Ab training is a favourite of any fitness regime. Well-toned abs are often the star fitness goal no matter what it is you are training for; weight loss, muscle building, anything really. One unique thing that comes with ab training though is how often they can be trained. They don’t follow the same conventions of most other muscle groups, and they can take a lot more than other groups can safely withstand.

There’s always a fine line between overtraining, adequacy and undertraining. It’s vital that you get it right to make sure that you’re doing what’s best for you without putting yourself at any risk of injury. Not to mention the complications that can arise from over or under training any muscle group. But abs are a bit stranger than other muscles, and finding the balance is going to be a little tougher.

Ab definition

Man in a workout class doing twists

Before you even try to train your abs as much as you think you should, it’s a good idea to realise what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Ab training is, of course, an excellent way to gain muscle in your abdominal region, and as such, be able to tone up and build serious strength. One thing that it won’t do is burn away fat around your stomach. Targeted fat burning, although often advertised, is impossible to achieve. Generally, you will burn fat from all over the body, no matter which muscles you are using. Toning up your core is a yes; losing fat around your stomach is a no. Generally.

Can it be done?

Back to the question at hand, daily ab training does require some consideration. There are pros and cons to it, like most things in life, but you need to really stand back and take in your training regime. Technically, yes, you can train your abs daily. There’s nothing to stop you from doing it, and unlike most other muscle groups, you aren’t putting yourself in much risk or preventing yourself from losing out on any recovery time. With that being said, you aren’t going to gain much from it either.

The pros

The advantages of training your abs frequently are still there though. Logic would suggest that the more you train the muscles, the more likely you are to see a more significant increase in what they can do. You’ll build up strength and tone up at a faster rate which is what you want to be doing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best way.

The cons

Training your abs every day does also mean that you aren’t necessarily going to be getting the best recovery time that you can, either. If you are training your abs every day, you aren’t really giving the muscles enough time to repair themselves and grow efficiently. A gap of two to three days is recommended for any muscle group. Your abs also contract from your training for the rest of the day, which means that if you’re doing it often, you’ll be putting a little more strain than usual on your lower back, and this isn’t healthy for the muscles.

Conclusion

Woman tensing her abs

So, can you do it? Yes. Should you do it? Probably not. It won’t do much harm, but it’s not really necessary in the long run. Four times a week is probably the most effective way to do it, with flexibility too. You’ll still see the improved muscle definition without having to put yourself through unneeded training. Plus, you’ll give them more time to rest which is always healthy.

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If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.