Recently, on ExerciseTV’s Community Blog, I was asked “Is it ok to workout my abs every day?”. Most people assume you should not work out the same muscle group every day, but are confused when it comes to the abdominal muscles. So, which is it….hit the abs every day or let them recover a few days a week?
Well, sometimes it’s ok to work the same muscle group every day or almost every day. It all depends on how hard you are working and what kind of stresses you are placing on the muscle (ie weight, range of motion, etc). Of course, this doesn’t mean do heavy bicep curls the same way 4 days in a row, but sometimes I do work biceps or other body parts consecutively. But, I’ll change up the weight, reps, machine or the actual exercise (ex. regular curls vs. hammer curls). It’s not good to do the same exact exercise every day…so change it up. If you are new to exercise or if you are lifting heavy weights and are getting sore…then you should rest that muscle group 1-2 days so you can recover.
The same principle is true for abs. If you are really working them hard, then you should let them recover as well. Most people work abs every day because they aren’t using extra weight….only body weight which makes it easier for abs to recover. Also, our abs make up a huge portion of the body….so there are many moves to target each section. If your upper abs are sore, you can do lower abs the next day and so-forth. Abs are also fast-twitch muscles (like calves) and in my experience…these muscles respond best to high reps and less weight. This makes it possible to work them out almost every day. If you are doing light ab work, then every day or almost every day is fine. But, if you are getting sore or doing more advanced moves, give them a day or so to recover. *Don’t forget without a clean diet and some cardio, those abs will just stay hidden under body fat!