Those shredded six pack abs take a lot of hard work and patience combined with a healthy diet. To be honest, it’s one of those muscle groups in your body that demands the most effort to build-up. However, the confusion here is how often one should be training his/her abs?
According to the American Council on Exercise, you must rest for at least 24 hours between your ab workouts for an ideal recovery and growth. Doing an abdominal workout daily can result in burnout and even injury. Below we explain the best way to train your abs.
How Often Should I Train Abs?
Having those solid and sexy six pack abs are great for impressing someone and they also give your spine better support. This means a stronger core means a safer back.
What we commonly observe that people at the gym who are on a quest of developing abs, train their abs too much, and too hard, thinking that it’ll help. This overtraining puts too much stress on your core and with no rest in between the workout days will eventually result in an injury.
What’s an ideal workout routine for abs?
The ideal workout for abs is three times a week after your routine workout. So, to make it simple here is a plan you can follow throughout the week:
- Monday: Workout > Training your abs
- Tuesday: Workout > Rest
- Wednesday: Workout > Abs training
- Thursday: Workout > Rest
- Friday: Workout > Abs Training
- Saturday: Workout > Rest
- Sunday: Optional > Rest
Training like this will give proper rest to your ab muscles so they will grow and get stronger.
Important to note here: From a muscle tissue perspective, your abs are entirely different from other muscles of the body. They demand ultra-high reps and small training variables such as sets, reps, intensity, tempo and frequency.
What is the optimal rep range for training my abs?
Ideally, 25 reps are optimal and fall in the ‘high-rep range’ scale. Going any further means that your technique isn’t correct or the muscle momentum is being compensated with other muscle groups. Don’t rush into completing the reps. Each rep must be performed with the right angle and momentum to effectively target the exact muscle area.
What’s the perfect ab workout routine?
You can follow your current ab training keeping in mind the importance of resting in between. However getting perfect training program will help you build the abs you’re longing for.
1. Hanging Leg Raise
Start by targeting the upper abs. Grab a pull-up bar with your hands wider than shoulder width. Keep the back straight and raise your legs as high as you can. Don’t rumble and keep the entire movement in control.
Aim for three sets of 20.
2. Back Extension
You need the extension apparatus for this ab workout. Once you are able to do these easily, grab a weight plate or dumbbell for an added challenge.
Now lock your legs on the back of extension apparatus and hold the weight against your chest. Bend forward till you feel like losing the arch in your lower back. Finally, extend back to the starting position and don’t arch your back too much.
While this doesn’t target your abs directly, training the antagonistic muscles allows better ab development and keeps your back safe.
Aim for three sets of 20 reps each.
3. Bicycle Crunch
This difficult, yet effective exercise will help build some strong well-developed abs. To perform the bicycle crunches, lie on the floor and extend one leg while you bring the other one to your chest by bending your knee. Keep your hands behind your head throughout the exercise and keep your legs from touching the ground until you finish your set.
While you bring the right leg toward your chest, twist your body and touch it with your left elbow on the knee. Do the same with the opposite leg.
Of course, we cannot forget about crunches; they are fundamental to ab development.
Lie down on your back and do regular crunches until failure. Add weight for an extra challenge.
Perform three sets doing as many reps as possible.
5. Barbell Rollout
Last but not the least, do some barbell rollouts. If you
Take a barbell, load it with plates and set it on the floor. Now grab it with both your hands at shoulder’s width apart and kneel down on the floor in such a way that the bar is in front of your chest.
Brace your abs and roll forward till your lower back is about to sag. Finally, flex your lats and bring yourself back to the starting position.