Performing core exercises every day might help you burn calories, but you probably won’t build more muscle than if you train every other day, and you might experience repetitive stress injuries. It’s better to space out your ab exercises, or perform different exercises each workout if you will exercise every day. For most people, working your abs two or three times each week is more than enough.
Building Core Muscles
If you want to increase the size of your abs, you’ll first need to damage those muscles. Seriously, you know when you “feel the burn?” That’s when you create micro tears in your muscle fibers. This triggers a repair process that makes your muscles rebuild and get bigger. Most of this process takes place 24 to 48 hours after you exercise, so leave at least 24 hours between workouts.
Change It Up
To give your muscle more time to repair and recover, perform different exercises if you are going to work your core each day. For example, do situps, crunches, leg lifts and hip raises that have you moving forward and back one day. The next day, work your obliques by using side-to-side exercises, such as Russian twists, bicycle kicks or oblique crunches.
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Varying your workouts can help increase the benefit from daily ab sessions by changing how you use your muscles and to what degree. Create ab workouts using floor exercises, a kettlebell, an ab wheel and a gym ball. Don’t use all of these in one workout — use different equipment and exercises each day. You can use all these exercises in one workout if you are only exercising two or three times per week.
The best way to build your muscles is to perform your exercises slowly, using resistance on the way up, pausing and holding the lift, then lowering slowly, with muscle. For example, when you do a pull-up or sit-up, you’ll get more muscle-building benefit if you slowly lower yourself with muscle, rather than drop back down with gravity. Exercising this way is more difficult and you’ll fatigue faster than if you work quicker, with less muscular effort. To burn calories with core exercises, perform them quicker and with less intensity so you can exercise longer and create a greater calorie burn. Less-intense ab workouts might be more appropriate for every day training.
Working your abs every day can lead to repetitive stress injuries. If you place your hands behind your head when you do situps and crunches, you may start to use your arms to help pull you up as you get tired. This can place a strain on your neck and lower back. The more you perform any type of difficult core exercise, the more you will fatigue and the more likely it is you may perform a compensatory movement to help make the exercise easier. This increases your chance of injury.