If your dream has always been to have sculpted abs but, despite various attempts, you have never succeeded in your intent, in this article you will find indications for sculpting the abs avoiding three mistakes common to all training programs for this muscle group .

For the realization we consulted the Personal Trainers of staiInForma, an Italian network of coaches and athletic trainers operating throughout Italy.

You will be amazed to find out how much these errors are present in generic training cards and in the main abdominal programs on the web.

Mistake # 1: training only the rectus abdominis

The muscular district of the abdominals is made up of four muscles: the  transverse abdominis , the  internal and external obliques , the  rectus abdominis .

The latter is the most superficial and outlines the famous “turtle”, but it does not have to be trained more than the other three in order not to create dysfunctions or aesthetic imperfections. To have a flat stomach and avoid having a prominent abdomen forward you need to train all four muscles in a balanced way by inserting exercises that recall their actions and functions. The rectus abdominis is solicited with flexion movements of the trunk towards the pelvis and of the legs towards the trunk. Crunch   and  reverse crunch are  classic examples of these flexing movements.

The deepest and most functional muscle at the abdominal level is the  transverse abdominis : it contributes to the stabilization and balance of most of the movements of the human being, protects the viscera and guarantees stability to the spine. From an aesthetic point of view, it compresses the abdominal area avoiding abdominal prolapse (belly out) therefore it is very important that the training program for the abdominals includes specific exercises for the transverse abdomen, such as the plank .

The internal and external obliques contribute to the tonicity of the abdomen and to sculpt the hips. They are activated with torsion and lateral flexion movements of the trunk. Exercises that adequately stress the obliques are the lateral plank , the twists of the trunk to the cables or of the pelvis from a supine lying position with legs bent or stretched upwards.

Mistake n ° 2: working on one plane and one axis only

The first error also causes the second: the movements of the exercises that are commonly carried out in the gym can take place on three axes and three imaginary planes of motion: without going into too much specificity, to make the abdominal district move on all planes and axes. of movement the trunk must move in flexion, torsion, lateral flexion.

Examples of flexion exercises are the crunch and the reverse crunch ;

Examples of twisting exercises are the russian twist and the twist crunch ;

Examples of lateral flexion exercises are the lateral torso pushups and the side oblique crunch .

Mistake n ° 3: performing only bodyweight exercises with many repetitions

The abdominals are muscles like the others so they must be trained like the pectorals, the lats, the legs, the shoulders and the other main muscle groups.

In the training schedule you must therefore insert exercises with overloads and with few repetitions and free body exercises with high repetitions, in this way both the white muscle fibers, stressed by short and intense exercises, and the red fibers, stressed by exercises will be trained. longer but less intense.

Examples of weight-bearing exercises include the dumbbell crunch behind the head , crunch machine , dumbbell lateral torso pushups , the Russian twist with a medicine ball .

Sculpted abdomen – don’t forget your diet

When it comes to sculpted abdomen and flat stomach, one cannot ignore proper nutrition! Even the best training program is in vain without a balanced diet. This is why it is important to follow a diet or advice to lose weight.