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abs advice? anyone? bueller?


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I hope this doesn't sound strange.... but I really don't know what goes in to having a flat, toned stomach.

 

I have an understanding of what types of exercises to do for, say.... my legs. Or glutes. And I have an understanding of how often I need to do them in order to see results. Years ago, when I was more of a gym bunny, I generally did three types of exercises per major muscle group (and threw in one or two to target smaller areas).... and I was pretty happy with the results.

 

Ab training has always been a mystery to me, however. Whenever I try to google "abs exercises" or "how to get great abs"... I am directed towards a site that shows upwards of five or six different exercises to do in one session. It seems excessive.... and like something I don't think I would be able to keep up.

 

If one of you wouldn't mind, and has the time!, can you let me know the best way to work abs?

 

Every day? Every other day?

 

One exercise per upper, lower, obliques? Two exercises? Will I see results from just two or three targeted exercises a day?

 

And this is assuming bodyfat isn't an issue. I understand that even the most toned of abdominals can't be seen through a layer of fat. Also, that exercises need to be changed up as the body becomes accustomed to routine.

 

Thanks in advance for any help! I plan on getting back to weight training ASAP! This forum has really inspired me to get off my lazy tuckus!

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I train abs like I do any other muscle group, really. No more than 3 days a week, and diffrent exercises to target different areas.

 

I engage my core in a lot of compound movements, such as squats as well. Some of the best ab movements are: Bicycle crunches, hanging leg raises, ball rollouts, and the plank. When I do these my abs are sore the next day! Ball rollouts are awesome but take awhile to learn how to do correctly. I'll do up to 3 sets of each exercise, from 15-20 reps.

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The thing is, body fat IS the issue 95% of the time. Since we are all different genetically, there could be a 1000 different ways that people tell you to get abs, and they could be all right. I know people who never workout their abs, but have six packs, and I know people who workout their abs consistently for a long period of time and don't have any abs. You won't gain a whole lot in terms of your abs in size/definition by working them out( though there will be leaps and bounds in core strength.) You will see the best results by dieting.

 

As far as the ab exercises, its all very person to person. Until you build up a lot of core strength doing 2-3 medium difficulty exercises is enough. But as you progress, you will, as you said, need to change up your routines and add more difficulty. You could do 6 very basic ab exercises after a while, but I find I get more from doing 3 high difficulty ab workouts instead. From the people I have talked to, and from my experience, your abs are very resilient as far as working them out. Its one of the few muscles that you can easily work out everyday after only a short warm up time. 3 times a week should be enough for anyone, but more is fine if your body can handle it.

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I, for one, just would want my abs to be stronger. It doesn't really matter much to me are they, or aren't they visible. Boxer-like, strong abs would be awesome to have. But I'm always too lazy to do weighted sit-ups or crunches at my gym. I only have 3kg weights at home, so they don't work for me.

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I think we can work out for abs daily with 1-2 abs excercises. I am also trying to make my core stronger. I do 2 abs excersices in every workout session. If they get sore next day then I skip a day. My only problem is that it pains me a lot in stomach when it is squeezed while doing crunches. I am not able to increase my reps but I always do 3 sets with 10 reps each.

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You know, it's funny... I've *never* been able to get sore abs from exercises (crunches, V-ups, machines, etc.) Abs admittedly aren't my strongest body part, but they're okay (and would look even better wi/ lower BF.)

 

But never, ever have I gotten the sore feeling after a day of crunches, etc...

 

Wonder if there's a way to fix that...?

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You know, it's funny... I've *never* been able to get sore abs from exercises (crunches, V-ups, machines, etc.) Abs admittedly aren't my strongest body part, but they're okay (and would look even better wi/ lower BF.)

 

But never, ever have I gotten the sore feeling after a day of crunches, etc...

 

Wonder if there's a way to fix that...?

The best ab exercises I have ever done are all word of mouth exercises. I am having a really hard time finding videos of them online. I usually start it off with some medicine ball throws on the decline bench. You get situated on the decline bench come to the top of the sit up, and have someone stand up at the front of it. Then you have the person standing in the front of the bench throw the ball in an arc above your head, and you have your arms full extended and you go down, and halfway down you catch the ball and try to hold your back before it makes full contact with the back of the bench. Then you come back up, and throw the ball back, and do it again.

Then I do some leg throws: http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1512_abs-leg-throw.htm .

Then I hang from a pull up bar, and bring my legs up and twist from side to side pretty vigorously. As I move my legs from side to side, I also slowly bring my legs up and down, and believe me, you will be tired after those.

I then usually finish it up with a random type of crunches.

The problem with my ab workout, is that you do need a partner.

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Here is my knowledge (keep in mind I haven't had a six pack for a long time, but haven't tried to either): abs can benefit from multiple workings per week, unlike some other muscle groups. Body fat if WAY more important as a determinor of ab appearance than anything else-- abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. As far as different exercises go, I'd go with something like crunches. It's not really possible to separate the upper and lower abs, and crunches are safer than sit-ups.

 

Hope this helps.

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True that, body fat will let you or not have a six pack. As of working them out, it's been long since I don't feel pain the next day I work them out. I work almost to failure where I can't do another rep with good form and I still don't get the pain; not that I want to really.

As Marcina says, work them as any other muscle. If you use some medium-to-heavy weight and go for not very high reps they should grow in volume so your gut will look bigger, it's happened to me before. If you want to tighten them up then go for high reps light weight as it should make them strong and toned but not big.

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imho, without good ab tone there wont be much to show off, no matter what a persons diet and cardio is like. i'm sure there is better info out there, but i found these links useful:

http://www.ckfa-kungfu.com/training/ckfa_ab_exercises.htm

http://www.dragondoor.com/pdf/p12_quickstart.pdf (just improvise something to substitute for the contraption in the article, like a broom stick in a doorway - pull the heels into the broomstick and the floor)

Edited by geode
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also, i believe that combining flexion in the spine with rotation and/or compression will really mess a back up. the spine's stability decreases as the amount of lumbar flexion increases, and this taxes the discs.

You mean..... exercises where you rotate at the waist? I'm sorry... I don't understand!

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also, i believe that combining flexion in the spine with rotation and/or compression will really mess a back up. the spine's stability decreases as the amount of lumbar flexion increases, and this taxes the discs.

So you say that for exampel the machine at the gym, that's meant to train the abdominal muscles by twisting the upper body is bad for you? How should these muscles be trained then?

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So you say that for exampel the machine at the gym, that's meant to train the abdominal muscles by twisting the upper body is bad for you? How should these muscles be trained then?

 

thanks for bringing this up. as i reread my post i realize i should have been more careful with my words.

 

i believe that combining flexion in the spine with rotation and/or compression will really mess a back up

 

it's not that absolute. i'm no Dr or physio therapist, and i don't know about the machine you're referring to, but it's my experience that when you add load to a spine in flexion it's bad for disks. i realize that twisting isn't exactly loading the spine, but there is potential to compress the disks even more if flexion and twist are combined. i don't think twists should be avoided, i just wanted to stress the importance of form. in fact, i think twists are an important movement for functional fitness, and as you pointed out they can strengthen the obliques and add stability to the spine. i've experienced back issues and had to develop core stability, so that's where i'm coming from. i believe that if the core is up to it, oblique crunches are fine; but for someone with lordosis, strengthing the TA and planks are advised over them.

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