Finding The Best Ab
When trying to achieve the illusive six pack, it' easy to
get confused by all the "best ab workouts" available. You'll
likely notice that there a multitude of ab workouts to choose
one, so deciphering which ones will work the best can be
The thing to remember is that whenever you are trying to
work your core, everything works, for a certain period of time.
Everything from high reps, low reps, weighted work, bodyweight
work, stability ball exercises, and BOSU ball exercises - it
all works until your body adapts and says, "This is easy, I'm
not going to change unless you give me a new reason to
Your ab training should be progressed from stable floor work
with your body weight to a unstable surface with weighted work.
Progressing to movements that will reduce your base of support
as much as possible are the best ab workouts because they will
call into play all the muscles within the core, especially
those really deep that stable floor work can not target.
Such examples of floor ab exercises that would do this would
be crunches, sit ups and leg raises. Eventually you want to do
these same exercises against gravity, then a load and then on
unstable surface like a stability ball. Body weight exercises
like "front planks" and "side planks" should be the foundation
of a core program and progressed to one arm planks in the
frontal and side planes and then eventually on a stability ball
or BOSU ball for further recruitment.
The best ab workouts to make your abs "pop" would be a
variety of weighted movements. I'm sure you've skinny guys with
a flat stomach but no "eye popping" abs, which is because they
have not developed the actual abdominal muscle, just like every
other body part. Part of getting nicely chiseled abs is going
to be developing the muscles underneath the fat, and weighted
ab crunches with cables or on a stability ball with a heavy
dumbbell will do this best.
During all your ab workouts be sure to get a full stretch
during the eccentric phase of your ab exercises. Going through
an entire range of motion on the way up (if doing a crunch on
the floor or ball) is not necessary, however, you should be
"crunching" your upper abs onto your lower abs during each rep
to maximize the burn, recruitment and full development.
The one weighted exercise you will not find in my programs
is weighted side bends, as this could make you look wider in
the waste, distracting from creating a lean image.
One concerning question most people have is regarding lower
ab workouts, typically the most troubling spot. Yes, hip
flexion (emphasis more so on lower abs) is important to perform
and should be done first in the workout but the reality of the
matter is that you cannot specifically separate your abs into
upper and lower components. Whenever you perform any type of ab
movement you should automatically be focusing on working both
the upper and lower portion at the same time.
Good exercise to definitely direct a little more force into
the lower area would be the progression of lying leg raises,
lying leg raises on a incline and eventually hanging leg raises
fully vertical. Lying leg raises on a stability pull is also an
extremely challenging and advanced exercise to create razor
Finally, the last thing to consider is when you are going to
perform your ab workout is training frequency. Again, generally
speaking, the more the better assuming your abdominals have
recovered. Whether you want to perform it at the end of your
workout, before your workout, during your workout or on a day
of it's own is up to you. My ab
workouts incorporate all methods depending on if you are a
beginner, intermediate or advanced. Some theories of that warn
you not to start with abs is because abs work as a synergistic
muscle for so many of the other exercises you'll do, if you
pre-fatigue them before the start of the workout, you may not
progress as much during the rest of your workout. I don't agree
with this and if you're abs are your weakest link then they
should be given first priority when you are the most fresh, the
start of your workout.
Incorporating a specific ab workout is only a small part of
the battle - diet, lifestyle and overall caloric expenditure
through weight training and cardio are the true building blocks
to creating a sexy and desired mid section.
About the Author:
Vince DelMonte is the author of Your Six Pack
Quest found at http://www.YourSixPackQuest.com
He specializes in helping chubby guys and gals get
six pack abs without gimmicks,
supplements or dieting.
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