How Long Should Your Abs Workout Really Be?

How Long Should Your Abs Workout Really Be?

A few minutes each day is all you need. Don’t overdo it.

With the new year in full swing, you may find yourself crunching away at abs workouts on the floor as part of your resolution to truly get fit. Abs are famously boring for some people, and the realization of a true sick pack, or even a measure of marked firmness in the abdomen seems, for many, to be elusive in the end. What does it take to get bikini-worthy abs? Is it possible to overwork your abs? And does exercising them add bulk, like it does when lifting weights with your arms? Here’s a look.

How Long Do You Need to do Abs to be Effective?

According to Sidney Miller, a personal trainer who is the founder of the HOUSEWORK workout app and spoke with Livestrong, it’s a good idea to start working out your abs for about 5 minutes each day. Grow your workout to be between 5 and 8 minutes long. If you find you are too sore to workout your abs every day, or that you just don’t have the time or interest to do so, getting in 5 to 10 minutes of abs workout three times a week can be effective as well.

It’s very easy to find a plethora of abs workouts to follow online. YouTube is an unending source with workouts aimed at both women and men. Do just part of the video or repeat it twice, depending on your skill level.

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Can You Work Your Abs Too Much?

As with any physical workout, yes, it’s possible to overdo it on your abs. According to Erica Ziela deep core exercise specialist who spoke with Livestrong, you can potentially overwork your core muscles resulting in bad posture and even back pain. It’s common that people overdo crunch-style exercises in an effort to strengthen their abs. Too much crunching can lead to an imbalance in your core. Plain crunches, Ziel says, simply work the surface of your abs. Incorporate various core exercises into your routine so that you get well-rounded results. These can include planks, fitness ball exercises, bridging, and using free weights.

If you do feel tempted to stick to classic crunches, Ziel says it’s important to keep your pelvis neutral and not jam your spine into your mat. Strive to feel your deep core engaging and go for smaller movements. Minimize the use of your hip flexors and avoid pulling your belly to your spine.

Overall, exercise experts say the mantra of “no pain, no gain” only goes so far. You shouldn’t push things to the limit all the time. This isn’t necessary for muscle growth. A bit of exercise each day and muscle strengthening a few times a week that targets various muscle groups can provide you with a balanced workout. The goal is overall strength and better health. Feeling exhausted or just disengaged with the idea of another workout? Take a few days off. Rest. Go back when you feel energized.

photo credits: Prostock-studio/

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