But I need some more good ab work.
Im a powerlifter, if it makes a difference.
Um, ok. I got a ton of them and have the abs to prove it. First off, abs resist hoop stress (so your guts don’t get extruded through your ribs at the bottom of a squat). Isometric exercises are what you need for lifting. Abs can move you, but you aren’t going to get as strong as with iso work.
Think about it this way, during deads and squats, your abs are locked down and moving your back is a great way to get hurt.
- Various situps (feet on the ground, in the air, with a twist, one leg up, v-ups, candlesticks). Just do 10 of each as a warm up, no more than 100 total. That’s it. Great way to get the kinks out on the floor before doing anything else.
This is the proper way to use situps in a workout – as a starter, not a goal. If you do more than this you are just working on endurance (which is not a bad thing, as long as you realize it.)
Ab roller from a stand. Don’t go out too far or you’ll hurt your back
Lifts (also called dragon flies) This has it as the last exercise, but he doesn’t quite do it right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZoBT7ktbyc Keep your body straight (he gets a kink in the middle) and lead with your center of gravity.
Note: Start at the highest position and lower yourself. When you start this, depending on your strength, there is a real chance of ripping an ab. If you experience pain or whatever, don’t fight it out, just relax and plop down on the bench.
FWIW one trainer saw me doing these at a gym and tried some (didn’t ask me to spot him) and he did indeed rip out an ab for 6 weeks. These totally rock, but treat them with respect.
L-hangs: Do a pull-up and curl your abs to lift your legs up to parallel with the ground. Note: Make sure your back stays curved and your abs stay very tight. Work up to 30 seconds.
Table tops: Get on a bench, turn 90 degrees to how you bench and scoot off so just your shoulders are on the bench. Do a tiny crunch, hold it and try to push your hips to the ceiling. This gets the glutes/hams that oppose the abs and will keep everything balanced.
This is also a great way to increase your squat if you have someone hand put some plates on your hips. Hold for up to 30 seconds. If that’s to easy, lift a foot.
Corner rows: Get a bar, wedge one end in a corner. Pick up the other and with your arms straight, turn from side to side (so your hips move through 90 degrees). Great for obliques.
Windshield wipers: Do a pullup, then point your feet at the ceiling, back paralle to ground. Go side to side (start easily at first, since this can have a surprising amount of torque that will rip you right off the bar for a nasty fall). Do either these or corner rows.
Also, as has been mentioned, overhead work is great. If you want them to show though, you might need to lose some weight. Strength vs. cosmetic function are different, and a lot of people with “great abs” are weak as kittens but have a good distribution of fat around the midriff.