1: FORGETTING ABOUT COMPOUND EXERCISES If you strictly perform isolation ab exercises, you’re making a huge mistake. Compound movements like deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses engage every inch of your core. Don’t forget to include them in your training program.
2: DOING AB EXERCISES FIRST If you fatigue them early in your workout, you will have a hard time doing other ab-intensive exercises like squats. And just so we’re clear, the role that your core plays in squats is to protect your spine, so you want them to have a full tank at that point. Save your ab training for the end.
3: THINKING YOU CAN OUT-CRUNCH YOUR DIET The secret to visible abs is no secret at all: Lower your body fat percentage. This doesn’t happen by doing hundreds of reps of ab exercises—nor thousands, nor millions.
4: HAVING A FULL WORKOUT JUST FOR ABS All you need is 15 minutes. If you’re already doing compound exercises like squats and deadlifts, one or two ab exercises for 2-3 sets each at the end of your workout is sufficient.
5: TRAINING THEM EVERY DAY Abs are just like any other muscle in your body. That means they need time to recover.
6: ONLY DOING CRUNCHES There are dozens of exercises that are much more effective than the traditional crunch. In fact, the traditional crunch is one of the least effective ab exercises you can do. And just because you can’t perform these other movements for hundreds of reps doesn’t mean they’re not effective.
7: NOT FOCUSING ON FORM Focus on form and make sure your abs engage in every rep.
8: FORGETTING ABOUT YOUR LOWER BACK The core has a front and a side, but it has a back, too. A lot of people neglect the lower back muscles (erector spinae), so make sure to train them just as you would with every other muscle.
9: ONLY WORKING IN ONE ANGLE Your obliques, transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and erector spinae are all part of your core, but they’re different muscles with fibers running in all manner of directions. You must train them in more than just one angle.
10: USING INFOMERCIAL AB GIZMOS Seriously? That thing brings you about as close as possible to kicking your own ass.