T Nation

What Do You Do for Abs?

I hate doing abdominal work (all i do currently is heavy compound lifts which do not directly target my abs but do require some amount of core strength, followed by like 1 set of leg lifts at the end of my workouts), and I was wondering what you guys do for ab work in hopes of finding something appealing. I know I know abs are made in the kitchen, but I still feel that some ab work is necessary

Full Contact Twists

I got inspired by boxers / mma fighters. what does having a solid core mean? being able to take a punch to the guts, that’s what.

so there.

assume that position.

and then do stuff…

whatever stuff you like. you can squat and dead if you like. i like those. i also like rolling around on the floor. handstands. headstands. roll to headstand. pull-ups. all kinds of things… watch out for the unexpected punch to the guts…

I like volume for abs. (Actually, I like volume for everything, but especially for abs.) I usually perform upper- and lower-ab work on alternate days. For upper abs, I prefer crunches with a very limited ROM. I perform these by lying with my butt within a foot or so of a wall, and my feet up on the wall (this takes the hip flexors out of it). The entire movement consists of trying to touch the lower margin of the rib cage to the top of the hip bone. I usually do a single set of 500-1000. For lower abs, I do knee-ups (1 set of 50) followed by straight-leg feet-ups (4-5 sets of 20-25). I prefer hanging straps for these–much easier on the shoulders.

An easy way to systematically build up volume on crunches–start off by doing as many as you can in 5 minutes, taking as many rest breaks as you need. Take note of the number you get each time, and in subsequent workouts, make sure you beat the last total by at least 1. Before you know it, you’ll be crunching for the entire 5 minutes (which happens to be right at 500 reps for me). Hope this helps.

I do 1 set of failure on ab wheel rollouts 2x a week.

choose 1 exercise for lower abs, one for upper

Do 4 sets of 15-25 each, 8 total sets

2x/week

Hanging leg raises do the trick for me. Very modifiable movement!

Do not train abs directly for aezthetic purposes, if u are on powerlifting then its ok

Flex.

Do functional ab work.

Holding a bar on my shoulders (clean front squat grip) that is extremely heavy for time, one armed deadlifts both on the side and front, holding an extremely heavy bar in the crook of my elbow for time, one armed deadlifts off of pins, possibly barbell roll outs. That’s pretty much it for what I do, I wouldn’t recommend them for bodybuilders though.

[quote]Matias A. wrote:
Do not train abs directly for aezthetic purposes, if u are on powerlifting then its ok[/quote]

I understand this as reason not to train obliques, but what about upper/lower abs?

i still have a layer of fat that needs to gotten rid of but i can see that my abs have gotten larger and much harder from ab rollouts. it causes great muscle tension while stretching, making it the most effective exercise. after two sets i start doing high rep partials and maybe a set of one armed planks.

the partials are what really started growing my abs.
crunches or pallof presses cant compare to the sureness you have that your abs are torn up after high rep partial ab rollouts

Lose bodyfat.

[quote]gregron wrote:
Lose bodyfat.[/quote]

I thought this was the case until I got really lean and realised my abs weren’t half what I thought they were. I did no direct ab work and I just thought heavy deads, squats, pull ups ohpressing all that stuff was enough… Turns out it wasn’t

Next cut I’m training abs, it’s a muscle it needs to be trained separately like everything else

is anyone scared of thickening the waist? Seeing as how muscles only really grow when you work them out provided you are recovering well. (although I always hear about a muscle that can shrink the waist, i believe it’s the Transverse Abdominis)

I use to do a lot of sit up workouts when I first joined the army and the result is even over 20% my upper abs still come through but I have no lower abs I’m hoping as I get leaner they will already be developed but I have no idea.

[quote]lemony2j wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
Lose bodyfat.[/quote]

I thought this was the case until I got really lean and realised my abs weren’t half what I thought they were. I did no direct ab work and I just thought heavy deads, squats, pull ups ohpressing all that stuff was enough… Turns out it wasn’t

Next cut I’m training abs, it’s a muscle it needs to be trained separately like everything else[/quote]

x2…if you want “nice looking” abs they need to be trained often…you just dont need to kill them like larger muscle groups…

Paloff press

[quote]lemony2j wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
Lose bodyfat.[/quote]

I thought this was the case until I got really lean and realised my abs weren’t half what I thought they were. I did no direct ab work and I just thought heavy deads, squats, pull ups ohpressing all that stuff was enough… Turns out it wasn’t

Next cut I’m training abs, it’s a muscle it needs to be trained separately like everything else[/quote]

I couldn’t agree more. For YEARS I had the mentality that doing ab work would make the waist grow, and thus ruin the V-Taper. But this last year when I got REALLY lean I found out that my abs were wildly underdeveloped, especially the lower region. I had essentially zero body fat and didn’t have a six pack even then. This could potentially take YEARS to fix. Needless to say Ab training is now in my programming at all times.

Not only that, but it can’t possibly hurt the bigger lifts to have strong abs.

I know you cant isolate the upper or lower portions in any meaningful regard, but I do like to do a day of “lower” abs (Leg raises) and a day of “upper” abs (Weighted sit ups, cable curls), along with the Ab Wheel with a hold. Occasionally I’ll throw in some rotational stuff now like Band twists.

Bottom line is whether you train for looks or for function, Do NOT neglect ab training. You will be disappointed.