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My 3 Favourite Ab Exercises

By our good friend at Train with Tish.

People in the fitness industry have always been obsessed with abs. We all see the fitness selfies, tank tops rolled up, and the ridiculous looks on people's faces, trying to get their abs to pop. It's actually quite insane.

I get it, it isn't anyone's fault. All the most famous fitness influencers are shredded with their six-packs, showing off and not helping our more health-focused approach.

What people need to understand is that ab training is so much more than just looking good. A strong core provides a base of support for better posture, which translates into improved performance in all aspects of your training. A stronger core also means your body is more protected from injury.

When you train abs, you're also strengthening your pelvis, hips, and lower back, all of which are crucial for overall body function and confidence in movement.

Now, before I share my three favourite ab exercises and why they're effective, I want to shed some light on some myths floating around the internet about training your core.

MYTH #1: Doing specific exercises for your abs will burn more fat in your abdominal area. Spot reduction doesn’t work. No matter how many crunches you do, you won't see those muscles unless you reduce overall body fat. This percentage is often too low for most women, and having visible abs isn’t always a sign of health.

MYTH #2: Lifting heavy is enough for core work. While heavy compound lifts engage your core, direct ab work is still essential for both aesthetics and functionality. Abs, like any other muscle, respond best to targeted training.

MYTH #3: Training abs more often with more reps is required to build them. This isn’t true. Just like any other muscle, abs need proper rest and recovery. Training them once or twice a week with appropriate intensity is sufficient.

Okay, now that we've debunked those myths, let's get to the fun stuff!

My Top 3 Ab Exercises:

1. The Roll Up: This exercise targets the lower abs by bringing your pelvis up into your rib cage, maintaining constant tension on your core throughout the movement.

How to do the Roll Up:

Hang onto something anchored to the ground with straight arms.

Slowly raise your knees towards your chest, focusing on one vertebra at a time.

Keep your lower abs engaged as you lift, avoiding momentum.

Lower your knees back down with control. Aim for 5-8 reps for 3 sets.

2. Side Plank Reach Through: This exercise targets the obliques, the muscles on the sides of your core.

How to do the Side Plank Reach Through:

Stack your feet or stagger them for stability.

Keep your shoulder directly over your elbow in a side plank position.

Reach through your body slowly, engaging your obliques.

Return to the starting position with control. Aim for 5-8 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

3. Fit Ball Sit Up: This exercise targets the upper range of motion for your abs.

How to do the Fit Ball Sit Up:

Place your feet against a wall for stability.

Keep the ball still throughout the movement.

Slowly sit up one vertebra at a time, keeping the ball stable.

Lower back down with control. Aim for 5-8 reps for 2-3 sets.

These exercises are designed to engage all parts of your core. Complete this routine 1-2 times a week for a stronger midsection!

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