I have a hard time targeting my abs. Everything else seems to respond well to training. But I just can’t get that great burn in my abs, and since I carry a lot of my weight in my mid-section (having had 3 babies) I really need something that’s going to produce results. I’m doing my first competition the second weekend in Nov, so that puts me out 23 weeks. I do your typical crunches, decline crunches, leg lifts, etc. I just need to think outside the box but I’m too carb deprived for that :o) Any suggestions? Thanks so much![/quote]
Targeting the rectus abdomis is indeed quite difficult, because in almost all classical “Ab exercises” its only used as a stabilizing/assistance, the real working is done by the hip flexors.
That being said, first of all the “burn” is not a good way to judge the effectiveness of an exercise. And Second, there is no connection between the weight you carry (i assume by that you mean bodyfat) in your midsection (or anywhere else really) and working the muscles in that specific area. If you want to change your body composition, you need to adjust your diet.
In my experience, the core is worked best during any movement in which the torso has to be stabilized against the hip joint during heavy loading (which is its intended role, preventing hip extension), e.g. Squats, Deadlifts, any kind of Oly lifting, any kind of overhead pressing.
Also, here is a list of isolation exercises :