I’m sorry to say this, but no number of abdominal crunches can be used to maintain a flat stomach – not ever. They key to ab development, flat stomach and less fat in the midsection is -diet.
I have said it time and time again, that no one can out train a bad diet. For a lot of people, a diet that’s filled with processed foods and or, not the correct type of foods, shows up in our bellies. Poor gut health also shows up in our mid-section.
But what if you really want to train your abs, and make them stronger and leaner with diet and exercise? Now, this is a more realistic and achievable goal.
I won’t lie, there are a few strategies that can help you develop your abs, leading to a six pack, but I’d like you to think beyond the humble abdominal crunch or sit up. There is no need for complex machines or TRX bands. Take a look at all the power and weightlifters. These guys complete full body lifts like deadlifts, squats and power cleans, leading to some impressive ab development in the process.
A 2011 study published in Physical Therapy in Sport, found that competitive female weightlifters, a group who’s training was focused on low reps with heavy weights, had stoner internal and external oblique muscles than a recreational active group. In the weightlifting group. the internal abs were thickest, followed by external obliques and then the transverse abdominus. These findings make a whole lot of sense, since when performing those multi-joint lifts, we use most of the muscles on our bodies – namely the abdominals, when performing deadlifts and power cleans.
If you perform these multi joint lifts regularly, and pay close attention to your diet every day, there will be no need to focus on abdominal exercises at all. But I do understand that a lot of people enjoy them, and some specific exercises can help you build the foundation of stronger and shapely abs. One of these is called a single leg jack-knife sit up. If you are a sprinter, you will get a lot of benefit out of this exercise. Use angle weights to add some resistance when your coordination is sound.
If you happen to be near a cable machine, try out pullovers and straight arm lat pulldowns. These ones are great when you want to work them in between your other arm day exercises – and only takes a matter of minutes to execute (although you will feel the burn!)
Now do remember that, if you do want amazing looking abs, you must perform those multi joint movements I’ve stated above. These will make the difference when used in conjunction with a proper eating plan. Throwing in a few different abdominal crunches won’t cause any harm – but if you are pressed on time, skip them in favour of lifting even heavier instead.
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