T Nation

Question on Side Planks/Bridges


#1

Genetically I have bigger hips, legs and torso. My love handles are pretty much gone (fatwise), but there appears to be some muscle there, or bone structure. I dont do oblique work because I am trying to narrow my waist more, not make it any thicker.

I read something about planks being good to reduce the size of your stomach, something about the traverse abs, so I started doing those and regular crunches without weight. If I were to start doing side planks, would this minimize the size of my obliques or make them appear larger by building muscle? In other words, I think they (bridges) are different than direct oblique work. Anyone??


#2

Wow, nobody?


#3

Held off in replying in hopes that real experts might help you out more.

From what I understand the plank work for the tva reduces the size of the waistline because the tva is basically your 'sucking in the gut' muscle. The stronger it gets the more you end up with a permanent 'sucked in gut' (lemme know if I'm getting too technical).

But I don' think the obliques perform that same function and so side planks shouldn't make the waist any smaller. If all you've got left down there is muscle and bone and you want to make it smaller I guess you just gotta pick one of those two to get rid of. For me there's always some fat left on the sides no matter how much I try to convince myself it's muscle ('flex damn you!')
But that being said isometric stuff should tone the muscles up with minimal hypertrophy.


#4

Planks, side planks and TVA work may help a little.
Also consider building wide lats ,delts and chest to make your waist look thinner.


#5

Thanks for the replies. Its weird, I have a litte fat there, but I can tell its mainly muscle/bone structure. I havent done oblique crunches/work in awhile because I dont want to "widen" that area anymore. I understand if it was straight fat, I should definitely do oblique work, but I know its not.

With that said, if I did do side planks, I wouldnt think it would cause any hypertrophy to my obliques, or am I wrong?


#6

If you want a slim, muscular waistline, you need to...

1) Reduce bodyfat: Diet and energy system work are the biggest factors here. There is visceral fat below you abdominal muscles as well as subcutaneous fat just below the skin. If your waistline seems thick, you may be carrying more visceral fat than you realize.

2) Increase the size of the muscles above and below the waist: Think quads, glutes, hams below, and lats, chest, shoulders above. Make these muscles bigger and your waist will appear smaller.

3) Develop a strong core: Don't neglect core training for fear of a thicker waistline. Besides health, injury prevention, and athletic performance, you need a strong core to support your other lifts. If you don't have the midsection you need to support squats, military presses, etc., you're holding back your progress in other areas (see number 2).


#7

Hmmm, good info. My bodyfat is pretty low now, according to calipers and pics, around 11-12%. Ive done plenty of squats and deadlifts, so I know my core is pretty strong. I dont believe I have any visceral fat (I think this is usually stress related), and I thought my fat was more under the skin- although I could be wrong. And my waist has narrowed out somewhat from dropping bodyfat. If I was carrying visceral fat, does it come off the same way as regular bodyfat?

Genetically I am bigger boned (cant think of another way to describe it). I have big glutes/hips and legs. Let put it this way, if I was to lose 40 more pounds, I wouldnt have a flat ass or chicken legs, genetically impossible. I feel if I stress to much on the obliques though, it will cause hypertrophy and widen my waist more. But, I wasnt sure on the side planks, as this is not the same as a "side crunch", at least from what I understand.