Emily Skye smiles while holding a plank position on her forearms.
Emily Skye

These are the abs workout mistakes that could be holding you back

Emily Skye

Are six-pack abs your fitness unicorn? Many people are after a flat and defined stomach, but no matter how hard they try it seems like an impossible goal.

As thousands of women across the globe get serious about their abdominal muscles with my FIT Abs to the Core Challenge, now is the perfect time to address four of the most common mistakes I see people make when it comes to sculpting that core. If you want to know how to get abs, first you have to know how you’re NOT getting them!

1. You’re not focused on nutrition

‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ is one of the oldest cliches in the fitness handbook – and while it does oversimplify the work you need to put in to strengthen your core and expose those abs, it does make a valid point: if you don’t fuel yourself correctly, it doesn’t matter how many core exercises you smash, the abs will not follow.

There is no shortcut to a six-pack. Your abdominal muscles will only be revealed when the layer of fat covering them is gone. That’s why my Abs to the Core Challenge includes fat-burning high-intensity circuits. It’s all about fuelling yourself with nutritious, whole foods so you have enough energy to smash your workouts, but aren’t sabotaging your good work by eating excess calories.

2. You’re not doing the right exercises

My 6-week challenge doesn’t just incorporate the words “abs” and “core” because it makes for a catchy name – we need to work on both individually and as a unit to get the yummy tummy results you’re looking for.

Training your core is essential for your body’s functional strength and stability – which is way more important overall than a washboard stomach. This is done with moves that engage your core in unison with your full body – such as planks or sit throughs. However, to really tone and target your ab muscles, we zero in with isolation exercises such as bicycle crunches, V-ups and Russian twists.

3. Overdoing the hardcore abs workouts

Like any muscle group, your abs need time to recover after a big session – and it is during recovery that the magic process of muscle-building happens. Yes, it’s about training consistently, but it’s also about variety and allowing adequate time for rest and recovery. If you focus on abdominal isolation exercises every single day, you are seriously holding yourself back. Speaking of which...

4. Don't over-crunch

Too often, in gyms all over the world, I have seen people doing crunch after crunch until they’re red in the face. While crunches can and do form part of a balanced ab workout program, will they hit your obliques, too? And what about the deepest layer of abdominals that stabilises your back?

There is a whole world of exercises to target your abs and core from all angles, which is key to strengthening and growing those muscles for well-rounded results.

My Abs to the Core program is designed specifically to help you build a strong and defined core. Join me on FIT to get started with your first 7 days free!

Emily Skye
Personal trainer • Founder

Emily Skye is a strength training expert and the face of FIT, the digital fitness app that helps women worldwide build strength and confidence, stay active through pregnancy and rebuild post-pregnancy. Emily holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and Master Trainer qualification from the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also co-founder of James Cosmetics and a mother of two.

Emily Skye
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