T Nation

Shrinking the Waist?

I was reading MD the other day and there was an article where Branch Warren attritbuted his more streamlined waist to less direct ab training.

I was wondering - Do you think this worked for Branch simply because he’s a genetic freak, or do you think it could work for a normal guy? The reason I ask is because I have a very thick abdominal muscles, a combination of years of heavy deads/squats and genetics. My oblique muscles especially are very large and it really screws with my overall symmetry.

So what do you think? Will cutting back direct ab training help shrink the waist? Or was it just a placebo effect for Branch?

My take on this, is that the abdominal muscles are still muscles. So they will grow with training like any other muscle. I have spoken with gym people who had notoriously small waists, and they stated that they did little to no direct ab work. It also depends the goal too, some lifts do better when the abs get stronger. So it will always be give and take.

I don’t know. I train abs directly because I like them to pop and look thick and defined when lean. But I don’t do any direct training of obliques. They get worked plenty from squats, deads, etc… and I think heavily developed obliques detract from the v-taper and an aesthetic physique in most people. A wider waist is bad. A well-developed RECTUS ABDOMINIS does not, however, widen the waist.

Right, my obliques are the only overdeveloped aspect of my mid-section and they’re wreaking havoc on my v-taper. Do you think replacing squats with the hack sled would benefit my waist or am I stuck with these things?

I personally don’t train my abs directly, for a few reasons.
I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with training them specifically, but the vast majority are really confused when it comes to the abdominal area and it’s function.

Hmm… i never train them for the same reason, ever. I train abs minimally (and am now sporting this rather lovely hernia because of it) too.

I have a lovely waist when i am 10% or less… about 29"… maybe 30" these days, but i definitely could have a blocky waist if i didnt watch out for it.

I personally think deads are a large player in mine as (like you i can see) i tend to have a thick lower back. This isnt as bad as a thick waist, but still…

Dont train obliques ever, maybe stick to front squats and leg presses (my workout recently actually) and build lats, delts, chest to accentuate the taper…

JJ

i dont train for similar reasons with the whole V taper issues, but what i would like is some oblique development more on the front directly to the sides of the abs as opposed to up by your hips. would lower ab work just do this as well?

While I’ve never had a nice tiny waist, once I stopped doing heavy deads and squats, my midsection did appear to shrink a little. I just assumed it was a loss of muscle in the obliques. I’ll still do some side planks occassionally, but for the most part, I’ve always felt that the abs got enough stimulation from other compound work, and you’ll look just fine once your bodyfat levels go down.

S

[quote]HueyLewis wrote:
i dont train for similar reasons with the whole V taper issues, but what i would like is some oblique development more on the front directly to the sides of the abs as opposed to up by your hips. would lower ab work just do this as well?[/quote]

Just do a thousand crunches every morning.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
While I’ve never had a nice tiny waist, once I stopped doing heavy deads and squats, my midsection did appear to shrink a little. I just assumed it was a loss of muscle in the obliques. I’ll still do some side planks occassionally, but for the most part, I’ve always felt that the abs got enough stimulation from other compound work, and you’ll look just fine once your bodyfat levels go down.

S
[/quote]

Cool, I was going to do something similar. Maybe some planks, ab wheel rollouts, and stomach vaccums here and there.

If your using your core during squats, deads, cleans etc. That’s plenty for strong abs.

[quote]yogaroots wrote:
If your using your core during squats, deads, cleans etc. That’s plenty for strong abs.[/quote]

That oisnt true… just like arms or delts, they need direct work too.

they are like anyother muscle group and it was doing heavy atg squats and lep presses without direct work on abs that gave me an epigastric hernia. Before you go ahead and say “your form was wrong” please dont patronise me. :wink:

I agree, no offense to the gentleman above, but when are people going to realize you can only take your physique/performance so far by not training certain areas?
I speak from experience. From 1993-2005, I trained for powerlifting, core movements very heavy. My abs were continually a weak link and had to be dealt with accordingly.

Every time I see someone such as the OP that would like a smaller waist or “better v-taper”, it’s almost always because their hip width to acromio-clavicular width ratio is nearly 1:1. There’s no changing that. IMO all the ab work in the world might only account for an extra 1" maybe on the waist. I’ll gladly take the increased protection for my spine/visceral organs and obvious increase in performance along with that extra 1" or whatever.
The only thing any of us can do is maximize shoulder/lat width and minimize fat accumulation on the abdomen.

[quote]saroachman wrote:
HueyLewis wrote:
i dont train for similar reasons with the whole V taper issues, but what i would like is some oblique development more on the front directly to the sides of the abs as opposed to up by your hips. would lower ab work just do this as well?

Just do a thousand crunches every morning.[/quote]

Hehe…

[quote]Radjxf wrote:
I agree, no offense to the gentleman above, but when are people going to realize you can only take your physique/performance so far by not training certain areas?
I speak from experience. From 1993-2005, I trained for powerlifting, core movements very heavy. My abs were continually a weak link and had to be dealt with accordingly.

Every time I see someone such as the OP that would like a smaller waist or “better v-taper”, it’s almost always because their hip width to acromio-clavicular width ratio is nearly 1:1. There’s no changing that. IMO all the ab work in the world might only account for an extra 1" maybe on the waist. I’ll gladly take the increased protection for my spine/visceral organs and obvious increase in performance along with that extra 1" or whatever.
The only thing any of us can do is maximize shoulder/lat width and minimize fat accumulation on the abdomen.[/quote]

Frankly sir, I’m in denial.

[quote]HoratioSandoval wrote:
saroachman wrote:
HueyLewis wrote:
i dont train for similar reasons with the whole V taper issues, but what i would like is some oblique development more on the front directly to the sides of the abs as opposed to up by your hips. would lower ab work just do this as well?

Just do a thousand crunches every morning.

Hehe…[/quote]

Lol at first i wasnt sure if it was the bateman avatar or some serious advice, but now its pretty obvious