T Nation

Comparing Lifting Exercises

I am bulking…

Can I get away without doing abs if Im doing deadlifts, squats, good mornings, and other compound movements that require to keep a tight core?

Can I get away without doing iso calve exercises if im doing deadlifts squats and lunges?

Id say you could get away with the abs, but id sitll maybe do some reverse crunches maybe at the end of your workout…and id still do calves no matter what…the deads and squats are great, but they arent hitting the calves directly and intensely enough…thats my 2 cents

If anything training your abs etc will aid your squat and DL do it with a load not simply hundreds of crunches

i actually do ignore calves but kill them in the gym lifts. event work, hill climbing., sprints etc

Phill

I never believe any of the folks that say you can get away with not working abs.

Weighted situps will help all your lifts.

Yes, you can “get away” with not doing them for a while. But honestly, how long does it take to train these bodyparts? A few minutes at most.

I’ve found that if I don’t work the abdomen, my squats and deadlifts become more of a strain. While both those exercises do force you to tense your abdomen and create a certain amount of core strength, direct ab and oblique work really creates stability.

Ab training is a bit of an enigma at best. Look at Dan John’s abs after doing the V-Diet, like a pile of bricks, and he rarely did abs directly. When he did, it was mostly reverse curls for his obliques, if I remember correct.

Then like the last poster above said, he feels he can get tighter in his lifts when he trains them.

Stuart McGill would preach stabalization is more important than flexion, and as such to not worry about crunches and the like, but don’t neglect bridging.

My experience is that I punch (muay thai training) the most solid when I do bridging and 1 arm bench. Adding flexion exercise has never done much for me that heavy deadlifts and 1 arm benching couldn’t do.

You may want to test something for yourself. Lie prone. Do a pushup while flexing your glutes hard to keep your pelvis glued to the floor. Try to keep your back fairly straight, don’t get much extension from the spine, get it from the hips. Does your abs stop you? Are they the tight part of this chain?

If they are, don’t do flexion exercises, only do stabalization and stretching of the abs. Once you can do the above stretch without the abs stopping you from locking out your arms, your ab length is okay again.

Roland

I used to believe you could get away without training abs.

Then I felt a pop and sudden burst of pain, and lo and behold, I was converted.

Try doing your abs BEFORE your squat workout. Anyway, I believe that you risk hurting your back if you don’t train your abs. I also believe that most ab flexion exercises risk injuring the back as well. I recommend heavy, but only very partial range leg lifts now-lift your feet up and down only about 6 inches.

Also, I only need to do abs and calves 1x/week now to keep them up, but my calves shrunk from not doing them directly for a couple years. Also, the calves can help the squat and dead as well.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Try doing your abs BEFORE your squat workout. Anyway, I believe that you risk hurting your back if you don’t train your abs. I also believe that most ab flexion exercises risk injuring the back as well. I recommend heavy, but only very partial range leg lifts now-lift your feet up and down only about 6 inches.

Also, I only need to do abs and calves 1x/week now to keep them up, but my calves shrunk from not doing them directly for a couple years. Also, the calves can help the squat and dead as well. [/quote]

IMO not a great plan squatting with a pre fatigued abdomen/core better off doing it after/last

just my take,
Phill

[quote]Phill wrote:
mertdawg wrote:
Try doing your abs BEFORE your squat workout. Anyway, I believe that you risk hurting your back if you don’t train your abs. I also believe that most ab flexion exercises risk injuring the back as well. I recommend heavy, but only very partial range leg lifts now-lift your feet up and down only about 6 inches.

Also, I only need to do abs and calves 1x/week now to keep them up, but my calves shrunk from not doing them directly for a couple years. Also, the calves can help the squat and dead as well.

IMO not a great plan squatting with a pre fatigued abdomen/core better off doing it after/last

just my take,
Phill

[/quote]

I do it more as a pre-activation-nothing too intense-just to make sure the abs are turned on for squatting.