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Best Abdominal Exercises?

Hey Coach,

about to start I,Bodybuilder in a couple weeks with shoulder spec, and i was planning on adding 2 abdominal exercises on the first shoulder day (since there are only 3 exercises that workout) as well as the third shoulder day (since there are only 4).

i was just wondering what you consider the best abdominal exercises.

thanks.

Ab wheel or barbell rollout. That’s all you need, IMO.

Here is what worked well for me:

Lying Garhammer Raise
Reverse Crunch
Low Pulley Cable Pullins
Ab wheel if your abs can handle it (mine can’t, I get a tear in my right lower abs if I do… inguinal area).
Planks
Standing Cable Crunch w/ Rope
Weighted Decline sit-up

Shouldn’t need much more than that.

Why do any additonal ab exercises during the Shoulder phase…you’ll be doing PLENTY of abdominal strengthening movments within the phase itself…especially with all the overhead pressing. In fact, most of the phases of the program do a ton of indirect ab strengtheing movments. The only one that you would want to possibly add any direct ab work to, would be the chest phase.

If you feel you need direct ab work, then you could put in there, but I’d choose exercises that don’t load the spine too much and are easier on the CNS. This would actually be a time I would personally, do some of the old school exercises in slightly higher rep ranges…8 + reps per set.

Just my two cents.

Also:

Controlled Hanging Leg Raise (202 tempo would work)
Swiss Ball Crunch w/ DB on chest

The stretch from performing Hanging Knee Raises is excellent in between heavy working sets. My favorite variation has to be Hanging Knees to Elbows to Hands hits the abs in a completely different way.

Saxon Dumbbell Sidebend (start off light; looks are deceiving)
Weighted Dragon Flag Holds

[quote]synergy93 wrote:
Why do any additonal ab exercises during the Shoulder phase…you’ll be doing PLENTY of abdominal strengthening movments within the phase itself…especially with all the overhead pressing. In fact, most of the phases of the program do a ton of indirect ab strengtheing movments. The only one that you would want to possibly add any direct ab work to, would be the chest phase.

If you feel you need direct ab work, then you could put in there, but I’d choose exercises that don’t load the spine too much and are easier on the CNS. This would actually be a time I would personally, do some of the old school exercises in slightly higher rep ranges…8 + reps per set.

Just my two cents.
[/quote]

He’s got a point. I looked over the shoulder program and there’s a lot of push pressing and power snatching. Both of these hit the abs. When I do these I can literally feel that my abs have been worked. Must mean I have weak abs - who knows. But don’t go overboard on the ab work. I’d do maybe one additional ab exercise on the days you’re not doing push presses and power snatches.

I honestly rarely do abdominal work myself. Since I do a ton of overhead work, snatches, 1-arm explosive DB lifts, squats and deads, my abs do get plenty of indirect work.

If anything, years of olympic lifting left my abs too thick which makes me look wide waisted even when I have an 8-pack.

That having been said, I still do some direct abs from time to time, mostly when I have a photo shoot coming up. 90% of the time I superset one loaded abdominal movement for 8-10 reps and one unloaded exercises for max reps with a slow tempo. My personal favorite is the cable crunch + swiss ball crunch combo.

on the topic of ab exercises, what does everyone think about L sit pullups? they are the hardest effing thing i’ve ever done and make me incredibly sore… that’s got to count for something, right?