Should I do a workout for my abs every day?
This is one of the most common questions that I get in my inbox. Essentially, there are three schools of thought on this subject. The first is that your abs are just like any other muscle group in that you need to tear down the muscle tissue and then give it time to repair… usually 2-3 days.
The second school of thought is that you should do a daily ab workout because your core is so important and you need to make sure that you maintain that stability by strengthening it through workouts every day.
The third school of thought is that you don’t need to directly work out your abs at all because they will be working by stabilizing your body during other movements.
Which school is right? Which one is wrong? By the title of this article you may be lead to believe that I think the second one is right. However, they are actually all right it just depends on your goals.
If you are trying to grow the size of your abdominal muscles (rectus abdominas, internal & external obliques, etc.) than you will need to veer more toward the first school of thought. Doing weighted ab curls on an ab crunch machine or cable machine will need to be incorporated into your workout plan. You can hit them hard and then leave a few days in between before you hit them again.
If you are looking for more of a shredded look than you can certainly do daily ab workouts or simply work your abs while doing other exercises.
Now, if you’ve been following A Shot of Adrenaline for any length of time you will know that you NEED to concentrate on your diet in order to reduce body fat so that your abs will show through. That is absolutely the key. Yet since this article is about daily ab workouts we’ll focus simply on the exercise portion.
*Awhile back on one of our Ab Challenge Thursdays I gave some very specific advice on how to reduce body fat with foods. I highly recommend that you follow this advice if you need to drop a few pounds.
Pros Of Doing An Ab Workout Daily
There are many pros of doing a daily ab workout. Below I have listed several.
-Keeps you engaged in exercising if you struggle with consistency.
-You don’t need to go as extreme in intensity (this is a bad thing if you’re like me and like to go balls-out!).
-You “grease the groove” better. This concept was originally created by Pavel Tsatsouline. The philosophy behind greasing the groove is that: Specificity + Frequent Practice = Success. Pavel believes that strength is not just about muscle size/density but strength is also a skill. And the more you practice that skill the better or stronger you will get.
(My thoughts on “greasing the groove” – In general, there is some truth to this but it mostly applies to moves that have more elements than just muscle hypertrophy. It applies to moves where coordination and balance play a huge element like in parallette calisthenics, martial arts, etc. If you are looking to get as big as you can or be able to lift extremely heavy objects, greasing the groove is NOT a good idea. If you are trying to get your handstand or learning how to do a back flip (yep, this is on my bucket list) or doing sports specific training than there is huge validity to this concept.
Cons Of Doing An Ab Workout Daily
There are obviously cons of doing an ab workout daily. Here is just a short list of some that I thought of.
-Can reach over-training faster if your workout isn’t designed properly.
-Can lose motivation to workout if you skip a workout.
-Lose out on time that could be spent training other areas.
Why I Designed The Daily Super Tuck Ab Workout
I designed the Super Tuck Workout for those that wanted to work out their abs every day and develop the skill of the the Super Tuck. I incorporated two challenging exercises into the workout that didn’t require you to wait several days for your abs to heal. The workout is short and intense.
The Super Tuck:
The first exercise is called the Super Tuck. Start off with your hands on the ground and your legs straight out in front of you. Lift your body so that your butt is off of the ground. Tuck your knees in tight to your chest (as tight as you can go). Extend your legs until your knees are straight. Bend your knees so your heels come back down and then extend them. This is one rep.
For many of you this will be a really challenging movement. There are a lot of muscle engaged including triceps, traps, shoulders, hip flexors and abs. That’s one reason why I love this exercise so much. Its essentially a whole body exercise but also a challenging skill exercise for your core.
The V Up:
Start off with your arms extended vertically above you as you lay on the ground. Lift your upper body and lower body simultaneously and touch your hands to your shins. Lower back down.
Daily Goals For The Super Tuck
The goal of the Daily Super Tuck Ab Workout is to reach a progressively better form with the Super Tuck. This is an extremely challenging move and is considered a “skill move” (as mentioned above). By this I mean that you can work on it every day and it will help you get stronger. It will also add some tremendous strength to your abdominal region. Over time, see if you can push your body further forward while in the tuck and extend your legs even higher toward the ceiling.
So how about you?
Do you like to work your abs daily, once-in-awhile or as a stabilizer for other exercises?