What should I NOT do to get a six-pack?

Heather Campbell
 min read

We’ve all found out what to do but have you ever asked yourself ‘What should I NOT do to get a six-pack?’

What should I NOT do to get a six-pack?

Do you dream of beautiful, well-defined abs?

Do you think that the only way to get that is to exercise every day and drastic diet changes?

Well, you’re wrong!

And for those who have already given up hope before even starting, it bears repeating.

We ALL have abs!

If we can’t see them, it’s just because they are hidden under the layer of fat that surrounds them.

What should I NOT do to get a six-pack? Introduction

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how to work your abs at home.

Especially how to keep them close to the surface and well-defined all year long.

So check out these tips and stop making mistakes, wasting time, and getting discouraged.

Things to avoid if you want to keep your abs looking good all year round

You only have to go to a gym to understand that abs are everyone’s business.

No matter what fitness level, everyone devotes a part of their training to them.

Here we always find people making many mistakes.

Some are more serious than others.

Some mistakes make fitness professionals cringe.

You can injure yourself and won’t achieve the desired results.

Here we share the most common mistakes when it comes to abs. Read carefully!

Do not follow a strict diet

If you decide to lose weight, adopt new eating habits.

Make sure that you can stick to for at least 75% of the time.

Diets that promote quick weight loss are usually followed by equally quick weight gain.

To avoid the famous yo-yo effect, follow the motto ‘lose weight slowly but surely.’

Reduce your daily caloric intake (see our energy expenditure calculator).

Aim for a reduction of 250 to 450 calories per day, max.

Aim for the long term and focus on gradually improving your diet and health.

Start off by not eating sugar.

Identify which foods are healthy and which aren’t!

What should I NOT do to get a six-pack as exercise? Don’t only do sit-ups

Unfortunately, most people don’t do ab exercises properly.

In addition, the exercises are often rendered ineffective and painful through muscular imbalance

Lousy posture is another factor.

Think underdeveloped trunk muscles, excessively arched back, hips too forward).

If you want to eliminate the layer of fat covering your abs, it’s best to do compound movements.

Make sure that they engage your entire body.

Try squats, lunges, or burpees, and don’t just work on your abs.

Try bodyweight exercises with planks, push-ups, or high planks with a knee to elbow movement.

They are all incredibly effective for fat burning.

Don’t go too fast

We’ve all had that one person in front of us who performs their crunches at full speed.

Don’t go there.

It doesn’t work any better, and you’re risking an injury.

What we are looking for in abdominal exercises is the range of motion.

Go too fast, and you won’t control the movement from beginning to end.

You won’t use your energy efficiently either.

Don’t rush, and remember to break down the movement to work better and safer.

Don’t only do low-intensity cardio

You should vary your workout for better results.

Try to get out of your comfort zone, and don’t settle for easy runs.

Add regular HIIT sessions to your workout routine.

Both HIIT and LISS cardio sessions have a role in burning fat.

They’ll help you get great abs!

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) alternates high-intensity exercise with recovery periods.

LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) is a low-intensity training over a long time.

Related: Flat belly without effort: 9 Tips to burn belly fat

What should I NOT do to get a six-pack? Don’t drink alcohol regularly

It’s not just the high number of calories in alcohol that’s a problem.

Think of the cravings the day after.

Fatty burgers, hot dogs, chips, four-cheese pizza… sounds familiar?

Because of alcohol, you are ingesting more calories than you need.

On top of that, you are eating crap food full of fats!

If you’re determined to sculpt and keep your abs looking good, avoid drinking every weekend!

Remember to drink enough water!

Don’t stop your feet

Another common mistake in the gym is keeping your feet stiff during exercise.

And very often, the people who make this mistake are also going too fast.

So why is it wrong? If your feet are static, you’ll be using your abs, true,

But you’ll also use your hip flexors, and more precisely, your psoas.

This muscle is already overactive in most of us since we sit most of the time.

So don’t do this anymore and use only the strength of your abdominal muscles to raise your chest.

And remember, you don’t need to raise your chest high to contract your abs.

What should I NOT do to get a six-pack? Don’t stress out

We all have stressful days from time to time.

If this stress becomes permanent, it can negatively influence your figure.

Studies have shown that chronic stress is linked to higher levels of obesity.

To decompress, start by taking some time for yourself!

Think about the benefits of walking, meditation and writing.

They will all help you perceive the positive things around you more clearly!

Don’t forget to breathe

Breathing is essential during exercise because it oxygenates the muscles.

Without proper breathing, any effort becomes even more complicated, and you get tired faster.

Remember to exhale through your mouth on the effort and inhale on the release.

For example, say you’re doing a leg raising exercise.

Breathe in on the descent of the legs and breathe out by bringing the legs towards you.

Don’t forget to recover

Training seven days a week is not the answer.

In fact, muscles are built during rest days and not during training.

Exercising is stressful for the body.

Your body will handle this stress better with the appropriate recovery time.

Always listen to your body and don’t ignore the signals it sends you.

You don’t have to be a potato couch between 2 workout days.

Instead, take a walk, or try new yoga poses.

What should I NOT do to get a six-pack? Don’t ruin your efforts by eating junk

Don’t underestimate nutrition. It is often said that nutrition does 80% of the work.

It may not be that much, but it does play an indispensable role if we want to see results.

So don’t undo all your work with a diet that is too rich, sweet, and fatty.

Remember to eat a balanced diet over the long term.

What should I NOT do to get a six-pack? Conclusion

Work on your abs regularly at home. Patience is key.

Don’t expect to see your abs appear at the wave of a magic wand!

Adapt your training program by including interval training.

Keep an eye on your eating habits as well.

By avoiding the most common mistakes, you’ll get better results faster.

And keep your abs looking great all year long!

Related articles:

About Heather Campbell

As a dietitian, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More