Archive for the tag - obliques

Can You Train Abs Everyday?

Hey Davey,

I’ve gotten plenty of tips for workouts from friends in the past but there’s one recurring rumor I keep hearing. To your knowledge, can ab exercises be done everyday? Or do you have to give them rest like you do the other parts of your body such as arms or legs?

From,
Max

Max,

Whether or not abs should be trained everyday is one of the million dollar fitness questions with elaborate theories for and against it.

Opponents of everyday ab training point out that our abs are just like any other muscle in the body – and that they can be overtrained. When we exercise with resistance, our muscles break down. Sufficient time is required for any muscle to rebuild, and so opponents believe that a day (or more) of rest is needed between ab workouts.

Proponents of everyday ab training believe that our abdominal muscles are unique. Because we use these muscles for almost any movement we make, it takes a lot of training to really fatigue these muscles. As such, it takes frequent training sessions for optimal results. And indeed, many bodybuilders do train their abs everyday.

I take a middle-of-the-line approach that combines both philosophies. I train my lower abs on one day, my upper abs on the second and my obliques (side abs) on the third. This gives sufficient rest to each area of my abdomen while still allowing more frequent ab training.

Of course, you’ll have to find what works best for you – and remember that you should never train a muscle that is still sore from a previous workout. Most people will be perfectly fine with 3 – 5 ab workouts per week.

Also keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, the best way to improve abdominal definition is not with crunches or sit-ups. Any layer of fat (even a very thin one) will hide your six pack, and so it’s crucially important to engage in frequent and effective cardiovascular training (I recommend metabolism-boosting intervals).

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

Newsflash: Ab Workouts Won’t Give You a Flat Stomach.

Yesterday, I was hitting the gym and chatting it up with a new member. He was asking me about a few of the machines, including one that works the obliques (aka side abs). He was totally excited to try the machine out, and explained to me that he’s trying to get rid of his “love handles” and extra fat around his waist.

But alas, the belief that ab exercises will reduce love handles or create a flat stomach is one of the most pervasive exercise misconceptions out there.

Ab exercises build and strengthen abdominal muscles. They do not convert fat tissue into muscle. And they don’t shrink your midsection. In fact, it’s impossible to target parts of the body from which to lose weight.

If you have a belly, and embark on a comprehensive and ass-kicking ab workout, then you’ll likely develop much stronger and bigger ab muscles over time. But those ab muscles will still be hidden under a layer of fat – and even the smallest layer of fat will hide a six pack.

If you want a flat stomach, then you need to do three things:

  1. Cardiovascular exercise. Cardio burns calories during and after exercise. It will help reduce body fat.
  2. Comprehensive strength training. Muscle does wonders to boost the body’s metabolism, so put into practice a total body strength training program. Adding muscle will increase the number of calories your body burns each day.
  3. Proper nutrition. A clean, healthy diet will complement your exercise program and keep body fat to a minimum.

So, if you aspire to showcase a washboard stomach – or just flatten things out a bit – then know that you can crunch your way until kingdom come, and it won’t make a whole lot of difference. Instead, do cardio, strength training and eat right. Simple and easy? No. But it works.

Great Leg & Oblique Exercise: Golf Squats! [Video]

Variety isn’t just the spice of life – it’s a powerful ingredient in any fruitful workout program. From time to time, it’s a good idea to change things up.

Golf squats are a powerful leg and oblique exercise that you’ve probably never heard of or seen at the gym. Which means it’s a good idea to try ’em out and consider incorporating them into your routine.

I put together a short video demonstration. Click below to check it out:

5-Minute Oblique Workout! [Video]

Back in July, I shared a 5-minute killer ab workout that you can do at home. Today, I’m excited to share a 5-minute ab workout that focuses on your obliques. Your obliques are the muscles that run alongside your abs – and many people forget to exercise them.

You can try my full 30-minute ab workout as part of my Total Body Assault fitness program. Use promo code “abs” to save $10 at checkout!

Watch the video below:

Tighter Tummy: Figure 8 Ab Exercise Video

I always love trying new ab exercises. Doing the same old stuff over and over again leaves me craving a little spice and excitement. Moreover, our muscles can become accustomed to our routine – so it’s wise to switch things up from time to time. So, I was really excited to try the “figure 8” ab exercise (it targets the obliques) at the gym this morning. When I tried the exercise, I used a weighted medicine ball. But fear not, you can try this at home using a pillow as a simple alternative.

Use the video below to learn how to do the simple but mighty “figure 8” ab exercise:

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. Did you feel it?