weak abdominals

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by Hellbent, May 2, 2006.

  1. Hellbent

    Hellbent New Member

    i'm 6'2 195 and i don't know my bodyfat, but i have these weak, sagging abdominals and i don't know what program to add to hst. just started 15's, and it'll be my second cycle. a weak core runs in the family and i was interested in your suggestions.
    i don't want a cutting cylce, because the rest of my body is well toned. has anyone else had to work through this? i'm about 34" below the navel. i want to TONE the muscle and TIGHTEN that problem area. so what can i do?
    p.s. I DON'T NEED CUTTING! just some effective ab/core stuff that you guys have had success with.thanks.
     
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    You aren't going to be able to get rid of the abdominal fat without doing a cutting cycle. I'm assuming you know that, since you said "I DON'T NEED CUTTING" all in caps. Still, a lot of people still believe you can spot reduce abdominal fat by doing ab exercises, so...

    Anyway, if you want to strengthen up your core, you'll want to focus on abdominal exercises and lower back exercises. A lot of people end up doing exercises that strengthen hip flexors rather than abs when they want to do abs. I recommend doing an exercise like this for abs:

    Leg-Hip Raise

    Leg Hip raises can be brutal when you are just starting out, but try to add weight as soon as you can. Weighted crunches are good too, but don't do situps. Another great exercise for core strength is the standard deadlift, which is something you should definitely do, do them at least once a week. You could also consider doing good mornings to strengthen your lower back.
    This bit is just anecdotal, but I also feel my abs getting worked quite a bit by doing barbell bentover rows, but only when I do them with my upper body kept parellel to the ground. Use an underhanded grip, pull the bar to your navel but not to your chest.

    I've been doing these things for over a year now, though a while ago I stopped doing anything that hit the abs directly. My abs are very tight and strong now, even though they are covered by a layer of fat. So hopefully this would work for you as well. Remember, a strong core and a solid back will allow you to
     
  3. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    On reading your question, I was going to suggest deadlifts but Tot beat me to it. [​IMG]

    I get sore abs from deads when I'm really pushing it at the end of 5s and during the post-5s. It's as if your core is trying really hard to stop your guts exploding all over the gym! [​IMG] Same for squats too but deads have the edge. My abs have come on in recent months without much direct work. I just do a few crunches/leg raises on non-training days but soreness only comes from the gym work. I probably should do some weighted ab work in the gym and I may include it in a future cycle but for now deads are just fine.
     
  4. I guess I'm different thatn the others here. I like doing ab exercises, and I do them on my cardio days. I do 4 exercises: Situps which exercise the entire ab region, leg raises to concentrate on the lower half, crunches for the upper half, and Russian twists for the obliques. I'm so much stronger now than before.

    There's a second reason I do this routine. I have lost 45 - 50 pounds in the last year, and I have excess skin in the spare tire area. If I can get my abs to undergo hypertrophy, then some of that skin may be stretched out. Wider abs, due to obliques, would be especially great, IMO.
     
  5. mostlyallan

    mostlyallan New Member

    I HATE doing ab work. I dont know why, but I've never liked doing it. I have, though, been doing crunches by improvising with a lat pulldown bar (I grab it behind my neck and crunch down). I think its been doing the job pretty well.

    But yeh, you cant TIGHTEN an area - that in itself doesnt really mean anything. All you can do is lose fat around the midsection and let the skin sit closer; thus forming more to the contours of the muscle underneat and "showing" your abs. Overall fat loss is the only method for doing that (other than going under the knife!)
     
  6. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    You are toned up every other part of your body because the first place where a man's adipose tissue begins to store fat is around the gut.

    As far as extra strength and hypertrophy in the abdominals is concerned, I will echo what others said about compound exercises. Deadlifts will hit, and so will chins and hyperextensions. I use pulley crunches as my ab exercise mostly because it hits the arms.

    Pick your poision, it's up to you.
     
