ab question

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    ab question


    I train my abs 4 times a week.. 60 decline crunches and 60 decline cycle crunches my upper and middle abs are visible but not my lower abs.. What exercise can i do to make the bottom abs come thru or is it just more time and diet? any help is greatly appreciated

    Thanks

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    The visibility of your abs is mainly body composition. If you want the lower abs to show better you need to lose more fat.
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    You can try hanging leg raises, and flat bench lying leg raises for lower abs.
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    do you have a 4,6,or 8 pack? genes play a good role in abdominals, you just might have little muscle down ther. other wise, do plenty of leg lifts, and bicycle kicks while lying on your back.
    Last edited by Jake Fires; 02-11-2010 at 10:23 PM. Reason: not finished
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    Oh boy. There's no such thing as lower abs; you cannot isolate a particular region the abs.

    First of all, sit ups and similar movements are hard on the lower back and potentially dangerous. The hip flexors are usually activated and do most of the work, it causes overstimulated hip flexors, weak abs and often weak hip extensors; it results in an anterior pelvic tilt and a "lordosis".

    The solution to this of course would be to stretch the hip flexors, strengthen the abs and the hip extensors.

    The best abdominal movement that involves hip flexion are the hanging leg raises. Make sure you squeeze your glutes during the concentric contraction to disable unnecessary use of hip flexor activity and apply more stimulus to the abs.

    As mentioned, the abdominal visibility comes with body composition. The most functional type of abdominal work is isometric work like bridges.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    ok thanks i will add 3x20 for bicycle and 3x failure for leg raises to my ab workouts. plus 20 min interval training at the end of workout sessions to lower bf%. to answer to question jake fires i have a 4 pack when i flex and two little bumps above and below my 4 pack i have no clue what they are thou
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    also adding a "humping" motion to your crunches works wonders, simply just try to crush your stomack with your rib cage and hips.
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    ok thanks man
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    This is mainly for myself, but a couple good links:

    Hanging Leg Raises

    Decline Leg Raises & Reverse Crunches

    I'm sure most people here already know how to do the exercises, but some of the tips are useful to make sure we're doing them right.

    I think my body is used to doing a whole bunch of decline crunches, so I'm going to try some of this stuff out to switch things up.

    I've also been trying to do the HIIT consistently, been doing 15 minutes of that on the elliptical at the end of my weight training 3 times a week. I might try bumping up the time a bit to 17 or 20 minutes soon though.

    Lets get these abs ripped!
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    Ok, tried hanging leg raises for the first time yesterday, and man they are a pain! When you relax the motion from the flex of bringing your legs up, do you end the motion by letting your feet touch the ground, before bringing your legs up again? I had a hard time keeping the momentum from causing my body to start swinging.
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    I would focus more on training your core and not just your abs. This includes the erectors, obliques, abs, and transverse abs. Twisting motions are essentially along wiht direct lower back training.
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    If you do hanging leg raises make sure to squeeze the glutes during the concentric action to deactivate the use of the hip flexors.

    The best way to train abs is isometrically; it is more functional. Leg raises are cool too though.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    Try hanging legs raises for sets of 15-20. They're great for the obliques as well!

    Edit: I guess it would have been smart to read ahead to those who posted before me. DOH! haha
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    Quote Originally Posted by buuzer0 View Post
    Ok, tried hanging leg raises for the first time yesterday, and man they are a pain! When you relax the motion from the flex of bringing your legs up, do you end the motion by letting your feet touch the ground, before bringing your legs up again? I had a hard time keeping the momentum from causing my body to start swinging.
    no do not let your feet touch the ground. keep em about 6 inches off, ya they are killer but are great. ive found that it gives you a more define cut on your lower abs.
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    Well, just from the frustrated half-assed sets of hanging leg raises, followed by leg raises with my back against the wall of the dip station (supporting myself with elbows on the pads/bars), and then a couple sets of reverse crunches on a decline... my abs are sore for the first time in months. Going to try this instead of the standard decline crunches I had been doing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Fires View Post
    no do not let your feet touch the ground. keep em about 6 inches off, ya they are killer but are great. ive found that it gives you a more define cut on your lower abs.
    Thanks, I will use this advice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    I would focus more on training your core and not just your abs. This includes the erectors, obliques, abs, and transverse abs. Twisting motions are essentially along wiht direct lower back training.
    Rodja my good sir,

    What would you recommend as some of the best exercises for strengthening the core?
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    one of the best things I have done for my abs is to start getting an arch in my back when I do the motions, it forces you to elongate your abs and really hit them. Also, when I do any kind of a crunch motion I keep my chin to the ceiling instead of to my chest.

