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Should I use ab work for my warm up?

+4 votes

I tend to do my abs work as the last exercises of my workout but I see many guys doing abs as part of their warmup. As abs come into play in pretty much every exercise, pre-exhausting them at the start of a session makes no sense?

Can anyone shed some light on this?

asked Sep 3, 2012 in Training Program by Lenny Gym Regular (575 points)  
20% Accept Rate

4 Answers

+4 votes

A warm up is typically 5 to 10 minutes of light exercise, most often recommended on a cardio machine like a bike, to transition the body from a less active stage to a more active stage, which will make your body more receptive to the stress/strain of your regular workout.

Some individuals prefer to do their abs before other body parts, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good thing for you. All of our bodies are different. You should view your abs as another muscle group to train just like you would chest, back, etc., instead of something to throw into a warm-up. Additionally, if you just go and do some ab exercises, your body might not be ready for the exercises, and you run the risk of injury without a proper warm up.

Lastly, Abs generally refers to the rectus abdominis and this muscle does not come into play in every exercise. It's highly recommended that you focus on all of the major muscles of the core region and not just the rectus abdominis. Therefore, a balanced core workout is much more beneficial for providing core strength and stability, than blasting out some abs exercises before you go and do the rest of your workout.

answered Sep 3, 2012 by RockwellFitness Iron Addict (1,410 points)  
edited Nov 12, 2012 by RobConnor
+2 votes
Pre-exhausting your abdominal muscles prior to certain exercises could be a bad thing for you. I can't imagine doing Heavy back squats with sore abs, since abs are essential for the balance during such exercise. Other exercise such as the Overhead shoulder press (standing) also will benefit from having a good stomach.

Opting for a light cardio as a warmup is definitely the best way to go. If you look at begginer lifters, they tend to perform badly even on abdominal exercises, using their hip flexors or hurting their back. So in their case training the abs is definitely a bad thing.
answered Dec 4, 2012 by georgef Iron Addict (1,395 points)  
0 votes

No, working abs before your actual workout is not a good idea, neither does it count as a warm up. The point of a warm up is to signal to muscles that they are about to experience trauma, so better get ready by loosing up, increasing oxygen saturation blah blah. Abs are no different from other muscle groups; would you do bench presses as your warm up? hopefully not or you need to go back to the drawing board.


And finally, and probably the most important reason; think of your abs as the "bridge " between your lower and upper body. This bridge must help in stabilization and to a larrge extent transmit load. Now working the abs first is like taking a sledge hammer and breaking up this bridge; the link left between the two area will be weak at best and you will struggle to progress and risk injury (if you fall off the bridge lol)cheeky

answered Nov 21, 2012 by mjessimy Gym Legend (1,706 points)  
edited Nov 22, 2012 by RobConnor
0 votes
No the abs are brought into play to some degree on every exercise you do. Pre-exhausting them at the beginning of a session could see your performance suffering due to fatigued abs.  Leave you abs work to the very end of a session.
answered Nov 27, 2012 by Larry74 Gym Regular (895 points)  
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