core musclesIf you’re rowing a boat or pounding the surf in a dragon boat, you quickly learn that your core muscles are one of the main areas of your body at work.

By ‘core muscles’ we basically mean that set of muscles down the center of your body, they are the support structure of your body and mainly consist of the belly area muscles and those in the mid and lower areas of the back. Without strength in these not only are we prone to sports injury but can lack even healthy posture.

Believe it or not, we all have 6-pack abs. The only problem is, that these abs are hidden underneath those fats. However, you don’t need to get stuck with layers of fat – there are various abdominal exercises to help you bring out that 6-pack that many of us have dreamed of.

Before getting into details on getting 6-pack abs, here are some common mistakes many people make:

More Is Better?

Many of us, particularly men, think that doing more exercise is always better – however, this is not the case at all times. When it comes to achieving lean abs, you have to remember that the quality of your workout routine matters beyond anything else. Regardless of how many repetitions you make, if you’re doing it the wrong way, you won’t end up rock solid abs.

It is essential that you understand that more isn’t ALWAYS better.

Ignoring Nutrition

Diet is so important to all kinds of fitness. You need the right fuel to not only get the best out of working your muscles, but also to repair and grow them. Food can provide everything you need so long as you understand how things work – it is worth studying nutrition in detail for any serious sports person. Supplements can help a great deal too, but it is a very confusing area with a lot of expensive but poor quality products on the market. Seek out independent reviews online using your favorite search engine or by using sites like if you’re not sure about a product. It could save you a lot of money and disappointment. You can also get some more general information on their blog here too.

Concentrating On One Area

Another mistake many commit is that they tend to focus on one area. Either they concentrate on their lower abs, leaving their sides and upper abdomen unbalanced, or the other way around. Avoid doing this for an efficient exercise routine.

Focusing On The Weighing Scale Too Much

Unless you are specifically trying to lose weight, stop watching your weight! You want to achieve greater strength, fitness and injury resistance. So stop focusing on the weighing scale and start concentrating on things that matter more than watching your weight.

Now that you’re aware on what these common mistakes are, it’s time to list some common abdominal exercises that work those core areas. Examples of these are crunch, reverse crunch, reverse, oblique and crossover crunches, knee raise, plank and barbell rollout.

The majority of these exercises will help you strengthen and reveal those muscles possibly hiding under a layer of ‘long term stored energy’ (fat!). It is important for you to remember though, that one exercise might work for you, and may not reveal results for other people. Each routine should be tailored to your body type, diet, lifestyle and the type of boat fitness you need.

When performing these exercises, focus on your core, watch your diet and make sure that you get enough rest. Failure to do so may cause delayed results, and may even have an enormous impact on your goals. These exercises can help you achieve a solid core and even reveal those 6-pack abs, but remember, that it’s not just the exercises that matter most. You have to condition your body, do these exercises consistently and set your goals – those are the only ways to help you have those lean, washboard abs most men seem to dream of having, and to get the kind of fitness that will give you a solid foundation for all kinds of rowing and dragon boating.