The Dogma of the Week- “Ab Workouts”

Happy Monday to all and welcome to my newest “Dogma of the Week”

The topic that will be discussed in this blog post will be traditional abdominal workouts and how they affect the functionality of the human body.

Since I have started my career as a personal trainer, I have seen people from all walks of life doing these damaging ab workouts, unaware of the detriment that these dysfunctional movement patterns cause. My goal in this blogpost is to give you a clear understanding of what will happen to your body if you administer these “ab exercises” into your training regimens.

When we think about what a human body is supposed to do in nature (in terms of movement), it is quite simple to understand that it is meant to operate on two feet. This means training relevant movement patterns for a human require that the exercises cater to this phenomenon. If your training regimens are not catering to that phenomenon, it’s likely that dysfunction and imbalance will be ingrained in the body.

When we walk on our feet, our body should know how to work as an integrated unit. Relative to core functionality with a human body, the Transverse Abdominus should compress the spine, giving the body the structural support it needs to stay upright. The obliques thereafter act as mobilizing structure, in conjunction with the adductors contralaterally. While this is happening, we are getting integrated function happening with the posterior oblique system, involving the glutes and lats on the back end of the body. In layman’s terms, the core needs to work with all muscles while you’re locomotion. Traditional ab workouts train incomplete movement patterns that can create major structural imbalances.

Traditional ab exercises are highly responsible for the further development of physical imbalances people currently have, due to our westernized cultural influence. It is the over-stimulation of musculature in areas that are overdeveloped to begin with that breed poor structural alignment. When you position yourself lying down face up (supine position), to do a crunch or an exercise similar, it’s likely you’re going to stimulate the muscles that will aggrivate an anterior pelvic tilt or a rounded thoracic spine. Rather than improve biomechanical function in the body, these movements become detrimental to to the improper associations the body makes with abdominal stimulation, in conjunction to the rest of the body.

Here is a video that goes into an explanation of this phenomenon, where I then provide you with links to give a better example of what functional core exercises should look like. Enjoy!



  1. Theophile August 6, 2012 at 7:18 am - Reply

    Great vids!

    Would you say that hanging raise lifts are also “bad” when working the abs?

    And what about working the oblique abdominal on hyperextension bench?


  2. Kris August 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    What do you recommend for abs. I thought the video said your website would have recommendations, but couldn’t find them.


  3. Chris August 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Hey Naudi, Great video. I have been teaching this to my clients for years. Good to see another like minded trainer. Overhead carries (can work all tree planes of motion at once), any type of bracing, partial turkish get ups, side bends with a foam roll between the thighs (great for the quadratus lumborum) and good old planks or FLR’s. I teach clients to work all three planes of motion when it comes to “core” training and not just focus on the sagital plane. Which as you pointed out in your video, get overworked as it is. I hope more trainers find your site. Keep up the great work.

  4. Tummy Tuck Belt August 24, 2012 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Intriguing read. Thanks for sharing this specific ab workout. I appreciate the fact that you shared how you work out.

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