Why you don't have to do ab exercises to get a six packIt may sound completely mad, but it’s true: you don’t actually have to do ab exercises every day if you want to get a six pack or develop a strong core.

When it comes to sculpting strong, well-defined muscles, most people think that it takes hard work, and they would be right: the dedication you need to get a six pack, for instance, is quite high. However, you don’t actually need to do a single abdominal crunch, sit up, or other stomach exercise if you’re looking to get ripped abs, even though that sounds completely impossible and unrealistic.

the best kept secret

The truth is that doing ab exercises to get a strong core or washboard abs is a complete misconception, as you can get both by focusing not on thousands of stomach crunches every day but instead compound exercise moves that work your core completely, such as polymeric push ups, dumbbell lunges, or front squats whilst holing a dumbbell or a barbell. The secret is that these exercises are so good at working out whole groups of muscles that your core will develop even though you’re not on the floor doing sit up after sit up until you’re blue in the face.

In fact, it’s better to incorporate these core exercises into your workout regime because of the fact that they can help to stabilise and strengthen your back and posture. You can build lower back strength and hone your balance and stability by adopting such an approach – something that can be lacking if you only work the abdominal muscles that give you that ‘six pack’ look.

relax your back

Another important issue to understand is that constant abdominal exercises can actually lead to back problems that can affect your posture, not to mention your quality of life. It’s a sad fact that many of us lead sedentary lifestyles, sitting at computers all day, which leads to poor posture – and over-indulging in ab exercises improperly can end up exacerbating the slow damage you’re doing to your back already just from sitting on your bum for eight hours a day.

Doing countless stomach crunches every day may work those abdominal muscles, but  it’s also forcing you to hunch over again and again by forcing your abdominal muscles to shorten and tighten even further. You run the risk of giving yourself a bit of a permanent hunch from doing these exercises every day without fail, especially if you don’t do any exercises to strengthen your back and straighten your spine in order to balance out all that hunching over.

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Image: Mr Weightlifter by eschipul

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