Best Ab Exercise

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Jester, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Interested in feedback from anyone with experience here.

    Abs (anterior and medial core groups, I suppose - but not lower back areas) are currently my weak link, both in terms of strength and hypertrophy.

    I need to bring these up for general strength purposes and hypertrophy here wouldn't suck either.

    I'm not particularly invested in the Steve Reeves/Frank Zane silhouette, so gaining some muscle here is not something I object to.

    I've heard some good things about ab-wheel rollouts (fit-ball to start with perhaps), decline crunches and bent-leg raises with lumbar flexion at the apex.

    Anyone have some good experiences/recommendations to share?
  2. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    I use a sitting weighted ab/crunch machine. I only go part way down but all the way back to the starting position to get a good stretch as that is where the weak point in the exercise is. I chose this exercise as it seems to help my compromised back. I do not have a lot of experience with other pieces of equipment. I just do one set of 10-20 reps per exercise session.
  3. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    You haven't found that deadlifts and such are strengthening your core enough?

    I've tried a weighted situp machine myself but it was too easy even with the full stack and they frown upon pinning plates to the stack at most gyms. I've heard people say they enjoy using a high pulley to do standing crunches as well.
  4. leonardopm

    leonardopm Member

    I used to do weighted crunches with good results. If you're strong enough to hold a 45lb plate (and you probably is) and crunch with it over your head is a good starting point.
  5. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Well it's in the details. Deadlifts have strengthened it significantly, but it's certainly the weak link right now. It used to be upper traps, and that's been addressed. Prior to that it was hamstrings etc.

    But yeh, right now it's abs. They're quite strong etc. and obviously there behind the padding, but I definitely think they're the spot that's lacking right now.
  6. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    With the loads you use, I think it is going to be tough to find something challenging enough to really strengthen up your abs. I would try out some weighted crunch machines and try doing some weighted situps on a decline bench just to see where you are at. Most ab exercises, as you've probably gathered, are fufu exercises for the cardio rats who struggle to lift a can of soup and won't do much for real athletes.
  7. gbglifter

    gbglifter Member

    I rotate kneeling pull downs in the cable machine with good old fashioned planks. The pull downs work far better than anything else IMO for building volume in that area. I have doms in my abs constantly.
  8. wungun

    wungun Member

    I do abs every day (6 days a week)... 1 day, I'll do 2 sets of weighted crunches, 30rm and 25rm,using HST principals starting at 25lb plate (under my chin, on my chest) and work up to 20 and 15 reps @ 70lbs.
    Day 2 is obliques and lower abs...
    40lbs plate for side touches (watch your back!) for 1 set, 60 reps of reverse cross crunches then a set of straight leg raises to failure... Usually 20 reps.
    I don't wanna boast, but I have great abs. Lol
  9. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

  10. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    That's kind of how my midsection looks aside from me being significantly smaller. Even when shredded, my abs stick out so that it looks like I have a slight gut with a shirt on.

    I do recall spending a summer doing weighted situps on a decline bench during one of my training years, but I still think I got most of my ab size through deads/squats. Probably a genetic predisposition toward thicker midsection also.

    I know that doesn't help you much. Sorry.
  11. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    Any suggestions for external obliques. Like Jester I am not focused on the smallest waist. For my core in general doing squats and deadlifts it feels really strong but the muscle under my love handles feels under developed.
  12. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Leave them alone. They will self-adjust to whatever load is put on them with the big compounds.
  13. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    Okies 8(
  14. krysix

    krysix New Member

    I sometimes do palof press and vertical palof press or rollouts. I dont like crunches.

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