  7. faz

    faz Active Member

    crunches and planks [​IMG]
     
  8. tetrah

    tetrah New Member

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I get sore abs from deads when I'm really pushing it at the end of 5s and during the post-5s. It's as if your core is trying really hard to stop your guts exploding all over the gym! [​IMG] Same for squats too but deads have the edge.</div>

    2nd that.


    I also get an ab workout when I do my weighted pullups. I don't have a belt and chain, so i use a regular backpack. I put it in front of me when I do my pullups/and chins, and it likes to push my lower body parallel to the wall while my lower body tries to get parallel with the floor. It's almost like doing a stretch point exercise for my abs (my body is in a position where if i were standing i'd be bending backwards from my waist).
     
  9. jwbond

    jwbond New Member

    <div>
    (Totentanz @ May 02 2006,20:19)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Weighted crunches are good too, but don't do situps.  </div>
    i use to do weighted crunches and leg raises, but switched to situps when i started bryan's routine on podfitness. i am careful to not strain my neck or back when i do them and they seem to work well. why dont you like situps tot?


    heavey compound movements like squats are also known to do a great job on the abs. some even say just stick to the compounds and no need for the iso ab work.

    also, i know you said you dont need to cut, but i can almost guarantee that it is what you need. anyone will have a six-pack if they cut the bf low enough.
     
  10. style

    style New Member

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">heavey compound movements like squats are also known to do a great job on the abs. some even say just stick to the compounds and no need for the iso ab work</div>

    Ditto, kiddo.
     
  11. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Situps hit the hip flexors moreso than the abs. In fact, most movements people do &quot;for abs&quot; don't hit the abs at all, usually they hit the hip flexors or the obliques. Lots of movements that people think hit the &quot;lower abs&quot; are actually hitting something else, it just feels like it's in the lower ab region because the hip flexor is down in that area.
    You can't hit just the lower or the upper abs because there is no upper or lower ab muscles. That's like the whole 'inner' and 'outer' chest debate. It is impossible to isolate one portion of a muscle.
    Check out exrx and you'll see what I mean:

    http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/RectusAbdominis.html

    Incline situps are pretty good though, apparently.
     
  12. mostlyallan

    mostlyallan New Member

    I love those commercials for ab products where you can hit the &quot;lower, middle and upper abs&quot;. WTF? Dont you just wanna reach through the TV and slap them?

    Getting back on topic, when I do cable crunches (cable held and crunch down in a seat position) with heavy weights I tend to start feeling strain right at the top of my thighs near the hip. Its annoying because its preventing me from going heavier.
     
  13. <div>
    (Totentanz @ May 09 2006,20:14)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Situps hit the hip flexors moreso than the abs.  In fact, most movements people do &quot;for abs&quot; don't hit the abs at all, usually they hit the hip flexors or the obliques.  Lots of movements that people think hit the &quot;lower abs&quot; are actually hitting something else, it just feels like it's in the lower ab region because the hip flexor is down in that area.
    You can't hit just the lower or the upper abs because there is no upper or lower ab muscles.  That's like the whole 'inner' and 'outer' chest debate.  It is impossible to isolate one portion of a muscle.
    Check out exrx and you'll see what I mean:

    http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/RectusAbdominis.html

    Incline situps are pretty good though, apparently.</div>
    If you are careful about form while doing situps, the first portion of the movement can be performed like a crunch thus involving the abs, the second half then motivated by the hip flexors. Put some twists between the two portions of those movements, and you're hitting the obliques. Starting to sound like a compound exercise, isn't it?

    The workout I posted I wrote previously in this thread has fallen apart! It was going great, throught the 15' and 10's, but I hit my max early in the 5's. Don't know how, but I screwed up. Plus, the latter portion of the 5's is so demaniding, it was too hard to keep up with all the ab work on the off days. So I just do sit ups on off day, like I've described. I just do as many sets of 10 as I can.
     
  14. style

    style New Member

    yeh I remember reading about some Soviet strength training coach who spoke at a conference for football players and coaches were asking him what ab movements their players should do . The guy laughed and told them heavy compound movements are the best thing for strengthening your abs.
     

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