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Abs Are More Than Just For Show

By Coach Kelly

Why do we train the abs? For almost every movement we preform, we must engage our core to complete that movement.  So, having a strong core is essential.  Do you have to have the perfect six pack abs?  Absolutely not, but we must train to strengthen the core regardless!  Not having a strong core can be a limiting factor on things such as the squat.  Without a certain level of core strength and stability, it makes it very difficult to maintain the proper technique (chest up with you lumbar curve intact) to complete the squat and feel comfortable under heavier weight.

So when is ab day?  Your abdominal muscles are much different than other muscle groups.  Sometimes it seems like it takes a full week to recover from a heavy squat or deadlift day.  This is not true for your abs!  They recover at a much faster rate.   This is the reason we can train abs three or more times per week.  How often you train abs can be determined by your level of activity.  If you are new to fitness, you might consider training you core 1-2 times per week.  If you have been training for a while and consider yourself intermediate or advanced, consider training core 3-4 times per week.

Another important and sometimes over looked aspect of the core, is nutrition.  One can do core exercises on a regular basis and feel down because they aren’t seeing the results they want.  Some of this can be attributed to nutrition.  We have to be honest with ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for what we put into our bodies.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we have nutrition coaching!

Like I discussed earlier, you use your core in most, if not all, of the movements we train on.  This is why a strong core is necessary.  What is the most important thing to do when training any muscle group?  You must have a plan.  At CrossFit West of the River the programming is designed for you to succeed!  Most of the additional core work is done during the accessory portion of the day.  I encourage you, if at all possible, please stay and complete these movements. The trainers are there to help you execute the movements and to modify as needed.  Be happy and have fun!!

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