Anyone else hate ab workouts?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 20, 2007 8:19 AM GMT
    First off, I definitely understand the value of ab workouts. I know that when I'm doing them, I'm strengthening my core and helping support my terrible back. I always do them, even when I really, really don't want to.

    That being said, does anyone else find ab workouts to be their absolutely least favorite exercises? I'm doing the 12 week program, and even though these guys do an excellent job of providing new and interesting workouts every couple weeks, I still find myself dreading every single ab workout on the sheet.

    My hypothesis is that it's because my abs have always been the least developed part of my body (as well as my pecs). I don't mind the fact that my abs hurt the day after, but working them just always feels so tedious and I'm thinking it's because I'm just not used to working on them at all.

    Anyone else find this to be true? If so, did that aversion ever disappear once your abs, and core in general, became stronger?
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    Jun 20, 2007 9:25 AM GMT
    I never do any abs work. I think they're pointless. I see people who are overweight doing loads of crunches and I just think they would be better off sorting out their diet first and introducing some proper cardio work into their exercise routine.

    The one guy I know who has prominent abdominals has always had them and he owes them to his genetics rather than the number stomach exercises he does.

    I have slight definition in my mid section now because I do lots of cardio in the form of cycling and weightlifting 4 or 5 times a week.

    For me there's also the time factor. I got to the gym first thing in the morning and I spend more than an hour in the gym doing weights. I don't want to add another half an hour to my routine for something that seems a bit pointless. But, hey, that's just me.
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    Jun 20, 2007 11:03 AM GMT
    one set of ab exercises or two at a push at the end of a normal session is more than sufficient most people overtrain for no gain and no hope of seeing them anyway.

    Your core gets strengthened on virtualy every exercise you do
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Jun 20, 2007 2:31 PM GMT
    There's a great ab routine that was posted on this site, but I can't find it now. It's 5 different positions, done 3 x a week, and I've noticed a flatter mid section.

    I do agree that abs are my least favorite part of my routine, but a strong core is a basis for everything else as we age, so you get out what you put in. I just know that I don't have the energy to put in the effort for a 6 pack - although I'd love to have it - living my life is also important.

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    Jun 20, 2007 3:04 PM GMT
    training abs is of vital importance. if you want strength and to function well in sports. think of a noodle that is stiff on the ends and cooked in the middle. doesn't matter how strong the ends are if the middle is weak. even if all you want is to look good, training your abs will help all parts of your body look better. and for those fat dudes doing crunches, well obviously they need to lose fat. and crunches are probably the least effective ab exercise.

    i used to hate working abs. so i never did. i didn't realize it, but the strength in my whole body suffered because of it. i stopped gaining strength and progressing in anything.

    my gymnast friend introduced me to some exercises. they have the best developed abs and strongest bodies in the world.

    i started working abs out seriously and lo and behold the rest of my body took off. i had incredible strength gains. but best of all - my surfing skilz went to the next level.

    keep with it. that yucky feeling in your abs goes away after a month or so (depending on your fitness level). change your routine and recognize the importance of ab training. once i changed my mindset i started really like working them out.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 20, 2007 3:16 PM GMT
    bfg1: I think it's possible not to strengthen your core with other exercises if you're not being mindful, though. I know when I'm climbing, it's easy to let my mind wander away from my torso and not be working my core at all. But then usually I have an incredibly hard time at the route. When I go back at it keeping my core solid and using my ab and back muscles to move my torso in the right ways, it makes a huge difference. Same goes for cycling.

    Chewey_Delt: I'd recommend just picking an activity that strengthens your core but isn't as boring to you. Yoga, for example, is great for core strength but varies it up; doing leg lifts, then boat pose, then triangle, then arm balances, etc. feels much more interesting to me than doing a billion crunches.

    There was a good article on this site about abdominal strength; it talked about all the various abdominal muscles and how to strengthen them, not just the rectus abdominis (aka six pack.) Strong six-pack muscles and weak everything else is worse, in many ways, than a generally weak core.

    Anyone ever heard of Dragon Flags? I saw a kid doing them at the climbing gym in SF and they were the craziest ab exercises I think I've ever seen. Basically, you do a shoulder stand on a weight bench, grab the bench with your hands at either side of your head, and then come into a backbend so your shoulders and head are still in shoulderstand position, but your body arcs out to horizontal... kind of like yoga's bridge pose, but with your legs off the ground and pointed out flat. Wacky. Apparently Bruce Lee came up with the exercise.
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    Jun 20, 2007 3:55 PM GMT
    I hate ab exercises too and often skip them all together. I have noticed that what, how, and when I eat as well as aerobic activity make more a impact on making my abs show that specific spot exercises. I think doing crunches etc. only makes your mid section stronger not more visible.
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    Jun 20, 2007 4:25 PM GMT
    I'm not s big fan of abs either, but my trainer has just given me what seems to be a manageable, twice-a-week core workout of:

    - two sets of planks with alternating pushups
    - two sets of crunches (to exhaustion with a three-second hold)
    - two sets of oblique raises using a back extension rack

    He also made sure to remind me as Twincam said that six-packs are just as much (if not more) a matter of leanness and, to a certain extent, genetics.
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    Jun 20, 2007 4:27 PM GMT
    Funny, seems like a lot of men hate doing ab work but know its one of more coveted group of muscles there are for a man (maybe third on the list of pecs, then guns). I used to hate em, til I started seeing result (and more importantly, feeling the results of my body being able to do more overall due to the core strength). This is the first time in my life that I've had any sort of definition there and it feels nice. Crazy thing about abs, though, is that it's more about the diet to get em to show through than anything else.

