How Often Should You Exercise Your Abs?

Frequency of ab workouts is one of the great fitness debates. There are basically two schools of thought.

One school of thought argues that abs should be exercised everyday. Because our abs are stabilizer muscles, we’re always using them – whether it’s walking down the street, getting out of a car or sitting in a chair. And since our abs are accustomed to this heavy workload, we can train our abs more frequently than we would other muscles.

The other school of thought argues that it’s important to give our abs a day or two to recover. Because ours abs are not fundamentally different than other muscles, we need to let them rebuild and repair – or else we’re limiting our progress and set ourselves up for injury.

I take the middle-ground. I don’t think ab workouts are so much about frequency as intensity. If your ab workout is intense, and if it leaves your muscles feeling sore – then give your abs rest. Never exercise a muscle that is still sore from a previous workout.

Furthermore, for my own workouts, I’ve broken my abs into three parts: obliques (side abs), lower abs, and middle abs/upper abs. One each day, I focus on a different part. If I do my obliques today, I’ll do my lower abs tomorrow – and so on. And if I am sore from a previous ab workout, then I give myself a day of recovery.

How often do you exercise your abs? Let us know in the comments below.

P.S. If you dare, you should try out my 5-minute ab workout!

About Davey Wavey

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  1. I do a Mon/Tues Thurs/Fri split, alternating upper/lower. On “upper” days, I concentrate on crunching type movements — usually just one set of three after everything else is done. On “lower” days, I’ll either do oblique work or leg raises. But frankly, I don’t worry too much about this. I do a lot of cardio, and eat really well, so my bf% never drifts too much above 10%. That’s the more important factor in deciding if you “have abs” — whether you can actually see what you’ve got.

  2. I agree that you shouldn’t exercise sore muscles. I am not so sure that you can really isolate so-called upper abs from lower abs. The abs will all contract or not. I distinguish between abs exercises and core exercises, the latter involving other stabilizer muscles besides the abs. I think you work your core almost every day.

  3. I do abs every other day, that way they get a day to rest in between. If I’m feeling a little fat, then I throw in one of Davey Waveys 5 min abs work out on off days.

  4. nice i also agree

  5. that’s nice i also have abs i learned from u guys and i’ve injured me upper abs

  6. I like to work my abs every other day. Honestly I had better results when I used to work them everyday. But I got a little lazy.

  7. Corné says:

    Your insane abs workout is the best I know to get hard beautiful abs. I tell al my friends about it since a couple of years. Even in the gym I see now a lot of people doing your insane ABS workout. Haha because they see me working out and see how firm and hard my abs are. Thank you Davy x

  8. Patrick says:

    I was wondering, can I do ab exercises one day and oblique exercises the next?