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Is Direct Ab Work Necessary?


If the abs are stimulated during compound movements, why bangout situps and crunches?


This is why you don't do sit ups or crunches for ab work. Instead, you do heavy sit ups, hanging leg raises, band crunches, cable crunches, blast strap fallouts, and front squat holds instead.



ab wheel rollouts


Planks, ab wheel rollouts and front squat holds FTW... These 3 is all you need to have an insanely strong core.


It's needed if your abs are weak... 99% of the people on earth fall into this catergory. Sit-ups will make you weaker and a shittier squatter. This is where sport specificity is key. All of the above mentioned exercises are awesome. I have been messing around with (try to follow me here) zercher holds... out of chain suspension... with a 14inch cambered bar... with free hangin weight (chaos method) on the sleeves. It takes some specialty equipment but it is brutal. Also, any kind of anterior loaded carrying will give you very strong squattin' abs.


Jesus mother of Christ.

I don't think heavy sidebends have been mentioned in here, have they?

I superset heavy side bends for 3-6 reps after I do my front squat holds (after I regain conciousness) and love 'em.

I've also been doing a rollout/plank hybrid that's been making my abs sore as fuck for days after... I rest my forearms on a bench (with my body perpendicular to the bench) and then put my feet/shins on a swiss ball and roll it back and forth.


Russian twists, ab wheel work from the knees with heavy plates on your back, any kind of Zercher lift.


definitely think ab work is necessary... even for people who don't need it, they should do it anyways just as insurance. I've had loads of lower back problems that put me out of commission for awhile, all because I skimped on ab work.

I'm not a fan of any type of sit-up... maybe the McGill Crunch where you lower back is supported. Hanging leg raises are good only if you do them right, if you don't know how to do them properly, then go to a reverse crunch instead on the floor. I also like side planks, front planks (on elbows and in push-up position, with weight added eventually), ring fallouts, and 'stir the pot' on the swiss ball.

edit: I personally wouldn't do any type of twisting motion at the lumbar spine, that's also fucked up my back. Work on anti-rotation instead (i.e. pallof press). Before jumping into rollouts/fallouts, I would do 3-4 weeks of planks first (increasing duration each week, i.e. 3 x 60s, then eventually adding weight).


What about heavy push crunches(exrx.net)


Weighted carries, anti rotation, and anti extension work all find a place within my various training days. The benefits are too many to name.



Cool video. I got a new exercise to try to experiment with...

I feel direct work is needed. Whenever I have gotten a really good PR on my squat (something, which at the time, really requires you to be nearly at 100%) my midsection and back have always had to come in and really assist driving the weight up/keep me from falling forward.


And to answer your question, it's so when you REALLY need to use your abs in compound movements, they are strong and ready.

And as others have said limiting yourself to sit-ups and crunches is stupid. Especially if they're "bangouts". At least do them weighted (or even use the negative aspect of the movement more efficiently).


This guy really knows his stuff listen to him, forget body weight crunches you need more weight and lower reps (5-12 or 3 for strength) to build muscle efficiently.

The squats alone will get you a 6 pack sure but it will be much faster if you work them directly as well, so if they are a priority ie a weak link / you have compound lifted for some time do so, if not its more efficient for overall development to just stick to compound movements.