8 reasons why your abs are invisible and how to fix them

Check out these 8 reasons your abs aren’t showing and learn how to fix them once and for all.

After doing a lot of abs exercises and eating clean, if you still can’t see your abs, it can be very daunting. Sometimes you can barely see them, sometimes you are thin but still unable to see anything.

But according to Max Posternak, you can make some adjustments to your lifestyle that should fix your not being able to see abs issue.

Max Posternak is the founder of Gravity Transformation, a website focused on providing workout tips and guidance for people looking to improve their fitness and lose weight. His YouTube channel has over 5 million subscribers.

Source: Unsplash/CrossFit Inc

Find out what he had to say on the subject below.

8 reasons why your abs are invisible and how to fix them

1. Body fat percentage

This is the most obvious problem. The amount of fat you have on your body will play one of the biggest impacts on how visible your abs are, says Posternak.

Unfortunately, your belly is one of the last places that will drop that fat, you’ll see your face, arms and hands change shape before you see your belly shrink.

The key is to be consistent with your diet and stick to a calorie deficit consisting of single-ingredient foods long enough for fat to begin shedding from areas near your center of mass.

Source: Lucas Guimares Bueno on Pexels

The amount of fat required for visible abs to be seen is different for each person because everyone has a different pattern of fat storage.

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2. Training mistakes

If your diet is lean and you still don’t see your abs, you may be making a lot of training mistakes that keep you from seeing them.

One of the biggest problems Posternak sees when people do abs training is that they do too many repetitions without any weights, focusing on bodyweight movements.

Experiment with a variety of rep ranges and add weight to your core workout.

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3. Compound exercises aren’t enough for your abs

Squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, pull-ups. These hit all of your ab muscles inefficiently, even if they put some strain when you do them.

> To develop your abs, you need to do straight abs exercises.

If you’re past the beginner stage, it’s unlikely compound exercises will develop your abs beyond where they currently are.

If you want to maximize ab engagement, be sure to include core-targeted isolation exercises.

4. Focusing too much on static exercises

Source: Mart Production on Pexels

Planks are great for core stability and target the transverse abdominis, but just doing planks and other static ab exercises isn’t that amazing for building big abs.

That’s because the eccentric and concentric phases of an exercise offer invaluable benefits that are simply not achieved with static exercises.

5. Underdeveloped abs

Perhaps you are choosing the right exercises and eating right. What could be wrong? Your abs aren’t developing as much as they could because you’re not working through a full range of motion. And this is a key element when training any muscle, including the abs.

Training a muscle through a full range of motion is better for muscle growth than doing only partial repetitions. There are instances where partial reps are beneficial, but in general, full range of motion is what you should be aiming for.

To maximize results, it’s important to include exercises that train your abs through a full range of motion. Posternak says crunches may be good, but they keep you from fully extending your back during the eccentric phase. To counteract this, you can do crunches on a stability ball or decline bench press.

6. Treat your abs as an afterthought

If you’re serious about getting a six-pack and only letting your abs exercise until the final part of your workout session, chances are it will interfere with your ab muscle building results.

Reverse crunchesSource: I Yunmai / Unsplash

Research shows that the muscle groups you train early in your workout will make better progress than those muscle groups you train towards the end.

However, it’s important to note that the abs are an important stabilizing muscle group for many other lifts. You don’t want to exhaust your abs directly before doing deadlifts or squats as this will increase your chances of sustaining a lower back injury.

7. Mind-muscle connection

Not having a mind-muscle connection with your abs during ab workouts is a common problem people have when training their core. When performing crunches, for example, a person may accidentally let the hip flexors take control of the movement.

One solution to this is to focus on the specific muscle group when performing an exercise.

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8. Poor abdominal exercise selection

Your abs are a junction of many different muscles, and each of them needs to be trained for a well-developed core. For this, you need to have minimal knowledge of abs anatomy and know how to select proper abs exercises.

To hear Posternak explain each of the above topics, click on the video below.

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Losing belly fat can be difficult for several reasons:

  1. Genetics: Genetics can play a role in how your body stores fat. Some people are more prone to storing fat in their belly, which can make it more difficult to lose.
  2. Hormones: Hormones, such as cortisol and insulin, can affect how your body stores fat, especially in the belly area. High levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, can lead to an increase in belly fat.
  3. Age: As you age, your metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose weight and belly fat.
  4. Poor Diet: A diet high in processed foods, sugar, and saturated fat can contribute to belly fat. Eating a healthy diet is important for losing belly fat.
  5. Lack of exercise: Exercise is essential for burning calories and reducing belly fat. A sedentary lifestyle can make it harder to lose belly fat.
  6. Sleep: Lack of sleep can affect hormones that regulate your appetite and metabolism, making it harder to lose belly fat.
How to sculpt your lower absSource: Dusan Jovic and Mueen Agherdian on Unsplash

Overall, losing belly fat can be difficult due to genetics, hormones, age, poor diet, lack of exercise and lack of sleep. However, making lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress can help reduce belly fat over time.

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