5 Exercises to Avoid in Your Ab Workouts Gym Experts Says:Unfortunately, there are some ab exercises that you shouldn’t do if you want to build a strong core. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if you want to see your abs, you need to pay attention to your body fat rate.
Change things up by focusing on your food and full-body strength workouts that work all of your muscle groups instead of doing ab exercises over and over again.
There are some moves that won’t really work your core as hard as others when it comes to the best ab workouts.
5 Exercises to Avoid in Your Ab Workouts Gym Experts Says
Instead of risking injury by doing endless crunches and sit-ups at the gym, you should do these activities instead.
Together with a healthy diet, these ab workouts will help you get the six-pack of your dreams the fastest.
Why you should avoid: If your hip flexors are tight, you shouldn’t do crunches for your abs. Maybe you already have tight hips because you spend a lot of time hunched over a laptop at a desk.
- Doing workouts like crunches will only make things worse. When your hips are too tight, you might feel pain in your groin, lower back, or legs.
- A study in the American Council on Exercise also says that traditional crunches are one of the worst workouts you can do for your abs.
- A very small part of the abdominal wall is worked when you crunch, and your neck and spine are under a lot of stress at the same time.
What to do instead: Do pushups, dead bugs, or bicycle crunches instead of crunches. However, if you really like the crunch, do it on an exercise ball for a much better workout.
Why you should avoid: To go over this one more time, sit-ups aren’t very good for people who work at a desk all day, and they can strain your back.
- Some people have trouble with their lower backs when they do sit-ups.
- This is especially true if their hips are tight. Do you remember how you did sit-ups in school with someone sitting on your feet?
- It’s not good for your abs to quickly hinge your body back and forth, and you might even hurt yourself.
What to do instead: You can do sit-ups on a Swiss ball, just like you can do crunches. Change your sit-ups to planks instead. Planks work the muscles along the front and side of your midsection.
Why you should avoid: A lot of people do incline sit-ups in the gym.
- They have one of the best movable dumbbells in their hands and their feet are on the footrest.
- The slope sit-up is supposed to put more stress on your core during the sit-up. However, if you don’t use the right form or don’t have enough core strength to do the sit-up on a bench, you could hurt your lower back.
- If your core muscles are strong and you can keep your hips straight while doing the move, you should be fine.
- But if you lean backward, you could hurt yourself.
What to do instead: This is a better way to work on your core strength than uphill sit-ups. Do dead bugs, hollow body holds, and a farmer’s walk instead.
Why you should avoid: You’ve probably seen people do this dumbbell ab exercise in the gym: hold a dumbbell in one hand and crunch to the side.
- Sorry to say that this is another ab exercise that isn’t great for your back.
- The move is meant to work your obliques, which are muscles that run along the side of your body.
- However, there are better ways to work your internal and external obliques.
- When you side bend, your back is in a weak spot, which makes it hard to focus on the obliques.
- It’s also easy to move your body from side to side using momentum.
What to do instead: add side planks to your workout instead of side bends.
- They are much better for working your oblique muscles.
- If you hold a dumbbell or one of the best ankle weights in your upper arm or around your upper leg, you can add weight to the move.
- The side plank is a better way to get stronger and more stable in your core.
Why you should avoid: A different exercise that works the oblique muscles is the Russian twist.
- However, if you do it wrong, the risks usually outweigh any benefits you might get from it.
- For the first few times you do the move, don’t lift your legs off the ground to do a V-sit and don’t hold one of the best movable dumbbells or best kettlebells in your hands.
- These positions put the most stress on your lower back.
- The hip flexors and stomach muscles have to work hard to stay in a half-sit-up position.
- Your back is also under a lot of pressure because it’s not supported by the floor.
What to do instead:Do medicine ball throws or bicycle crunches instead. These will build powerful rotational power without putting as much stress on your lower back.
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