You know that your legs need a rest after that brutal “leg day,” but have you ever stopped to consider the importance of resting your abs? Whether you’re doing crunches, working out on an ab machine at the gym, or anything in between — the fact remains that your abs need a rest every once in a while if you want to see long-term results.
The Importance of Resting Your Abs
Muscles Need Rest to Grow
Just like any other muscle in your body, your muscles don’t actually grow while you work out. They grow during the healing process. In fact, what actually happens when you exercise your abs is that the muscles in your abs tear as they’re pushed to their limits. Later that day or maybe even the following day, you’ll feel some soreness; this is caused by your muscles trying to heal themselves. As your muscles heal, they grow slightly larger than they were before. Over time, then, your muscles become larger and more defined.
Unfortunately, if you never give your abs a chance to rest, you’re never going to see any noticeable gains! Don’t do all that work for nothing; give your abs a rest and skip the abdominal workout if you’re sore the next day. You’ll thank yourself later.
Abs Need Less Rest Than Most Muscles
Now, it is also worth noting that while you shouldn’t overlook the importance of resting your abs adequately, the abdominal muscles typically don’t require as much rest as other muscles in your body. That’s because you use your abs on a daily basis to support your body and posture, so they’re a little more conditioned to be exercised. On the other hand, the same probably cannot be said of your legs, glutes and chest muscles, which is why they require a bit more rest in between workouts.
How to Maximize Your Ab Workout
In addition to resting your muscles as needed, you should keep in mind some other tips when it comes to maximizing your ab workout. For starters, recognize that you’re not going to start seeing gains (that defined six pack) until you lose the fat around your stomach. This is where focusing on a clean, healthy diet and watching your caloric intake is a must. Furthermore, make sure you’re incorporating weight training into your ab workouts for maximum results; crunches are great and all, but you’re going to see much faster results if you knock out some weighted Russian twists or utilize the weighted ab machines at your local gym.
Looking for more tips and guidance on achieving the toned, flat core you’ve always wanted? Consider working with a personal trainer, who will be able to assist you in developing an effective workout routine that works with your lifestyle and helps you achieve the results you want!