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Having a great set of abs can go a long way toward making you better at your sport. Unfortunately, most athletes never get the abs they want, because they make critical mistakes in their training. Men's Fitness put together the four most common ab workout mistakes with the help of Alfonso Moretti, PT, owner of Angry Trainer Fitness. Take a look and see what's been holding you back.
You're Locking Your Feet
It's the classic "ab training" look: your buddy holds your feet down while you blast through a set of Sit-Ups. Or, maybe you get a heavy barbell and tuck your feet underneath it. Either way, you're making a huge mistake. Training with locked feet is actually more of a workout for your hip flexors than your abdominals. "When you lock your feet during Sit-Ups or in an abs exercise machine, you end up pulling your knees forward with your hip flexors instead of predominantly using the abdominals," Moretti says.
If you've been locking your feet down during ab movements, try lying on a decline bench and performing a Reverse Crunch. This will hit your abs in a more effective way.
You're Twisting Too Much
Lots of good, effective ab movements involve some kind of twisting or rotation. But everything in moderation: you need to counter-balance some of that twisting with flexion exercises or stability movements like Planks. Moretti recommends performing a few exercises in a circuit for maximum results. Try three sets of 20 reps each without resting.
Find the other reasons why you don't have abs at Men's Fitness.
Want more advice on ab training? Head over to STACK.com/abs.