If you read or hear any promises or guarantees that sound like ...
“get abs QUICK!”
“do these exercises for a 6 pack”
“do this core circuit every day for guaranteed abs in 4 weeks!”
Run. Run far away. Red flags.
I hardly ever train abs.
When I first got into fitness, I spent almost every workout training my core in some capacity. Whether it was finishing my workout with an ab circuit or dedicating an entire day to only core…
I wanted to be lean and thought planks and crunches were the yellow brick road to a 6 pack.
Now, I occasionally throw in core-specific exercises into some of my lifts throughout the week with the goal being to increase my CORE STRENGTH vs. having a goal of getting ripped abs.
I also focus daily on engaging my core when training. Often, you are bracing/using your core in so many movements that you may not have thought twice about before. Start to become aware of when you’re activating and stabilizing your core.
Here are 3 important reminders when it comes to your core:
1. You need to be at a low enough body fat percentage to have visible, defined abs
2. You CAN NOT crunch, plank, scissor kick, or leg lift away stubborn belly fat
3. Focus on properly bracing your core during other exercises
So, train your core for impressive core strength.
For visible ab definition, you’ll need to lower your body fat through a calorie deficit. Focusing on getting abs can at times result in developing a restrictive relationship with food or obsessive exercise habits. Not the move if you're trying to create sustainable habits.
Having core strength & core stability helps in SO many movements especially if you’re an athlete during sport-specific mechanics. In the gym, your core is involved during a ton of exercises and especially in your other compound lifts such as a squat or deadlift.
Whether it’s crazy core strength, visible abs, or maybe even a combo of the two - do what works for you and our goals.
It’s a journey, so show up consistently and be your own biggest fan while you’re at it.