Advance to an intermediate abs routine with these tips.
An abs routine that's starting to feel stale, or has leveled off your development, means it's time to look ahead. How to get abs you'll be proud to show off, when you're not quite ready to take on an advanced abs workout? In addition to your ab workout DVDs, here are some handy notes to consider for those who are ready to push past their beginner's core workout. Abdominal exercises, like cardio and strength training, need to be thought of in stages.One thing about intermediate ab routines: Building abs isn't all about more, more, more. How to get abs past that beginning stage of development doesn't just mean adding more reps. The best ab workout DVDs will tell you that this isn't the best way. And, for pushing your abdominal exercises ahead, just piling on the reps might, in fact, lead to a new injury or some pain you shouldn't be experiencing.
For pushing ahead your abs routine, try alternating your abs exercises, instead of just hitting more, more, more of the same workouts. One organization that knows how to get abs is the American College of Sports Medicine® (ACSM), which suggests alternating ab work, from say, isometric-style abs exercises with traditional, crunch-style abs workouts: “This will keep the routine from becoming too boring.” (ACSM Fit Society® Page)
And in the savvy ab workout videos in P90X® and 10-Minute Trainer®, you’re always going to see a variety of ab exercises demonstrated by Tony Horton. The best abdominal exercises, according to the ACSM*, rely on a diversity of routines for the abs—routines that work both the ab muscles and your back muscles, too. (ACSM Fit Society® Page) One of the best ab workouts is found in the P90X program, where variety is a guiding principle, and Muscle Confusion™ is the name of the game. When pushing into intermediate ab routines, you'll also want to consider losing your training wheels. What you know about how to get abs, if you're a beginner, might be based in part on the equipment you've grown accustomed to using. Some ab workout videos, such as Tony Horton's 10-Minute Trainer, utilize resistance bands. For those just learning abdominal exercises, these are great tools for nailing down correct form and body positions.
As you progress to ab routines that are more difficult, you can now drop these training wheels. It's how to get abs past that beginning stage, and prepared for your impending advanced stage workout. During your ab workout videos, you can always go back to the bands if you feel your form is slipping, or you can often add the bands back in for more resistance to build even more strength in those abs. But for abdominal exercises now, it's time to see if muscle memory has set in and you can do the ab work the correct way, solo—until you need that extra resistance from bands.
*ACSM does not endorse, sponsor, and is not affiliated with Beachbody, or its products or services.