developing lower abs

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    developing lower abs


    My ab development is comming along nicely, I've been training my abs for years now (i'm 22) my bodyfat is down to about 7 - 8%

    my ab's are relatively thick, not perfectly symmetrical (i wish). My upper 4 abs are well defined, but I just can't get that last cut to get that 8-pack. I can feel a little cut/separation, but it's not visible, even if my BF was lower, it still probably won't be visible (so it's not a BF problem) this is definitely an AB development problem...

    any recommendations to speed up development?

    I've been training them EOD, with various exercises for about 15-20 minutes. a lot of leg raises, straight leg, bent knee, weighted, etc...

    any suggestions?

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    I think the best exercise for them is hanging leg raises (straight Leg)
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    All-the-way-down front squats & Hanging knee raises
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    What is said above, along with V-Situps and those Dragon things (I forget the name but they are in Rocky IV when he trains in the barn)...

    Also a lot of ab development has to do with genetics. I have completely unsymetrical abs and thats because I was born that way. You may not be able to have a visible 8 pac or even 6 pack...you might only have 5 (your lower abs might not seperate)...

    Also seeing abs has more to do with diet and conditioning than training...just an FYI.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumpingIron View Post

    Also seeing abs has more to do with diet and conditioning than training...just an FYI.
    Very true but the abs are muscles and still need to be developed. Look the abs of Arnold in his day versus say Dexter. Big difference. Guys back then didn't really work abs and had the vaccum (sp) pose but I think it looked horrible with the rest of their bodies being so developed.
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    vacuum...


    But you are correct. And one of the best ways to develop overall core muscle are things like Squats w/o a belt...
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    Quote Originally Posted by FitModel View Post

    I've been training them EOD, with various exercises for about 15-20 minutes. a lot of leg raises, straight leg, bent knee, weighted, etc...

    any suggestions?

    Is this the way you train all your other bodyparts? Then why would you train the abs that way. It's a muscle just the same. You need to apply basic principles of hypertrophy to the abs as well.

    Heavy resistance, low-ish reps (8-10), and progression over time. So choose weighted crunches where you can add weight. An ideal exercise is crunch over a swiss ball for full range of motion and stretch, and hold a weight over your head for added resistance.

    As you build up the abdominal muscle, it will push through those "tendonous structures" that cause the separation. Building bigger peaks makes for deeper valleys.

    That's how you'll maximize your genetic potential.
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    I don't agree with the above post...

    IMO, smaller muscle groups like the abs or calves have the potential to be trained much more often. I personally use body weight exercises for abs and both heavy resistence and high repititions for calves. I have had no problems getting either to grow.
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    There's two schools of thought on this one, and both have been shown to give different people their desired results. So before this becomes a High Frequency/High Reps vs. Low Frequency/Low Reps vs. Whatever battle, let's all agree there isn't a universal, one-way-only method to abdominal development.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproof View Post
    Is this the way you train all your other bodyparts? Then why would you train the abs that way. It's a muscle just the same. You need to apply basic principles of hypertrophy to the abs as well.

    Heavy resistance, low-ish reps (8-10), and progression over time. So choose weighted crunches where you can add weight. An ideal exercise is crunch over a swiss ball for full range of motion and stretch, and hold a weight over your head for added resistance.

    As you build up the abdominal muscle, it will push through those "tendonous structures" that cause the separation. Building bigger peaks makes for deeper valleys.

    That's how you'll maximize your genetic potential.
    Quote Originally Posted by PumpingIron
    I don't agree with the above post...

    IMO, smaller muscle groups like the abs or calves have the potential to be trained much more often. I personally use body weight exercises for abs and both heavy resistence and high repititions for calves. I have had no problems getting either to grow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumpingIron View Post
    I don't agree with the above post...

    IMO, smaller muscle groups like the abs or calves have the potential to be trained much more often. I personally use body weight exercises for abs and both heavy resistence and high repititions for calves. I have had no problems getting either to grow.
    I wasn't really speaking to low frequency. But rather training with non-weighted crunches and leg lifts for 20-30 reps. Builds nice muscular endurance, but not a lot of size.

