I'm starting to get very frustrated. I've been trying to find a suitable weighted exercise for effectively hypertrophying the RA but nothing seems to be as effective as the standard unweighted Swiss-ball crunch. I've tried rope pull-downs, serratus crunch, and even weighted Swiss-ball crunch (for some reason w/ this one it feels like my abs aren't working as hard as without the weight - maybe limited ROM). I also do dragon flags, side bends, and weighted russian twists but these seem to be serving there functions well. My BF% is pretty low and my abs show very well actually, there just to flat. I'd like to build thicker, fuller abs. Any suggestions or incites on what I might be doing wrong?
Have you tried doing CW's 10sets x 3 reps method? hold/attach your 5rep max and do 3 reps, rest and repeat. Whats your bodyweight?. Also how many grams of protein & gallons of liquids do you get each day?
I have noticed this as well...i just don't like the weighted crunches. The only direct ab work i do now is decline sit-ups and bridges(for the TA), and s.b. crunches. There is definitely way to much emphasis on crunches, so you may want to decrease those. It is well known that the best ab exercises are the compound ones like squats etc. And everyone knows the key to a 6-pack is diet.
alot of people get thick hard abs through the isometric tension that they go through when doing heavy lifts ie squat and deadlift or any other excercise ou do where you brace your mid section which should be all of them
Decline bench sit ups with db on your chest. I tend to use 40 - 80 lbs.
You can also do this with an elastic band.
Sit ups with medicine ball. You may even have a partner throw you the ball.
Accordian crunches w/ a 25 plate and a 10 db between your feet. Lay flat on the bench and crunch up same time like an accordian.
Reverse crunches with db between feet.
Hanging abs with db between legs
Rope pull crunches
These are all great exercises. Try them and see what happens.
Good advice. Its funny just how defined your midsection can get off just deads & squats. "wow, where did these come from.... time to do my laundry".
Rollouts with a backpack, on your back of course, with a plate in it or dumbbell.
Try doing a few of those at the end of a squat or deadlift day if you already don't. I noticed mine started to respond much better to direct weighted work after they had already been loaded from the squats and deads.
My guess would be a mistake MANY people do when adding resistance to ab work. POOR form. your most likely using all hips and not activating the ABS like you do in the unweighted variiety. Lower the load and get the fell for it. Bend and crunch the abs NOT rotation at the hip.