From experience, I can tell you that the majority of people do not train their abdominal muscles correctly. Common mistakes include using far too much momentum, breathing at the wrong time and failing to engage the target muscles. Today you are going to learn how to optimize abdominal training using my knowledge!
Perhaps the biggest hack for better abdominal training is to breathe at the correct time, if you get this wrong the muscle stimulation on the target muscles will be extremely limited. As you go through the concentric phase of every repetition and reach the isometric pause, this is where you must exhale hard. This gives you a deeper “crunch” on the abdominal muscles which in turn generates more stimulation. It is really important you learn to breathe correctly when training in general, but it’s even more intrinsic for abs.
Time Under Tension
Every muscle requires sufficient time under tension in order to develop – when training abs you must not use momentum to move your torso, using the lower back and hip flexors. Any abdominal movement must start with the engagement of your abs and they must remain under tension if you’re going to progress successfully.
– Use a 2-4 second negative on every rep to ensure the abs are under tension
– Squeeze the abdominal muscles hard at the isometric contraction for more tension
**Another hack for improved abdominal engagement. Try training abs fasted in the morning where there is less food in your GI tract, therefore your ability to squeeze the abdominal muscles harder is improved. **
Many people spend too long doing sit-ups and crunches, both of which are great exercises by the way. You must broaden your exercise selection, some of my favorites include the plank, hanging knee/leg raises, lying knee/leg raises, rollouts and kneeling cable crunches. Also, remember to add resistance in order to create overload on your abdominal muscles – they need this like any other muscle group.
Don’t Forget Body Fat!
Be mindful that your abs will only become visible when your body fat levels are low enough. This requires consistent dieting, cardio, training and following the correct protocols for long enough.