How NOT To Train Your Abdominals

Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human ...Image via Wikipedia

I received a question today that shows very clearly the inefficiency of most "traditional" abdominal training methods.

I am working out very hard on my abs sections and want answers to some questions.

* First and the foremost thing is that I've read in some book that you grow your love handles and transform them into permanent muscles if you keep working on them with weighted side dumbbell bends. I think, Ive done the same mistake, so what is the effective way to get rid of them without reducing the over-all muscle mass from the body.

* The second thing which confuses me most of the time is when I am doing my ab workout I feed some pain in my mid-section but I cant figure out whether it is in ab-section or back. So, I just stop my self from exercising to prevent back ache problems.

*Kindly tell me, how effective are these ab-machines available in the market are? Do they work or they don't work at all and is simply waste of money?

*When I started ab-workout as a beginner I used to get lot of sore in my ab section through out the day. It really felt as if something is developing. But now, I perform ab workout daily but not intensively. Like total of 50-60 sit ups with breaks in between and 30-40 leg raisers. What is more beneficial? To work on abs daily with less intensity or work on it twice a week with more intensity?

* My height = 5'11", Weight =72 kg, chest=39", waist=32"
I need to loose only some pounds from my mid section to make abs visible. How intensively I should do aerobic exercises to achieve my goal? Do I really need to do aerobics to loose belly fat as I am already on strength training.

I really hope best answers from your side.
Ali A

Answer: Dear Ali,

Regarding losing pounds from your midsection, the way to do that is by eating correctly. There is a great free report about this.

Tom Venuto really has the best eating program to show off your abs.

You do need to add some cardio to your workout, not to flatten your belly necessarily but to strengthen your heart and increase general fitness.

Ab machines are a waste of time.

The abdominal muscles wrap around your body from back to front, so feeling some ab work all the way around is appropriate.

I think Pilates is best for abs as the isolated exercises you have been doing (which aren't working) are not efficient for ab training. Here are some great Pilates home workouts.