When you think of the word ‘fail’ you might think of cats jumping and missing windowsills, or perhaps people falling off of bikes onto their face.
But the more common type of fail is the more subtle fail that we make every day. You know: the little mistakes we make that prevent us from getting the most out of our training, or out of our productivity that day.
A great example would be a ‘flat belly fail’. That’s any mistake we make that leads to us not losing the weight around our stomach that we want to. And there are tons of flat belly fails that we make all the time in the gym.
They don’t make great outtakes but they’re actually even more damaging!
Here are four of the biggest fails that you can start to fix…
Fail #1: Focussing on the Lower Abs
Too many people focus largely on lower ab exercises to try and get a flat stomach. This can actually have the opposite effect though as it bulks up the bottom of the transverse abdominis creating an imbalanced development that looks like a pot belly! Oops! Make sure then that your training the upper abs as well in order to keep everything consistent and flat across the abs.
Fail #2: Forgetting Quality
Lots of people will focus on the number of crunches and sit ups they do, without thinking about the quality of those exercises. Anyone can do 100 crunches and in many cases, it’s just a matter of bouncing up and down quickly.
But try and slow those moves down and use a controlled technique and suddenly things get more difficult. Focus on quality over quality and really contract the abs while you’re training!
Fail #3: Cheating
Often we cheat our way through our ab exercises without even realizing it. Imagine yourself doing leg raises or sit ups. Are you bending your abs and crunching your stomach, or are you folding at the hips? If it’s the latter (and often it is) then you’re actually not using your abs at all – that’s your hip flexors at work!
Fix this by really rolling the abs and feeling them work. This relates to the above point.
Fail #4: Getting Injured
This is where falling on your face may actually come into it. Or more likely, you’ll just follow a badly designed routine that leads to you busting a gut… literally and getting a hernia. That’s why you need to be scientific about your training and really make sure you’re actually challenging the parts of the body you’re meant to be challenging.
There are many more fails you may be making too. Forgetting to train the transverse abdominis is a big one for instance – as this is the part of your musculature that’s responsible for holding your gut in. Another is to forget that your abs are only visible at sub 10% body fat. That means that most of the work will go on in the kitchen.
If you’re not seeing the results you want in your mid-section then don’t keep doing what you’re doing. Really assess your strategy and you might find there are better ways to get the results you’re looking for!
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