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No abs...

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    No abs...


    I have very poor abdominal strength - the muscles seem nonexistent. I've never seriously dedicated myself to making them stronger. I'm starting to work on my abs now - what is the best way to build them up? Normal bodyweight ab exercises, or weighted exercises?

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    Weighted for a combo of strength and size. Once you get them bigger you can work on endurance-strength. Try weighted decline situps and cable crunches. Cable crunches are my favorite for building them up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by solguy View Post
    I have very poor abdominal strength - the muscles seem nonexistent. I've never seriously dedicated myself to making them stronger. I'm starting to work on my abs now - what is the best way to build them up? Normal bodyweight ab exercises, or weighted exercises?
    Train them both ways with weights and no weights. Make sure to give them proper rest as well since they are a muscle group and need time to recover from the work you put on them. Also, since you say you've never really dedicated yourself to making them stronger I would start out with building them up with no weights to get a base started them move into the weighted exercises
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    for lower abs, get some ankle weights and do hanging leg raises. or floor wipers. they're both on youtube.
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    Learn to incorporate compound lifts into your routine, these will build abdominal strength (albiet indirectly) relatively quickly. You can worry about isolated movements at a later time. If you want your abs to show "the 6 pack" you're going to have to drop your bodyfat.

    When I say compound I mean deadlift, squat, overhead press, pull/chin ups, dips, barbell row, bench press
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    USF, you hit the nail on the head - nothing builds abs like squats, deads and overhead presses! They get the bulk of the work done and then you can isolate them with some of the other movements suggested in this thread after you have gotten stronger. But compound movements will elicit the biggest effect overall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usf97j4x4 View Post
    Learn to incorporate compound lifts into your routine, these will build abdominal strength (albiet indirectly) relatively quickly. You can worry about isolated movements at a later time. If you want your abs to show "the 6 pack" you're going to have to drop your bodyfat.

    When I say compound I mean deadlift, squat, overhead press, pull/chin ups, dips, barbell row, bench press
    I know compound lifts are the best way, but I have scoliosis and virtually no abs to support me, so when I do squats and stuff my back kills me. Even at a low weight, I just can't support myself correctly.
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    Go with cable crunches mang
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resolve View Post
    USF, you hit the nail on the head - nothing builds abs like squats, deads and overhead presses! They get the bulk of the work done and then you can isolate them with some of the other movements suggested in this thread after you have gotten stronger. But compound movements will elicit the biggest effect overall.
    I actually dont directly train abs at all anymore
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    Quote Originally Posted by solguy View Post
    I know compound lifts are the best way, but I have scoliosis and virtually no abs to support me, so when I do squats and stuff my back kills me. Even at a low weight, I just can't support myself correctly.
    Oh, that does throw a wrench into the works. Have you looked into braces/belts?

    I agree cable crunches may be your best option
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    Quote Originally Posted by solguy View Post
    I have very poor abdominal strength - the muscles seem nonexistent. I've never seriously dedicated myself to making them stronger. I'm starting to work on my abs now - what is the best way to build them up? Normal bodyweight ab exercises, or weighted exercises?
    Trying doing the 'plank' with just your bodyweight and hold it as long as you can. Once you can hold it for around 2 minutes, add some weight on your back. Hold that as long as you can. Once you can do that weight for around 2 minutes, add some more weight. Gradually of course, and I'm talking about doing this like once a week...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usf97j4x4 View Post
    Oh, that does throw a wrench into the works. Have you looked into braces/belts?

    I agree cable crunches may be your best option
    Haven't looked into braces or belts - wouldn't this just be a crutch that would keep me from strengthening my abs? Or am I looking at it wrong?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Wides View Post
    Make sure to give them proper rest as well since they are a muscle group and need time to recover from the work you put on them.
    How much rest? I've heard people say work them once a week and people who say do it every day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by solguy View Post
    How much rest? I've heard people say work them once a week and people who say do it every day.
    Two different kinds of strength. IMO, everyday will create endurance strength, USMC style. Once or twice a weak will create power strength and BIGGER abs, which is what yo ushould shoot for.

    I'd suggest you just find what you're capable of considering your condition and add some weight to it. Cable crunches are great, but there are also several machines at gyms (If you have a gym) that allow for weight to be added.

    PM me if you have any questions, I'd be glad to help! My sister has scoliosis so I know a bit about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by solguy View Post
    How much rest? I've heard people say work them once a week and people who say do it every day.
    Like the poster said above this, it all depends on your goals. For sleek, well defined abs 3-5 times a week, for bulky strong abs maybe 1-2 times a week. I set aside one day and hit just abs with all weighted movements. Then give them a week to recover before I hit them again. It helps me get the abs stronger, bulkier and able to handle heavier weights.
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    sit ups, crunches (cable also)also hit the CV
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