If you’re someone who takes working out seriously, going to the gym everyday and focusing on various exercises, you probably expect to see ab results. While doing exercising you should always be engaging your core, which will work your abs throughout every movement you perform. Many people work endlessly just so they can build core muscle but you should not put all your focus on this. Before you give up, here are five reasons why your abs are not showing and ways to improve these flaws.

1. Body Fat Percentage is Too High

You can workout your abs everyday for four hours, but if your body fat does not decrease you will never see your abs. Ever hear the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen” this is extremely true – you must focus on your diet as much as you focus on your abdominal workouts as they go hand and hand.

Related: From Flab to Abs in 30 minutes

2. Training Your Abs Everyday

Many people think the more you train your abs the quicker you will see results. This is not necessarily true; remember that you are stimulating your abdominal muscles through many of your lifting movements throughout the week. Giving your abs a break during the week can actually improve your core. Try doing abdominal training two to three times per week and when you feel your abs getting stronger you can shorten your ab workouts and begin including them every other day.

3. Diversify Your Exercises

Continuously doing the same ab workout everyday is only going to work certain sections of your abs. Incorporating various exercises will allow you to engage multiple sections of your abs and strengthen your core from every angle. When people think of abs they assume it is only the hard square boxes in the middle of their torsos. Abs consist of a lot more than just this – the abdominal wall is built of the rectus abdominus (the six-pack), internal and external oblique’s and the transverse abdominus, which is what lies underneath the internal oblique. Incorporate exercises that work various angles of your abdomen, this will make your muscles pop!


4. Train Heavier

A lot of people focus on repetition when it comes to their ab workouts, they think doing one hundred bicycle twists will get them abs the fastest. While repetition does play a major role in getting abs, sometimes if you already have ab strength but want bigger more visual abs you need to focus on the weight you are using. Focus on stimulating your abs with weight so you can develop these muscle groups. Not every ab day needs to consist of low rep and high weight, but make sure to incorporate this training once or twice a week.

Read more: 5 Kettlebell Moves for a Stronger Core

5. Breathing Incorrectly

While doing any ab exercises you need to focus on breathing correctly to get the most out of each movement. Your stomach is directly behind your abdominal wall, and when you breathe incorrectly your breath pushes your stomach out which forces your abdominal wall to protrude. This is exactly what you do not want during your ab workout. During a crunch you need to inhale to prepare and then begin exhaling as you pull your belly button toward your spine and start curling up. It is difficult to exhale as you pull your abs in, but you will notice a difference immediately.