All about Abs

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition' started by Diablo3305, May 18, 2002.

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  1. Diablo3305

    Diablo3305 Guest

    Abs

    Ok, noticing all the threads about abs, and sixpacks and what not, i decided to post this guidline thread. I see some people on this board doing way too much for their abs. I have tried many types of ab training over the years, so i will try to help out as many of you as i can, however keep this discussion as a serious discussion on abs...


    Myths/Questoins:
    1. If i use weights in my ab exercises, i will have a large blocky stomach

    this isn't true. This is a common misconception. Your abs will grow, like other muscle, but that size is limited. Just like any other muscle, your abs need resistance. Weights just add resistance. Doing say 3 sets of 10 reps with weight, will not give you a blocky stomach. I find that abs tend to respond more above 10 reps, but no more than 20-25 per set.

    I can do 5 sets of 120 crunches each, so i have strong abs

    This isn't necessarily true. When you do crunches, you can build up a momentum, and just keep doing reps like they are nothing. The point of a crunch is to bring the rib cage closer to the pelvis area. Your abs are divided into a few basic areas. Upper, lower, and the oblique region. Your upper abs contract your upper body in towards your pelvis. Your lower abs are responsible for bringing your lower body up towards your rib cage. You have to concentrate on each rep, and squeeze the abs, not just raise your head off the floor. Make sure your raising your shoulders off the floor about 2 inches or so. A good trick, is to stare at a spot on the cieling, and keep your eyes fixed on it...this will keep you from pulling your neck.

    Abs can be done every day

    Although i have heard of bodybuilders doing routines like this, i would not reccomend it. Remember, your abs are a muscle just like any other, and they need rest. I would train abs no more than 2-3 days per week. If you train with intensity, you will find this is plenty. I often do 1-2 times per week.

    Doing ab exercises will give me a six pack

    not entirely true. Ab exercises will develop your abs, but not shed the fat on your stomach. Cardio and diet will trim the fat around your abs, and give you that "six pack" look.

    I want my abs to look a certain way, what can i do to change the way they look?

    nothing, it has to do with genetics, you can't change the way your abs look physically. You can only develop them.

    I can see my abs, so this means i have well developed abs

    not necessarily true. See if you can see your abs, that menas you have low body fat. It does not mean that your ab muscles themselves are well developed. This only comes from proper ab work.

    Weighted side bends will only make my obliques large and bulky

    Once again, this isn't really true. Your abs need resistance. Doing side bends with 10-15 lbs, for 10 or more reps, will not give you a thick blocky waist.



    Ab routine:

    Train abs no more than 2-3 times per week

    3-4 exercises compromising upper, lower, obliques, and lower back

    3-4 sets per exercise, 10-25 reps...i would stick to no more than 20 though

    I prefer to train in supersets, often consisting of anywhere from 2-4 exercises per set. This gives the abs little time to rest, and gives you a bit of a cardio workout as well.

    Exercises: (these are some of the basic exercises you can do for the abs)
    Lower abs - Roman chair, leg lifts, knee tucks, decline bench crunches

    Upper abs - crunches, cable crunches, swiss ball crunches, machine crunches

    Obliques - Side bends, broom twists, cruches (elbow to opposite knee)

    Lowerback - Hyperextensions



    Make sure to squeeze the abs on every rep, and breath properly. If you follow these basic guidlines, and have a proper healthy diet and cardio routine, you will find that its not very hard to have a nice trim waist. If you have any suggestions please post. Lets set the record straight on abs, and give people a thread to refer to...
    :bigthumb:
     
  2. Fatghost28

    Fatghost28 Guest

    Good post!

    I'd also add, that the best Ab exercises in the world for all around development are Heavy squats and deadlifts.
     
  3. Sakino

    Sakino I Live In A Giant Bucket

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    Great post! All very, very true, how the hell do I get in the 6 pack club? I got the 6 pack..
     
  4. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    you are now Six Packer™ 003 ;)


    As for the post! :bigok: I agree, although you left out the fact that everyone is different in that if you find that you can train them everyday go for it. What I do and have seen best results from is training everyday for 10min. Like this:

    Day 1: I will do regular crunches w/o weights. THen go to the rope crunches and rep out 5 sets of 15, then go to the straight leg lifts on the flat bench and do 5 sets of 15

    Day 2: I won't do any weights I will do sit ups on a decline position and rep out 3 sets of 25, then go to side raises for 2 sets of 12

    and repeat that every other day! I see the best results with that. I also do 20 min. of cardio every other day too, lightly just enough to gain that great sweat.
     
  5. Trinity

    Trinity Guest

    Oh darn, Diablo. I thought you were posting pictures of your abs. :(:( You had me fooled.

    Thanks for the great post though. I was told to do abs everyday since they consist of such a large area of muscle, but Filmboy talked me out of it.

    Now all I have to do is to decode what those exercises are.
     
