How to Know If Your Ab Workout Is All Wrong

| Fitness

We all know the feeling of strain during a strenuous core exercise. Not the strain of muscles being worked and sculpted, but the strain of the neck pulling and the lower back aching and the fatigue in places that are everywhere but your abs during a challenging core workout.

woman bicycle crunch ab workout

Trainer JayDee Cutting III shared a quick but incredibly important tip with PopSugar. "Focus on the muscle, not the movement."

JayDee continued to explain that "if you solely focus on mimicking a movement, the integrity of an exercise can be compromised. Instead, think about which part of the body the exercise is targeting."

Put this tip into your practice immediately. If you're squatting with bodyweight or additional weight and your backside isn't burning, adjust your form so all the heat isn't in your quads. Drop your weight and touch the glutes until you find the form that burns those muscles.

Same mindset with your core. If you're on the ground doing a Russian twist but feel the move everywhere besides your abs, place your hand on your midsection, slow down your movement and complete the twist while really engaging the abdominal wall. Stay at that place until your hand feels those muscles contracting and then complete your reps with that exact movement.

Russian Twist with Dumbbell

Core exercises work your abs with far less movement than you think. If you're straining your neck or feeling discomfort in your lower back, slow your pace, place your hand on the muscle group you're trying to activate and only continue once you find that sweet spot. Once you have that focus, you'll forget about propping your head up as far as possible and your form will no longer sabotage your results.

Ready to get to work? Start slow and steady and then rock this 30/20/10 Abs Bootcamp video.