Ab Exercises: Should They Be Done at the End of a Workout?


I usually do my ab workout at the end of my exercise routine, but I am always tired by then and don’t give it my all (I dream of having killer abs someday). Is it okay to do my abs at the beginning of a workout when I’m not as tired? Why is it always done at the end in fitness classes?

It is safe to work your abs at the beginning, middle or end of your workout. Your abdominals are like any other muscle — they need to challenged, stretched and rested. The reason abdominal exercises are “generally” performed at the end of the routine is that many ab exercises are done in a horizontal position, so the heart rate can be lower and it leads nicely into a stretch/cool down.

If working your abdominals is a priority and you’re seeking a six pack (and who isn’t, really?), then there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you need to build strength and definition of the muscles in the abdominal region. Secondly, you need to reduce the amount of overall body fat so that your muscles can come shining through (*remember that fat loss can not be targeted to specific areas of the body). And thirdly, everyone’s body reacts differently to exercise, and so the result you are seeking may not be realistic for your body type.

Check out Sarah’s ab exercise pointers:

One of the best ways to ensure that your abdominal work becomes a priority in your exercise regime to is mix the exercises into the routine, instead of saving it all for the end.

Instead of resting in between sets of bicep curls or squats, try the following:

If you are doing high intensity exercise sets (ie. squats or lunges), perform a 30-second to 1 minute plank in between sets.

If you are performing lower intensity exercise sets (ie. bicep curls or tricep kick backs), perform 20-30 bicycle ab rotations in between sets.

By mixing abdominal exercises into your routine, you will not only be working your abs when you have more energy, you will also enhance your overall workout intensity by keeping the body in constant motion. This means burning more calories which will help shrink excess body fat.

About the fitness expert:

Sarah Brown is a very healthy woman. She is not only a fitness instructor at Goodlife where she teaches Body Pump, Body Flow and yoga but she is also a registered holistic nutritionist.

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