In a bid to get stronger, leaner abs people do all sorts of things. Some do rigorous exercises on a daily basis, others also incorporate a strict diet plan into their lifestyle. Also, some people invest in equipment and different machines so they can do ab exercise at home. However, there are also those who follow some trends without knowing whether they actually work. Punching abs is one of those trends; we see it in martial arts movies and you’ll always find some people bragging about the efficacy of this practice in gym or discussion groups. Is this trend legit? Can you make your abs stronger just by punching them? Let’s see!
Does punching abs help?
Punching abs usually involves someone, a coach or a trainer, for example, putting on boxing gloves and punching a person in three places: right abdomen, left abdomen, and near the diaphragm. The “process” starts with a weak punch and slowly ramps up strength and punches become stronger and harder.
The primary purpose of this technique is to strengthen the abdominal muscles. However, it is important to bear in mind that the punches themselves don’t really strengthen your abdominals. What strengthens them is the repeating movement which contracts those muscles. Punching causes tightening of the abdominal muscles in response to being hit. This particular repetitive tightening affects the development and toning of those muscles, not the hit itself. Unfortunately, some people believe that muscles become stronger due to that hit, which not only is untrue but could lead to unwanted consequences.
Should you do it?
When it comes to boxers, punching abs is a form of mental exercise which prepares a person to take the hit. However, this isn’t the practice you should follow if you want to have stronger abs.
In fact, punching abs can lead to unfortunate scenarios such as bruising, spleen rupture, internal bleeding, and damage to other organs. It is also important to bear in mind that punching abs can also weaken your constitution, thus making this method counter-productive. As a result, you can ruin your entire progress in the abdominal area.
The effect of punching abs isn’t about the hit itself, but about contraction and you can do this in other ways.
When you contract the abdominal muscles, you are engaging them in a bid to promote better movement, build a stronger core, and lower the risk of injury. However, to get these positive effects, you have to contract them properly. The first thing you should know is that ab contraction isn’t easy, particularly if you’ve never done it purposely before.
If you’re wondering why you have to contract your abs in the first place, the answer is simple – abdominal muscles make up part of your core. This particular part of your body has an important function as it joins upper and lower body, helping them to work together and perform a quality movement. It’s needless to mention that your core helps you have a proper posture, supports your spine, and so on. But, if your abs are too relaxed or weak, they don’t provide this much-needed support.
The best way to learn how to contract your muscles is to practice the technique described below:
- Lie on your back (on the ground)
- Bend the knees placing feet flat on the floor hip-width apart
- Arms should be extended alongside you with palms facing down
- Inhale and press lower back into the floor
- Exhale while pulling your belly button in toward the spine to make the full contraction
- Inhale again to fill your stomach with air making sure you don’t lose the contraction
- Try sucking in as much air as possible while still holding the contraction
Repeat this technique as many times as you can. This is the voluntary contraction and mastering it will help you contract abdominal muscles when exercising too.
Tips to strengthen core
- Do planks
- Don’t rush, focus on proper execution of exercise rather than speed
- Do bicycle crunches
- Do the Russian twist
- Maintain a correct posture at all times
- Exercise every part of your core
Punching abs is a popular trend that is thought to strengthen abdominal muscles. It’s important to mention that the hit doesn’t make abs stronger, but the contraction of the muscle. However, this can lead to injuries, bruising, organ damage. That’s why you should contract your muscles in a different manner.
Please Note: Before following exercise routines or changing your fitness regime, please consult a certified fitness professional. Always talk with a medical practitioner before following dietary advice or taking supplements.