    If your bored try sticking a pillow behind you so it is just above your butt and under the "arch" of your back only. Then try doing 20 crunches with your chin to the ceiling and your hands behind your ears. If its to easy fold your pillow in half and put it under your back I bet you will hurt in parts of your abs you have never hurt before.
    (from what I have noticed using the pillow takes the motion out of your hips and really makes you target the abs) I only do standard crunches this way, otherwise I feel it in my hips more like mentioned above. You can do the same for oblique work
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordinator View Post
    Rodja my good sir,

    What would you recommend as some of the best exercises for strengthening the core?
    Standing cable crunches, ab wheel, DB side bends, full leg raises.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Standing cable crunches, ab wheel, DB side bends, full leg raises.
    Thank you for the response! Definitely going to incorporate these in.

    With the DB side bends what rep range should I shoot for? Strength is usually always my goal. This is a particular area where I know people don't want to add mass (not sure the muscle can get very large in the first place though??).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordinator View Post
    Thank you for the response! Definitely going to incorporate these in.

    With the DB side bends what rep range should I shoot for? Strength is usually always my goal. This is a particular area where I know people don't want to add mass (not sure the muscle can get very large in the first place though??).
    Contrary to popular belief, DB side bends do not work the obliques. They actually work a smallish muscle along the lumbar called the quadratus lumborum, which is critical for lumbar support and integrity. I like to use the 8-12 rep range and it provides a bit of grip work as a bonus.
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    to to hijack but rodja, are you a sports physician?
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysoccer16 View Post
    one of the best things I have done for my abs is to start getting an arch in my back when I do the motions, it forces you to elongate your abs and really hit them. Also, when I do any kind of a crunch motion I keep my chin to the ceiling instead of to my chest.

    I wouldn't advice over emphasizing the arch, especially during crunches. This activates the hip flexors and removes emphasis from the abdominals. In fact, try crunching while keeping your glutes contract and pushing your lumbar spine into the floor. This will greatly decrease the range of motion, and they will be more difficult, but you will actually be using the abdominals.

    And I further rodja's suggestion of training entire core.

    Br
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysoccer16 View Post
    to to hijack but rodja, are you a sports physician?
    No, I am not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Contrary to popular belief, DB side bends do not work the obliques. They actually work a smallish muscle along the lumbar called the quadratus lumborum, which is critical for lumbar support and integrity. I like to use the 8-12 rep range and it provides a bit of grip work as a bonus.
    I didn't know that (I think you said this in another thread before, but responding to it here). Thanks.
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    Beating the hell out of a tire with a sledge hammer always makes me feel good . I'm not sure if it's a specific ab workout, but I know it helps with overall core strength.
    Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything's different. -Bill Watterson
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    Quote Originally Posted by AForney View Post
    Beating the hell out of a tire with a sledge hammer always makes me feel good . I'm not sure if it's a specific ab workout, but I know it helps with overall core strength.
    I've been looking for a good tire I could use for front flips and beating with a sledge on craigslist for quite some time but I can never find anything . Anyone know where a good place to find one is?
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    To really push your core and your abs try Decline barbell extensions, fancy for getting on a decline bench, unloading the barbell as if to decline press and use your abdominals to pull yourself up extending the barbell to the ceiling. Keep arms extended and start to lay back down, as soon as your back touches the bench explode back up to the ceiling with the bar, It's very intense on number 12, if you do it with to mug ease, add 10lbs to the bar, you'll thank me tomorrow.
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    The abs get a lot of work through helping stabilize your body during other movements (i.e, squats, standing overhead presses, ect..) but if you're going to train them specifically, you only need a few movements.

    Any ab-specific exercise is going to work your abs through the ONLY range of motion they have. It's like connecting two points together, your pelvis to your sternum. That's it. That's all the abs do. Period. Sure, you have other muscles around the abs (i.e, obliques) but to train abs you don't need 10+ exercises. The only reason I do multiple ab exercises is to keep from getting bored.

