T Nation

Hittin' the Abs the Hardest



What are the most difficult ab exercise for the "upper" abs? By the way, I work out at home, and don't have any cables.

I do realize that the term "upper" ab is controversial, and so let's please not have a discussion about it. I think you all know what I mean.



For my money, ISO Decline Abs are THE best way to build abdominal strength. I'm not sure they are the best for hypertrophy, but before I implemented them, I felt very weak in the core doing deadlifts. Now I feel a lot stronger in the midsection and my deadlift has gone up big time.

Simply hop in the old decline situp board with a weight on your chest. Decline to the hardest position and hold for a set amount of time. You're not going to really "feel the burn" with this one as much, but I never really cared for that anyway.


it's like every other body part... if you want it to grow, go heavy... get on that decline bench with a heavy ass weight, and crank out some full range of motion sit-ups... the heavier the weight, the better... you'll be amazed by the results this simple exercise can bring (as long as you're going heavy)... as a reference point, I'm currently doing 4x9 with a 90 pound dumbbell on mondays and thursdays, and on tuesdays I do the roman chair 4x9 with a 30 pound dumbbell between my feet... good luck!

  1. Standing barbell roll-out. Not the one on your knees; I mean on your feet - and go down to a nearly flat position (half way down don't count). I can do the ones on my knees for multiple sets 'n reps, whistling a tune at the same time, but I can't do ONE standing roll-out without some kind of assistance.

  2. Isometric hold for hanging leg raise (legs straight, 90 degrees). Best I've done is 35 secs. Goal is 2 mins. I guess these are more "lower abs", but I find the resulting soreness about even everywhere.

These are definitely tougher than the "six-second abs" workouts...



Leg Raises.
Hanging Pikes.


It's not a controversial term, it's a stupid term.

Anyway, are you looking to strengthen your core, or to bring out your abs?