Myth Buster: Why Your Ab Exercise Isn’t Working

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As humans, we put a lot of value in our core. Our core holds our values, our belief system, our gut instinct. We often refer to people as who they are at their core. The core of something is the most essential part of anything.

In our bodies, our core is responsible for:

  • Posture
  • Controlling breathing
  • Supporting your back

Literally and figuratively, our core is pretty dang important.

The problem is that people will tend to do hours upon hours of crunches, sit ups, leg lifts, and other core-related exercises, but the more they do, the more harm they actually could be causing and the less waistline slimming they actually see. It’s beyond frustrating, I know! 

Why your ab workout doesn’t work

It’s actually pretty simple, and once I explain it, that light bulb is going to shine bright, my friends. 

Most people train the WRONG muscles for a slimmer waistline. They train the Rectus Abdominus, or the “bricks” on top. Come on, we’ve all been there. The more sit ups and crunches we do, the more weight we add, the more likely we’ll be to see that pooch start to go away and the abs of our dreams appearing in its place. Right? Wrong! 

The muscles that really need our attention and training time are the Transverse Abdominis and Lumbar Multifus. The whatda whatda? I know. They’re a mouthful, but guys, they’re the muscles you need to strengthen to get the abs of your dreams. Believe me! 

These are the two muscles that lie beneath the Rectus Abdominis and are responsible for some pretty major tasks. They pull our abdominal muscles together (especially important if you’ve experienced Diastasis Recti after childbirth), and they also help with our posture, regulating our breathing and assisting our diaphragm, and supporting our back.

And ladies (and mamas), these muscles can even help with accidental peeing. Which means if you strengthen them, you can tackle your jump rope skills again, so clearly, it’s a win-win situation. 

The unfortunate truth is that these two muscles are often the most neglected ones in our core, in spite of being the most important. 

Best Ab Exercise to Slim + Strengthen Core

So, what should we be doing instead of sit ups, crunches, and so on to strengthen our core and get all those other benefits?

I’ve actually got an entire eBook program called Abs After Baby that not only offers you a 6-week program full of exercises to help you strengthen and slim that core (including vacuums and vacuum twists), but a simple-to-follow nutrition program and more.

Need to close the gap?

Get 100% FREE ACCESS to this at-home Diastasis Recti self-check some of my favorite tummy-taming ab exercises.

The best thing about this program is that it can work for anyone, even if you’ve never had a baby or if you’ve had a baby years and years ago! And…it will work for men too!

Ok now that we’ve got the moves down, let’s talk about making those abs pop. The other two areas to focus on if you’re trying to slim your waist are nutrition and hydration.

Abs are made in the kitchen (and hey, you can vacuum twist while you cook!). This basically means that you can train and train and train, but if you don’t pay attention to the foods you choose to fuel your body with, it’s not going to do you a whole lot of good. Eating a balanced, healthy diet full of whole foods like fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein, along with knowing the proper amounts of food for your body is essential.

Hydration is important because making sure you’re drinking enough water is going to help flush your body of excess water weight (sounds counterproductive, but trust me on this one) as well as help you feel fuller, longer. Our brain can’t tell the difference between hunger and thirst, so a lot of times when we find ourselves reaching for that afternoon snack, we’re actually thirsty. Staying hydrated has a ton of health benefits, and weight loss or a slimmer waist is just one of them.

One last thing: If you’ve been training the wrong muscles to get that dream core like too many other millions of people, you are totally fine. Do not stress about it, and keep in mind that you don’t know what you don’t know, right? Just start today by doing a set of vacuums and vacuum twists, and you’re already one step closer to creating that dream core and all the benefits that come along with it!

xo,

Related reading:

Keep It Simple: Health + Nutrition Tips for Everyday Living
How Do I Know If I Have Diastasis Recti? || An At-Home Self-Check
Meal Prep Tips and Tricks You Need to Know
No Gym, No Problem: Workouts on the Go
7 Workout Moves You’re Doing Wrong

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