T Nation

Ab and Oblique Help

Admittedly, I don’t carry much muscle anywhere, but my midsection is really lacking in size and strength.

This isn’t (completely) a I-wanna-six-pack thing, though having a thicker trunk would make me look better. The main reason I ask is that I think my abs are limiting my front squat and possibly other movements.

My plan was to alternate side bends and weighted crunches [normal crunch with dumbbells held perpendicular to floor throughout the movement]) on the 3-5 method.

However, I used 2 60lb dumbbells for 25 total reps for today’s workout and it wasn’t a problem for me at all. I’ve used a barbell loaded with 135lbs in the past, and I could’ve done that all day. This makes me think I may be using other muscles than the abs to complete the movement.

So, what should I do to solve my problem? Thanks in advance.

Get better ab exercises. My advice would be to stay away from ab exercises that cause spinal flexion… at least in the lower back. Do planks, front planks and side planks. Ab wheel roll-outs work well too.

Search on youtube and look for ones that don’t flex the lower spine and try those out. If you really like the side bends then try Saxon Side Bends. Use dumbbells and hold them above your head. This lengthens the lever arm and makes it harder.

Situps with dumbbells. Heavy Squatting. Heavy deadlifting. Standing (kneeling )Cable ab crunches. Side bends.

Planks are good for getting you better at…

uh…

planks.

Don’t waste your time.

and item #4 here

you’re welcome

I guess Ghost can’t read, because you indicated that weighted crunches and side bends weren’t effective, but the squats advice was good anyway.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
Situps with dumbbells. Heavy Squatting. Heavy deadlifting. Standing (kneeling )Cable ab crunches. Side bends.

Planks are good for getting you better at…

uh…

planks.

Don’t waste your time. [/quote]

X2. Add good mornings, knee raises (queen’s chair), and weighted decline situps to the list.