My girlfriend started going to the gym over summer and has become very lean. However, I noticed that her abdominal and oblique muscles had become very well developed to the point in which they protrude out quite a bit and have added mass onto her waist. I discovered she had been doing a lot of abdominal exercises and crunches in those ridiculous legs, bums and tums classes (where apparently the personal trainers want to make all girls look like rectangles).
I intervened and told her to stop doing endless crunches and got her on a starting strength esque program.However, what I really want to know is, is there anyway of reducing abdominal muscle size? Now that she has stopped the endless crunches, will they shrink?
Or will any minor stimulation of them keep them at the same size? Her goal is to have a sexy hourglass physique, so the exercises I put her on should help with that but I was wondering if maybe there would be alternative and better ways of doing it. This is her program (I did 5x5 because I thought 3x5 would mean heavier weights and therefore more core stimulation which we don’t want).
Bench Press 5x5
Dips 3x failure
Overhead Press 5x5
Chin ups 3x failure
I have noticed that she puts on muscle mass very quickly. I was wondering if maybe the full body exercises might be activating her abs and obliques too much, when we want to shrink them. Should we potentially get rid of the deadlifts and chin ups (as chin ups activate abs the most of all exercises according to a tnation article) and make the overhead press seated to remove the core activation? Potentially change to 20 rep squats so that the weight is even lower (to reduce core activation) but with the same amount of hypertrophy? Any advice people can give to reduce her waist size?
Also because the other aspect is to build the hourglass physique are there any good exercises to build that, that I am missing?