Why can't I see my abs?

Why Can’t I See My Abs?

Most of us dream of having that perfect six pack and many work hard to achieve it. But why can't some of us see our abs? After all, everyone has abs, so where are they?


There are a number of reasons why your abs may not be visible. The first reason is you probably have too much body fat and need to reduce that to a level where your abs become visible. Going to the gym to work on those abs or exercising your abs at home may help to strengthen them but ultimately, if you have too much body fat, your abs will not be visible. So diet has a key part to play in this. Eliminate processed food from your diet and eat healthy whole foods including protein, healthy carbs, fruit and vegetables. Cut back on alcohol and reduce your intake to a minimum. 


Once you have a healthy diet in place it’s time to start looking at your workout plan. Many of us will willingly focus on leg day or chest day and spend hours at the gym concentrating on building those muscles, leaving the abs as a brief add on at the end of a workout. Not focusing properly on the abdominal muscles like you would your legs for leg day or your chest for chest day is another reason why the abs are still hidden.  Dedicate time as if it was chest or leg day to build the strength of your ab muscles and work them like any other muscle group. Understanding the function of the ab muscles (Rectus Abdominis) will help you plan your ab workout. The ab muscles allow us to flex and extend the spine backwards and forwards. Crunches are a great option but instead of lying flat on the ground which restricts your stretch, try lying back on a gym ball and crunching forward. This allows not only the flex motion as you crunch forward, but also the stretching backward motion as you lie back on the gym ball, giving a fuller ab workout. Adding weight to your ab workout is key if you want to see your abs. Exercises such as crunches whilst holding a dumbbell or kettlebell are great options. Try 3 - 4 sets of 10 -12 reps 3 times per week. Planks are another good exercise to perform to strengthen the abs and adding weight helps to build more strength. The RKC style plank is a much more intense version of a regular plank and involves contracting virtually all of your muscles as tightly as you can, creating as much tension as possible in your abs whilst holding the plank position. Try holding the position for 15-20 seconds three times per week.

Cardio is great for fat burning so as well as your weight training, make time for some good cardio sessions at least 3 times per week. 

As with all muscle groups, building ab muscles takes time, dedication and perseverance. Sticking to your strict workout plan along with a healthy diet will help you reap the rewards and uncover the abs which you long to see.

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