3 Tweaks to Make Your Ab Workouts Way More Effective

Getting strong, sculpted abs is often the number one item on everyone’s fitness wish list. As a longtime Pilates instructor, I’ve fielded hundreds of questions from my students about how they can strengthen their core and tone up their abs. Usually, after their ab work to date has failed them, they’re left wondering if there’s some magical exercise they just haven’t found yet.

The thing is, though, many people are frustrated that their ab work isn’t working because they’ve gotten incomplete or inaccurate information, leading them to do exercises that aren’t very effective. Don’t worry: If you’re in this camp, it’s an easy problem to fix — it just requires a little understanding about how the body works. Below, the three keys to making your ab work actually work. Read more »

The Checkup: To See Results, Is It Better to Work Out on an Empty Stomach?

• The workout question of all workout questions: Is it better, when it comes to seeing results, to work out on an empty stomach or not? Here, an expert gives the pros — for one, fasted cardio can be good for short-term weight loss — and the cons, like your body having less protein available to rebuild muscle post-workout. [Ace Fitness]
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Expert Advice: You’re Only As Strong As Your Weakest Muscle Group

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Shutterstock

If you’re a regular gym goer, it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of thinking about each muscle in isolation, and working them that way. But this approach causes muscle imbalances: When demands placed on one muscle are too heavy to bear, another less suitable muscle will take over to support the weight. In some situations, the opposing muscle compensates and becomes stronger than its counterpart, meanwhile your weaker muscles remain weak.

One way to prevent muscle imbalances — and get better results when you work out while also preventing long-term injury — is to think of the body as a system with complementary muscle groups. And complementary muscles are often involved in the same movements so it makes sense to work them together.

But before you try that, it’s important to know the muscle groups that are often weaker. These are some of the most common areas of muscle weakness. Check them out, and take note. After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest muscle group.

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Yoga With Jake: 15-Minute Yoga Routine for Rock-Hard Abs

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Shutterstock

Get ready to feel the burn, guys: This week’s yoga video, courtesy of local yoga instructor Jake Panasevich, is all about the abs — and ours are burning just watching it. The video will take you through core-centric poses like plank, along with counter-poses like bridge. And remember, as Panasevich explains, “The key to core work is to keep your core working without letting yourself misalign.” Got it?

Now hop to it and happy sweating — because, trust us, this core flow will make you sweat! (And note: We know the video is called Core Yoga Flow for Men — yoga for men is Panasevich’s specialty, after all — but this routine sculpts ladies’ abs just as well!)  Read more »

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