    I am a fan of frequency, and volume, etc. And varying frequency for some bodyparts (especially the ones that tend to recover more quickly).
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    Now that I think about it best way to work abs is during sex Anyone disagree? Didn't think so
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    Fireproof, even so, low frequency seems to provide results in terms of overall muscular size in both my abdominals and calves...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproof View Post
    I wasn't really speaking to low frequency. But rather training with non-weighted crunches and leg lifts for 20-30 reps. Builds nice muscular endurance, but not a lot of size.

    I am a fan of frequency, and volume, etc. And varying frequency for some bodyparts (especially the ones that tend to recover more quickly).

    I do a combination...with weight, without, etc...

    if I was to do 8-10 crunches with a weight over my head it would have to be a ****in 60+ lbs weight...that just is not a good idea. (especially over a swiss ball)

    I do however do the ab machine with heavy weight 10-15 reps...

    and hanging bed knee raises with a 20-25 lbs dumbbell between my feet...

    also I have done a ton of reserach and the general consensus is to train abs EOD...

    appreciate the help everyone. good advice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumpingIron View Post
    Fireproof, even so, low frequency seems to provide results in terms of overall muscular size in both my abdominals and calves...
    Well, that's great that it works for you! I'm sure it works for others as well. I'm just speaking from experience - I've trained a lot of folks and the majority of them come to me with "I've been doing crunches every other day, 5 sets of 30 reps, and am not seeing progress" type of situation.

    When I put them on 2-3 times per week of heavy weighted ab work, they responded.

    But everyone is different, and some tend to respond well to different approaches.

    My main point is - it sounds like he was doing higher rep, lower resistance for abs. So to me, it seems ill-advised to say "keep doing that" when it obviously isn't getting him the size development he's looking for. Seems to me a change of approach might be warranted, and that's what I was trying to suggest.

    Sorry if I came across like my suggestion was the only thing that works - that wasn't my intent.

    Cheers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FitModel View Post
    I do a combination...with weight, without, etc...

    if I was to do 8-10 crunches with a weight over my head it would have to be a ****in 60+ lbs weight...that just is not a good idea. (especially over a swiss ball)

    I do however do the ab machine with heavy weight 10-15 reps...

    and hanging bed knee raises with a 20-25 lbs dumbbell between my feet...

    also I have done a ton of reserach and the general consensus is to train abs EOD...

    appreciate the help everyone. good advice.
    Just try different approaches and see what works best for you. Regarding the weighting swiss-ball crunches. I started with 10lbs, then moved to 25lbs, and am currently using a 35lbs weight. Pause at the stretch, and long pause at the peak contraction. Doesn't take a lot of weight to make it blitz your abs. Takes balance and core stability, but can be done and I like the stress it puts on the abs. Just be careful if you go this route.
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    sounds good, I'll give it a try...thanks
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    Now that I think about it best way to work abs is during sex Anyone disagree? Didn't think so
    True true (this is also my primary source of cardio )
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproof View Post
    Well, that's great that it works for you! I'm sure it works for others as well. I'm just speaking from experience - I've trained a lot of folks and the majority of them come to me with "I've been doing crunches every other day, 5 sets of 30 reps, and am not seeing progress" type of situation.

    When I put them on 2-3 times per week of heavy weighted ab work, they responded.

    But everyone is different, and some tend to respond well to different approaches.

    My main point is - it sounds like he was doing higher rep, lower resistance for abs. So to me, it seems ill-advised to say "keep doing that" when it obviously isn't getting him the size development he's looking for. Seems to me a change of approach might be warranted, and that's what I was trying to suggest.

    Sorry if I came across like my suggestion was the only thing that works - that wasn't my intent.

    Cheers.
    I like this suggestion, I think I might give more heavy work a try for a month or 2. Its not like I didnt know this was an option, sometimes all we need is to be reminded of our options.
  

  
 

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