  6. Fatghost28

    Fatghost28 Guest

    Abs are actually very small muscles
     
  7. Diablo3305

    Diablo3305 Guest

    haha...yea..forgot about that one... :bigthumb:


    Filmy: Your right, but i just think its overkill. I mean abs are like any other muscle and need rest. However if that works for you, then go for it. I do a workout similar to you, i do weights one day, and body weight another, and vary the exercises, but i only do that 1-2 times a day....

    Trin: Sorry to fool you...ill send you some pics sometime :naughty:
    Id reccomend 4 exercises for abs for you. Roman chair leg raises, crunches, side bends, and hyperextensions. That will hit the whole ab region,...do those for about 4 sets each, 12-20 reps...

    Fatghost: your right, abs are very small muscles, but very important muscles, and used alot...:bigthumb:
     
  8. Pace

    Pace Guest

    Excellent post, I fully agree with everything except I'm not a big fan of oblique training. I kind of feel they do contribute to a blocky, wider waist. Otherwise, you hit the subject very thoroughly and the oblique thing may just be my genetics which tend toward a blocky waist. Who knows, I may be switching clubs by the end of summer when the full on bulking phase ends.
     
  9. Diablo3305

    Diablo3305 Guest


    good to hear...:bigthumb: i knew you would see it our way..only a matter of time
     
  10. Ve7

    Ve7 Guest

    Question: Does doing 2-300 sit ups achieve anything that the smaller number of reps you advocate does not? (Such as fat burn etc.)
     
  11. Simple

    Simple Sexy Beatch

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    you don't burn fat doing situps. :uh: x151351355
     
  12. Diablo3305

    Diablo3305 Guest


    no, not realy. If your doing that many crunches, then your not really working your abs, or not well at all...your just lifting your head up probably. You have to make sure you really work the abs, and this is accomplished by squeezing the muscles together when you contract your abs. Youll feel it, trust me. The only thing you may accomplish from doing 200 crunches is a slight cardio workout. You may burn some fat, but nothing big. Stick to cardio for your fat burning. Abs shouldn't take more than 10-15 min.
     
  13. Trinity

    Trinity Guest

    :wavey:

    I don't know what any of them are except crunches. Is it poss for you to describe them to me, or link me to a website?

    Thanks for the tip. 12-20 reps sound really low though ...
     
  14. guru

    guru Active Member

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    Here's a question then. I want the more square (vertically longer) shaped ab muscles rather than the thinner rectangular shape. I'm not sure if I can describe it in words.

    So is it genetics that dictate your ab muscle shape or a particular way of working them out??
     
  15. Fatghost28

    Fatghost28 Guest

    all genetics. You can only change the thickness, not the shape/length of a muscle.
     
  16. Diablo3305

    Diablo3305 Guest

    yea, it is low...but thats where you want to be.

    If you go to a gym, you probably have a roman chair. actually its not really a roman chair, but thats what i always call it...here is a site that shows it

    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/RectusAbdominis/WtVerticalHipRaise.html

    i usually extend my legs out straight, and raise them up till they are about parallel to the floor. Do this slow, and you should definatly feel it after about 12 reps.

    The side bends are on the hyperextension machine...
    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Obliques/WT45SideBend.html
    do one side at a time.

    then hyperextensions are on the same bench:
    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/ErectorSpinae/BBBackExtension.html

    hope that helps :)

    if you have any questions, just ask...:bigthumb:
     
  17. Ve7

    Ve7 Guest

    Thanks for the replies. :wiggle:
     
  18. Link

    Link Guest

    I've seen people bend their knee and others keep their leg straight. Do they work out different parts of the abs?
     
  19. guru

    guru Active Member

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    It's harder to do it with straight legs, but I think you can get more of a crunch with bended legs. I do both. I start with 15 reps straight and then go right into another 15 with bent legs.
     
  20. Diablo3305

    Diablo3305 Guest


    yea..its harder to work with the legs striaght. One thing you don't want to do is swing your legs up fast. Just raise them slow, and try to kinda of curl your lower body up alittle. I see people doing these wrong all the time. You can also do them with legs bent. I generally have my legs slightly bent, instead of straight out. The most important thing on these is to do them slow and concetrate...
     
  21. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Taste it. You'll love it.

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    :cool:


    I can't wait to actually start working mine out, I should get results fast, given my low fat % :)
     
  22. arch

    arch HELP!

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    Hip raises:link. The link shows it doen with cable attachment. You can use the same motion without any added weight. Also laying leg raises, lay flat on the floor, grab something for support like a door or your couch. Lift your legs up keeping them straight until they're vertical, then lower but don't let your legs touch the floor and repeat.
     
  23. KingGargantuan

    KingGargantuan ♖♘♗♕♔♗♘♖

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    will those work that muscle that covers the pelvis? The one that sorta cuts down from the "love handle" region and forms a "V"?
     
  24. arch

    arch HELP!

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    Yeah, typically any leg raise will hit that part.
     
  25. KingGargantuan

    KingGargantuan ♖♘♗♕♔♗♘♖

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    so then bending the knees = good?
     
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