When you think of a fit person, I’m willing to bet you picture someone with a sleek waist and a beautiful six pack. Visible abs muscles are, to many of us, the best way to tell just how fit someone is. The more pronounced their six pack, the fitter they are, right?
Well, that’s not entirely true…
A beautiful six pack denotes a very low body fat percentage, but that has little to do with overall fitness. Someone with killer abs could be totally inflexible and have limited muscular endurance and strength.
Still, we all want a six pack, which means spending a good deal of time working our abs. If you want to get that washboard look, read on to find out about the best ab exercises for women to do. As a bonus, we’ll teach you which exercises are a total waste of time!
The 6 Worst Ab Exercises For Women
You’d be amazed by how much time you can waste on ineffective exercises! There are lots of exercises that you may think are good (such as isolation exercises), but in the long run, the reward isn’t worth the time invested. They may yield limited results, or they increase your risk of injury. Either way, they’re a waste of time.
Here are a few of the abs exercises you should avoid:
1. Leg Throws — This exercise (lying on your back and having a partner throw your legs forward) has the potential to be excellent, but for most people, it just increases the risk of injury. It can place serious strain on the lumbar spine as those with insufficient abs strength have to rely on their back to arrest the motion of their legs.
2. Sit-Ups — This timeless exercise is another one that places a strain on your spine. The movement pushes your body beyond your abs’ range of motion, taking the attention off your gut and placing it on your back. Performing this exercise can increase your risk of bulging spinal discs and lower back strain.
3. Hanging Leg Lifts — The biomechanics of this exercise just don’t make sense! The raising of your legs engages your hip flexors more than your abs, and the fact that you’re working against gravity only increases the strain on your hips and spine.
4. Bicycles — This classic exercise may be ready to go the way of the dinosaurs. The twisting action engages your obliques slightly, but it’s your hip flexors that do most of the work. The back and forth can strain your hips while doing very little for your abs.
5. Russian Twist — Your lumbar spine is not as flexible as the rest of your back, and it’s not designed to rotate. The more you twist, the more you grind the vertebra together. The fact that you’re leaning back increases the risk that you’ll engage your lower back to make up for insufficient ab strength.
6. Crunches — This may sound silly; after all, crunches are the most popular ab exercise, right? Well, crunches are similar to sit-ups, in that they often engage your lower back. However, they’re also less effective for developing a strong core, and they encourage poor posture.
If you want to avoid time-wasters, it’s time to eliminate these movements from your workout completely!