper (I suppose).
But, this is actually a recipe for disaster. Abundant ab work will get not yield better results, but it will set you up for a time consuming boring workout AND potential injury. Yuck, not a tasty plan.
Another interesting question I often get asked is ‘Okay Challenge Workout Guru (they don’t actually say that, but I can imagine that they do) What’s the MOST challenging ab move you have for me?’
Perhaps if I can do a human flag with a flower pot balanced on my knee and spin a plate with my nose then I’ll get flat abs?
Seriously, I see some silly stuff people do in the hopes of getting strong abs and a flat belly…side bends with 45 lb plates. windshield wipers holding weighted bars, strapping plates to the feet and attempting leg raises….
Wrong. These ‘tough’ ab moves aren’t the answer. What usually happens in the execution of these moves is that other muscles take over and the core shuts down anyway. Why train hip flexors when you’re looking to hit your abs? Simple ab moves with correct form are best (Sorry, such an un-sexy answer right?).
Thankfully there’s a better way than doing hours of ab work with ineffective, potentially dangerous moves.
<=====This is my pal, Tyler Bramlett who’s a functional training expert. (He’s been on the blog before, you may have read a post about an awesome ab training progression here.)
It’s always great to meet someone that ‘gets it’. Tyler practices what he preaches. He’s also a science geek and friends with some of the most highly regarded professionals in the fitness business.
He first created a workout called ‘Garage Warrior Abs’, but this wasn’t comprehensive enough for him. He later created this video follow along system where progressions to help dispel ab training myths and really get to the ‘core’ of the issue (see what I did just there? 😉 )
This was a video Tyler and I made a few years back but the info is as fresh as ever. Take a look at what Tyler says is the number one mistake most people make when training their core. As well, he shares how you can intensify and modify a simple ab move:
Tyler says that, from birth, your body was designed to go through a series of movement progressions that eventually will lead to you being able to stand, walk and even run. This is all related to developing your core muscles properly through progressive movements.
As we age, ‘life happens’ and your core may not fire as effectively. Even though we continue to do ‘core work’, it loses it’s effectiveness.
The problem is… When your core stops functioning properly the only way to reactivate it is to use these primal and basic exercises in a specific sequence. When you do this properly, you will reactivate your core and finally get the results you want.
There’s a few obvious reasons your core can stop working properly and all you have to do is ask yourself the following questions…
If you answer yes to even just one of them, there’s a good chance your core is NOT functioning properly and you’ll need to reactivate it before seeing the results you want:
->Have you trained your abs using conventional crunches and sit-ups?
->Do you sit more than 2 hours a day?
->Have you had a bone, joint or tissue injury (even a small one)?
->Is there room for improving your posture?
->Have you ever had a surgery performed on you?
->Do you ever workout using weight machines at the gym?
->Have you ever experienced any sort of head trauma?
->Do you have a noticeable lack of self confidence?
If you answered yes to just one of these questions then you’ll want to go here to read about 2 breakthrough techniques to reactivate your core (with the side benefit of shrinking your waistline and building toned or even 6 pack abs).
You might be thinking to yourself that these Core Activation Sequences are some fad just like crunches and situps, however, I wouldn’t be sharing them with you if I didn’t take a look at the research to back this up.
I’m all about training smarter NOT harder and this is a great example.