Thursday, April 11, 2013

Article # 462. Can You Do Ab Exercises Every Day?

Can You Do Ab Exercises Every Day?
The abdominal area is one of the most challenging parts of the body to tone. When you initially start a weight-loss program, one of the first places you reduce in size is the stomach. However, the actual toning of the abdominal muscles tends to take more work. For this reason, both weight-loss hopefuls and avid exercisers often aim to work out this large muscle group on a daily basis. This type of routine is not necessary to obtain strong and lean abdominal muscles. In fact, daily ab exercises may actually do more harm than good.

Benefits of Strong Abs

A lean abdomen does more than to make you feel good about yourself. According to the American Council on Exercise, strong ab muscles correlates with a strong back. You will can reduce back pain and help improve your posture as a result of abdominal exercises. Plus, having a strong core helps prevent athletic injuries. A smaller mid-section also decreases your risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease.


Since your abs consist of the same type of muscle tissue as your other muscles, they are subject to the same negative effects caused by overtraining. One negative aspect of overworking your muscles is called muscle atrophy, or the actual breaking down of muscle tissue to a smaller size. The second potentially negative side effect of doing situps and crunches every day is that over time your workouts will tend to get less intense, and thus less effective at strengthening and toning your abs.


There seems to be an exception to every rule, and this one is no different. Professional bodybuilders will often train their abs every day -- or close to every day -- but this is an extreme example. For the average person, daily ab workouts are not necessary to strengthen the abs. Pro bodybuilders train full-time and have special diets/supplement regimens that allow their bodies to recover faster after they work out than the average person.

Types of Exercises

Crunches alone will not tone your abs. There are no specific exercises that target any one particular spot. For example, you cannot work out in hopes of toning your lower abdominal muscles exclusively. The key to a successful routine is to perform different types of ab exercises that will tone your entire core, while remain challenging for the muscles. You can include crunches as well as leg lifts and toe reaches.


Experts recommend performing ab exercises no more than every other day for best results, and to prevent injury. When working on your abdominals, you will not gain better strength in numbers. Doing multiple repetitions of a certain exercise is not an ideal workout plan, particularly if you do the exercise incorrectly. It is recommended performing no more than three sets of any ab exercise, with 10 to 25 repetitions. Rushing through the exercise is also a common mistake. If you aren't getting results after doing several sets of abdominal exercises a day, then you are likely doing them incorrectly. During the set, you should remain challenged, and have difficulties at the end of the last set.


Overall body fat reduction is another factor in achieving lean abs. This is achieved only through aerobic exercises. Examples include walking, running, stair-climbing, swimming and bicycling. Incorporate regular aerobic activity in addition to ab exercises for maximum results. The Diet Channel recommends five 30-minute sessions a week at the very least. Overtime, the expulsion of energy through cardiovascular exercise causes the body to eat up fat to maintain energy levels. The first place you will likely lose this fat from is the stomach. Reducing stomach fat allows your ab muscles to become more prominent. Ask your doctor before exercising, particularly if you are a newcomer, or if you have an underlying health condition.