Working on your core is always a good idea, there is a huge variety of exercise that help you target each and every muscle group in your core and increase strength and endurance. Ab exercise can be pretty effective, but only if they are done right, what makes ab exercises so tricky is the fact that they can be botched up quite easily. Mistakes in ab workouts are often pretty hard to notice and can quickly become habitual, here are a handful of core workout problems that are surprisingly common and how you can avoid them.
Over-Arching While Planking
Planks are some of the most effective core workouts out there, but people often end up lowering their lower back too much during the exercise, this results in the plank not completely targeting your core and your lower back facing excessive strain. The easiest way to identify over-arching is by checking whether your lower back gets sore after a plank or not, if it does then a simple way of fixing this problem is to go back to square one.
Begin your plank on your forearms and knees and then work your way up to a full plank, making sure that your hips do not sink too much.
Not Twisting During a Russian Twist
Russian twists seem to be painfully easy, so much that many people do not give them much thought, however, this exercise is pretty good for your internal obliques if done right. As the name suggests, Russian twists are all about twisting your upper body from side to side, however many people do not fully rotate their upper torso, making the entire exercise completely pointless.
To make your Russian twists effective, make sure to keep your back straight at an angle and then twist your upper body in a way that your entire shoulders move from side to side, not only your arms.
Tucking your arms behind your neck while crunching is a really big mistake, not only does this reduce the amount of effort your abdominals have to make, it also puts an unnecessary amount of strain on your neck.
While doing crunches, keep your arms folded over your chest and keep your chin away from your chest, tighten your abdominals and light yourself up with them.
Leg raises can be hard to endure, but they are really great at targeting your lower abdominal muscles, a common mistake made during leg raises is to lift your back off the floor when lowering your legs. This makes the exercise less effective and also puts pressure on your lower back that can cause pain.
During leg raises, focus on keeping your lower back in contact with the ground at all time, lifting your legs upwards faster and lowering them down slowly helps in maintaining the correct posture.
Side planks are all about stability, make sure that all of your joints are directly under one another, do not lean your shoulder away from your palm and if you find staying upright hard, rest your lower knee on the floor for more stability.