One question that many people present as they go about their workout session is when the best time to perform core training will be.
Often you hear mixed messages in magazines or from other people, so this may be a big question mark in your current workout plan. While each and every situation will be slightly unique and there are always exceptions to the rule, there are definitely some guiding factors to consider.
Let’s have a look at what you need to know about when to perform core training.
Your Workout Session Planned
The first thing to consider is what type of cardio session you have planned. If you have a moderate paced cardio workout to do, it’s not really going to matter all that much when you do your abdominal workout – before or after as the core won’t be heavily engaged during the cardio workout.
It will be worked to some degree, but when you do your abs won’t make or break the program.
If you’re doing a weight lifting session on the other hand, your abs are going to be heavily engaged in just about every single movement you do, especially if you’re doing free weights, so you definitely will not want to pre-fatigue them through a high amount of core work.
Instead, save core exercises for once the workout is finished in this instance.
Your Primary Goal
The second thing to think about is your primary goal. If you want to really strengthen the core muscles and will be performing abdominal movements that are weighted, you may mix them right into the workout session you’re doing.
In this case you want your abs to be fully engaged in the workout session and doing them between exercises can help.
If you’re just looking to maintain core strength and produce a lean, flat stomach, doing them towards the end will be fine.
Remember that your body fat percentage is a bigger determinant of how your abs look anyway.
Your Workout Schedule
The last thing to think about when deciding when to do your core workout session is what your overall workout program looks like.
How many days are you doing weights? How many days are you doing cardio training? You should aim to try your core muscles twice to three times per week, so consider placing them on weight lifting days if that corresponds well.
Since core strengthening movements are more similar to weight training than cardio training, they are typically better off done on these workout session days.
So there you have a few points to consider with regards to when you should do your ab training. There really is no right or wrong here – rather it’s about assessing your own situation and making an informed decision from there.