Do You Need to Do Ab Workouts?

Last updated on April 24th, 2024 at 08:02 am

ab workout

Do You Need to Do Ab Workouts?

Abs or abdominal muscles are a buzz word in fitness culture and are surrounded by a lot of misinformation. There are various conflicting opinions regarding abs, such as doing ab blasters for a shredded stomach, making abs in the kitchen, or avoiding crunches, which leads to a lot of confusion. So, let’s clear things up.

Abs are short for the rectus abdominis muscle, which is a paired muscle group that runs vertically down your stomach. These muscles become visible as a six-pack or an eight-pack in people with low belly fat.

On the other hand, the core is a much broader term for the muscles in the abdomen region, which includes the rectus abdominis muscle, the transversus abdominis, the internal obliques, the external obliques, the erector spinae, and a few more. It’s the front, back, and sides of your trunk and stabilizes your entire body, making it essential for everyday basic movements. The core also controls certain bodily functions, maintains your posture, protects your spine from injury, and is vital in childbirth.

Ab workouts involve exercises that focus on isolating and working the abdominal muscle, while core workouts include more compound exercises that target and activate most of the muscles around your midsection. However, it’s worth noting that compound exercises engage your core, and floor-based exercises like dead bugs, Russian twists, V-sits, and hover holds can help you target this midsection.

The plank is the most recognizable core exercise, and most compound exercises you do in the gym will help you to strengthen your core. Working on core strength and endurance is essential for several reasons, such as the number of functions it serves, the differences you’ll notice in your ability to perform other movements and lifts, and its role as the foundation of fitness that allows you to keep progressing.

You don’t need to dedicate a full 45 minutes to core workouts; instead, do your usual workout first, focusing on legs, back, glutes, or chest exercises, and then add some additional focus to the core after your main workout to make sure you’re strengthening these vital muscles. As for an ab specific workout, it comes down to your desire for aesthetics, and if you want a six-pack, you’ll need to build muscles in your abdominals and maintain a very low percentage of body fat.

Finally, there’s overlap between the core and the abs, and for well-rounded and health-focused strength, it’s best to focus on the core as it’s the center of your being. The pike roll-out is the most effective core exercise, but there are plenty of other brilliant core exercises to spend time on too.