HOW TO FIX UNEVEN ABS
Attaining a set of ripped six pack abs is a primary goal for pretty much anyone following a serious bodybuilding and fitness program.
It’s the ultimate indicator of a low body fat percentage and shows that you aren’t just carrying raw muscle size; you have the definition and aesthetics to go with it.
But what should you do if you have uneven abs? How can it be fixed? Should you train abs more frequently, or diet even more to have a lower body fat percentage?
Well, having “uneven abs” could mean a few different things…
First, it could mean that your abs are “staggered” and are not directly lined up from side to side. Or, it could mean that your actual abdominal muscle development is not proportionate either from top to bottom or side to side.
Let’s cover each one…
#1 – Can You Fix “Staggered” Abs?
Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything you can do if your abs are not directly lined up from side to side.
This is simply the way your muscles insert and is genetically pre-determined from the get go.
There really are only two things you can do with your muscles: you can make them bigger, or you can make them smaller. However, you cannot change their shape, insertions, or the way they line up.
The abdominals are no different. If you have staggered abs from side to side that’s just the way it is.
#2 – Imbalanced Abs Development (Top To Bottom)
If your “uneven abs” problem is a result of imbalanced development between your upper and lower abs, this is definitely something that you do have control over.
However, this problem is almost never an issue related to the actual abdominal muscles themselves. Usually, it’s a simple matter of body fat distribution.
While direct abdominal training is certainly an important aspect of achieving a defined six pack, a far more important factor is your bottom line body fat percentage.
The lower your body fat is, the more ripped and separated your abs will appear.
Due to evolutionary reasons, our bodies are more primed for fat storage on the lower half of our abdominal wall. This is why lower ab fat seems so “stubborn” and why it’s always the last place where fat is burned from.
If you feel like you have uneven abs from top to bottom, it’s usually due to the simple fact that you’re storing more body fat on your lower abs in comparison to your upper abs. This causes the upper half to appear more developed and separated.
The simple solution is to focus on lowering your overall body fat percentage until the lower half becomes more visible.
In order to have a fully defined six pack from top to bottom, most guys will need to achieve an overall body fat level of between 8-10%. It’s really as simple as that.
As your overall body fat percentage continues to drop, that lower ab fat will drop with it and your abs will appear balanced and fully developed from top to bottom.
If your uneven abs are truly the result of an imbalance in abdominal development, it’s really just a matter of focusing on the weaker area for a period of time.
You need to have an understanding of which exercises target the upper and lower abs and modify your routine accordingly.
Here are a few of my favorite exercises to specifically target the upper and lower abs…
Top Lower Ab Exercises
– Reverse Crunches
– Hanging Knee Raises
– Hanging Leg Raises
– Swiss Ball Planks
– Stir The Pot
Top Upper Ab Exercises
– Kneeling Rope Crunches
– Swiss Ball Crunches
– Weighted Decline Crunches
#3 – Imbalanced Abs Development (Side To Side)
This one is a bit more complicated as it can be due to a variety of issues.
First off, it could be due to improper form that is causing one side to take on more of the load than the other.
In this case the simple solution is to ensure that all of your abdominal exercises are being executed properly and that you are not allowing the stronger side to compensate for the weaker side.
Secondly, it could be due to structural issues in your body.
This could either be a natural structural issue (such as one leg being longer than the other) or structural issues that have developed over time due to poor posture or injury.
If the problem is due to a natural structural issue, the best thing you can do is to perform unilateral work where each side works independently of the other. This will prevent one side from compensating for the other.
Some examples of this would be single-leg leg raises, single-leg knee raises, or one arm planks.
If the problem is a result of poor posture or injury, then that is a whole other complex issue and your best bet is to visit a chiropractor to have yourself professionally assessed.
Correcting structural imbalances is beyond the scope of this article as it could be the results of a huge number of possible issues.
How To Fix Uneven Abs: Quick Review
So, to quickly recap everything we just covered…
1) If your abs are “staggered” from side to side then this is simply a matter of genetics and there is really nothing you can do about it.
2) If your abs are imbalanced from top to bottom it is usually an issue of greater body fat storage on the lower half. Focus on lowering your overall body fat percentage to correct this.
If it is an issue of actual abdominal muscle imbalance, use the recommended exercises I previously outlined to focus on the weaker area.
3) If your ab development is imbalanced from side to side, focus on executing your ab movements with proper form so that one side is not compensating for the other. You can also perform unilateral work to even things out.
If it is a postural issue, get yourself checked out by a chiropractor.
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