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Ab/Oblique Question


For the past few months I keep going back and fourth on whether or not to do weighted ab/oblique exercises. Some sites/books I read such as arnolds they say not to do weighted because it will make your waist thick and big which is definately not what I want.

On the other hand some sites/people say that your obliques will just tone up and they will never get that big so weighted ab/oblique work is a good idea.. What do you guys think? I want to have as small a waist as possible but on the other hand i want to have good looking abs. thanks


What kind of abdominal training have you done so far? That info would help.


Well really i go a few weeks with doing weighted exercises like woodchops, crunch machines, etc.. but then i change my mind and do non weighted stuff like leg raises, the plank, and crunches.


I wonder the same thing. What kind of abs do you have now? it seems that people with good abs generally don't have to worry about whether they get bigger or not.


Well to tell you the truth I can't see my abs right now.. i have some fat in the way


You're being self-conscius about the size of your waist. Should your abs/obliques grow, it won't be overnight, so don't fear a good, solid core workout.


anyone know?


Is it the fat or that you dont have a VERY good set to show off. they like any muscle need to be built.

Yes its true doing heavy side bends etc can make you wider and hypertrophy of the abs will make your waist thicker to a point as well as low back. BUT they will also show better and Whay are your goals. If strenght sports wise BUILD a BIG thick solid core.



It is the fat lol.. i got high bf%.. but anyways my goal is to get a good v-taper.. so i shouldnt do weighted ab/oblique exercises?


You have a long road to travel before you get to being in such good shape that you worry about the size of your obliques.


"Remember, if you want visible abs you must have both a low body fat level and thick abdominal muscles. When your abs are thick, especially the rectus abdominis or "six pack," they stand out more because the contrast between the muscle bellies (the actual ''packs'') and the linea alba is more pronounced. To get strong and thick abs, you must use loaded abdominal work."

From CT's "Staggered Ab Training" Article


i know but wont that make your waist thicker? isnt that bad for a bodybuilder since we all want the v taper?


i know.. but for now.. should i do weighted exercises or just stick with bodyweight like russian twists, side plank, etc. ?


Try both! You could incorporate a variety of techniques into your work-out, even on the same routine.

To give you an idea, I do 4 different exercises (3 weighted, 1 non-weighted) for abs/obliques and have been training for roughly 7 years and my mid-section is definitely not "big."


is your waist small?
what exercises?




I would strongly advise you to stick to side plank, plank and versions of hanging leg raises. (Most people are not nearly strong enough to do a full hanging raise with proper form; so swallow your pride, get down on the floor and start with slow, controlled reverse crunches, move from the floor to doing them on an incline bench and so on).

I wouldn't concern myself with oblique exercises and certainly not weighted ones. If you want a six pack 95% of your effort should be toward (diet and) intensity in compound exercises in a full body routine 3-4 times a week.

I've been asked often what I do for my abs: lots of cardio? what kind of crunches? I don't do cardio and I rarely do ab exercises, so I answer front squats, weighted pull ups (weight held between the feet), weighted push ups (couple 25's in a back pack, sets of 20), etc. Notice that all of those compound exercises seriously tax the abdominal muscles, so they do double duty.

There's a dude at my gym who 3 times a week does 45 minutes of abdominal exercises, some of them quite advanced, but he's flabby and has a gut. Don't be like that guy. And highly developed obliques even on an extremely lean person, imho, rarely look good, but they look universally terrible on anyone with flab, so leave them alone.


I thought I already answered this via PM along with some good ab exercise recommendations!!!


Day 1:
Ab rollouts 3-5 sets of 5-10 reps
Russian Twists 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps (weighted on a low decline bench)
V-ups 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps
Back extensions 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps

After your last set, perform one max set of bicycle kicks (chinnies).

Perform the above as a circuit moving from one exercise to the next. Rest 60 seconds and repeat for a total of 3-5 sets

Day 2:
Hanging leg raises
Weighted Swiss ball crunches
Saxon side bends or dumbbell side bends
Supermans or reverse hyperextensions

Same as above. Perform 3-5 total sets done as a circuit. Rest 60 seconds after each finished set. Once you finish your last set, perform a plank hold for as long as you can.

Day 3:
Dragon Flag - 5 reps
Turkish Getups - 5 reps each side
Dumbbell side bends or Deadlift twists

Same as the other days. After your last set, perform a high-rep set of v-ups or crunches.

That should keep you challenged for quite some time. Do a search for exercises you are not familiar with.

Some of those are done with weight (Turkish getups, russian twists, side bends, saxon side ends, weighted swiss ball crunches).

No, using weighted exercises will not make your waist wider. Your waist will build some muscle, but the only reason it will be wider is if you are not lean and have a layer of fat over the abs making you look blocky.

You hold the weight out in front of you when performing Russian twists. Do a search online and I'm sure you'll find some photos or videos showing them being done weighted.

EDIT: Muscle is 1/3 the size of fat. It takes up less space than fat. It's more dense.

Have you seen any photos of an athlete or bodybuilder (non drug using) with their shirt off? They have well-defined obliques and rectus abdominus. The obliques don't continue to grow outward wider than the rest of you. But if you have too much fat over you, then yes, you may appear to be "blockier" or wider.

The muscles will only grow so wide, and as long as the rest of your body is built correctly, it won't be wide, blocky or weird looking. Just don't get fat.


Yeah I've really been enjoying the plank and side plank. And i started doing a 5x5 program which is just compound movements and some days after doing deadlifts my abs are sore. Thanks for the info/advice