    Keep it up, though!
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    Jun 20, 2007 7:21 PM GMT
    Nice to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with them.

    I'm not really that worried about having super-defined abs. If I don't have a great six pack, I'm not going to cry about it. I mainly do ab workouts simply because my back isn't very good, and since abs help support the back (being part of the overall core group) I know I need to keep on it.
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    Jun 21, 2007 1:05 AM GMT
    I love working out my abs! What other people would say about crunches I would have to agree with - I noticed just a whole lot of burn & not much in terms of results - but when I started seeing a personal trainer three months ago, he threw planks, leg raises & oblique work into the mix, & my stomach went flat & hard very quickly (six-pack does appear to slowly be developing too now). Today he showed me a exercise where you hang from a roof girder by your fingertips & raise your (straightened) legs up to touch the girder - this feels very effective, & he swears by them.

    I can't stand lat pulldowns. I never seem to progress with this one, & prefer other exercises.

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    Jun 21, 2007 1:14 AM GMT
    abs used to be tedious for me too, until i started gaining the strength and varying the ab exercises. my ab work involves the stability ball exercises, planks, leg raises, and some yoga like bridge pose in between.

    i've been doing that for the last 6-7 months, and has kept my stomach flat all this time, plus i feel more stable when im doing other things too.
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    Jun 21, 2007 4:34 AM GMT
    Maybe I'm sadistic, but I really enjoy ab exercises. Something about pushing myself to the point of a burn or soreness. Its not the feelings of pain but knowing that I'm getting more out of it every time I do it.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 21, 2007 4:42 AM GMT
    I have to admit I really get a sick satisfaction out of alternating between Navasana and Lolasana until my abdominal muscles start spontaneously seizing and cramping. Having to unroll myself on the ground to get the muscles to release is kind of cathartic, like picking a scab.

    Probably terrible for me, or something, someday I'll tear a muscle belly right in half, but I like how it feels. :)
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    Jun 21, 2007 4:43 AM GMT
    I enjoy working out on my abs. I picked up a core of exercises from this website. I do 12 different ab exercises, 20 reps/ exercise. I do them without a break and follow them with bridges [45sec each]. This makes one set which I typically complete in 10 mins, pause for a min and repeat 3x. I finish the whole thing in 45 mins and is enjoyable and effective.
    Now that my core/abs is fairly strong I am graduating to a much harder routine.
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    Jun 21, 2007 4:54 AM GMT
    I hate them too... lately I found a few alternatives that seem to be strengthening them as I am noticing soreness the day after. First, proper posture at work (I do computer stuff...) when my back hurts from sitting up right, its a reminder to keep my abs tight and it takes a lot of stress off of my back plus helps give me a lil ab workout during the day.

    Second, at the gym, with any workout I'm doing I try to keep my core solid, abs tight when breathing in and out. I notice a huge impact, especially on leg days and chest days and this helps keep your body in alignment to prevent other injuries... a 2 fer 1 deal :)

    Enjoy, let me know if this works for you... I've already noticed some size gains within the first month of doing this routinely and I only think it will get better as I get more and more used to doing it.
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    Jun 21, 2007 6:17 AM GMT
    atx! thank you for reminding me about Navasana. I loooooove doing Navasana. When my best friend and i work out together, i usually lead the core/abs stuff cuz he gets to try all that stuff i do in yoga.
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    Jun 21, 2007 2:32 PM GMT
    You want abs? Do cardio? Visible abs are a function of body fat levels, as has been said here and there...ad nauseam.

    Training this year, my trainers were admitmant about me backing off my ab training.

    Yeah, strong core IS important, but, bulging abs (in my case) aren't. My lines have improved since I've backed off, but, I feel kinda lazy. I've never been the sort to be lazy in the weight room.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 03, 2008 8:37 PM GMT
    I love ab workouts. Call me weird, but its like my meditation.
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    Mar 03, 2008 8:48 PM GMT
    Well, based on all the input, I guess I'll cut the abs and add it on to my cardio. Here I thought my one pak was coming from my ab work, you guys just deflated my whole idea! LOL

    So it's back to lean cardio and that tasty diet of fruit, veggies and protein.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 03, 2008 8:52 PM GMT
    nope, cut the cardio and add it onto your weights

    I love ab workout you cant be crunches at a 5/10/5 cadence with nearly 40kgs sitting on your chest. Its total agonising pleasurable control.

    And the feeling you get of the instant stomach vac of woodchoppers sets you up for a good night on the town icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 05, 2008 10:15 AM GMT
    I hate it too. icon_neutral.gif But yeah I'll work on em. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 05, 2008 10:23 AM GMT
    It always beggers belief with me that guys that go on about eat eat eat then have to run run run run to burn off calories they need not have consumed so they can see their abs.

    Really doesnt show a very clever or scientific approach to their training does it

    Takes all sorts I suppose icon_rolleyes.gif