    Crunches
    Reverse Crunches
    Standing Side Twists (for obliques)

    ... Plus dieting gets my midsection looking good.

    That's it.

    I don't understand the hype behind exercise like bent over ass kisser crunches... Or whatever they're called.

    It's the same thing as seeing 5-6 exercises for back on an exercise directory page and then seeing 20 different ones for biceps. Same thing.

    You only need what works.

    P.S - Apparently I hate paragraphs.

    - The End -
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    80% through your diet. Getting rid of the lower belly fat is a bitvch.
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    For "the perfect abs". 5% gear, 15% training, 80% diet.
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    I agree hanging leg raises are great !
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReedSkin
    For "the perfect abs". 5% gear, 15% training, 80% diet.
    How about 20% training 80% diet lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronreay

    How about 20% training 80% diet lol
    Well I do enjoy working out naked sometimes lol, but, body weight abs gets repetitive and getting the bulge/strength is hard to do after months of body weight abs. /personal opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordinator View Post
    I've been looking for a good tire I could use for front flips and beating with a sledge on craigslist for quite some time but I can never find anything . Anyone know where a good place to find one is?
    john deere dealership, or other tractor supply store. or even a COOP at a small farm town. that is where i got mine. they even wanted to pay me after they even delivered it to me. i guess it costs them quite a bit to get rid of those things.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    One summer I worked my ass off to get those ripped, hard looking ab muscles. But to me it's not worth the effort... Sure it looks cool, but as long as my midsection is tight, tone with definition between all the muscles, that's good enough for me.I train abs to look better (yeah, it helps with other lifts too). So to me, what I just said looks just as good to me as my abs did that one summer where they were "perfect." And to most everyone else, as long as your midsection is tone with definition, they're not going to notice the difference between that and what they would look like had you put another couple of months into them.Well, what I'm saying with that is, "you" pay way more attention to the way they look than others. Of course we are going to notice subtle changes, but most others aren't. Hell, I'm in noticeably better shape now than when I started dating my girlfriend a year ago and the other day I asked, can you tell I'm in better shape? She said, you always look good. Lol thanks for noticing! Haha
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    Kills thirds birds with one stone but in my training, I classify O/H Squats as a core exercise more so than a squat variation. I use it for core strength and shoulder stability in addition to the squat. The overload comes more on the side of core strength and shoulder stability than your leg strength.

    And I'm not sure where I read it so forgive me for bringing just about nothing to this subject but I have seen one or two studies that showed through EMG that you actually can specifically target the inferior/ superior aspect of your rectus abdominis. It's not necessarily "isolating" upper or lower but it wasn't equal activation. I'll see if I can dig it up but forgive me if i'm lazy and fail
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerdb2
    Kills thirds birds with one stone but in my training, I classify O/H Squats as a core exercise more so than a squat variation. I use it for core strength and shoulder stability in addition to the squat. The overload comes more on the side of core strength and shoulder stability than your leg strength.

    And I'm not sure where I read it so forgive me for bringing just about nothing to this subject but I have seen one or two studies that showed through EMG that you actually can specifically target the inferior/ superior aspect of your rectus abdominis. It's not necessarily "isolating" upper or lower but it wasn't equal activation. I'll see if I can dig it up but forgive me if i'm lazy and fail
    Don't fail on this one, interested in the article your referring to!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    I wouldn't advice over emphasizing the arch, especially during crunches. This activates the hip flexors and removes emphasis from the abdominals. In fact, try crunching while keeping your glutes contract and pushing your lumbar spine into the floor. This will greatly decrease the range of motion, and they will be more difficult, but you will actually be using the abdominals.

    And I further rodja's suggestion of training entire core.

    Br
    ^ This is a great repsonse.

    I was actually just telling a client of mine (former client) that I saw at the gym the other day to squeeze the glutes at the bottom of hanging leg raises to deactivate hip flexor involvement. The way he is working his abs right now he's on the road to lordosis with no exists in sight.

    One of the best way to train your abs is by training your entire core; in example, squats, overhead presses, pullups, bridges, front squats, leg raises, ect.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
  

  
 

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