Building Abdominals

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 22, 2008 7:53 AM GMT
    I'm sure the question's been asked before but haven't come across the post. What can I do to get built, more 3D abs? Not talking about just shedding the fat to make abs visible at all, but really making the ridges more apparent (hope he doesn't kill me for this, but using BWG77 as a reference for what I'm talking about). Additionally, any advice on getting a more prominient linea alba/line down the middle of the abs?

    I know weighted exercises might be good, but I don't want to have a midsection that sticks out like a barrel due to overdoing resistance ab exercises.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Apr 22, 2008 2:08 PM GMT
    First, you should email BWG77 and ask him for advice.

    Secondly, check out the ab exercises in the Muscle Building program, they're pretty good, and take a look at the ab vacuum article, it's amazing how effective that one exercise is.
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    Apr 23, 2008 6:18 AM GMT
    1) It was just an example

    2) Seems like the vacuum is more for the transveralis to keep the stomach pulled on it, not so much for the rectus abdominus.
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    Apr 23, 2008 6:25 AM GMT
    When you reference great abs, you must always provide a URL: http://www.realjock.com/profile/?id=93957.

    I'm not yelling at you. I'm just feeling sad that I have to stare at BWG's abs again and again. And again. Someone stop me from staring.

    About the barrel look:
    Keep your posture. That gut hangs loose on guys who slump to contract their pecs, abs.

    Also, doing an ab crunch without a lower ab pelvic tilt tends to exacerbate this.
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    May 06, 2008 3:06 PM GMT
    One thing that hasnt been mentioned is defined abs and great muscle tone is about genetics.

    Not everyone can get that nice ripple effect of the abs no matter how low their body fat is or how many crunches/ab workouts they do.

    Genetics play a role in how defined one can get and to some extent limitations of what one can do. Thats not to say dont try, it just means you will see much better results or results you want if you have the genes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2008 4:13 PM GMT
    weighted excersises work the best, try em'
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Sep 20, 2008 8:21 PM GMT
    The function of the abs are to bring the rib cage and the hips closer together. Ergo, the spin must bend! Too may people think their abs are connected to their legs, they are not!
    So what ever exercises, weighted, unweighted, done horizontally or vertically, prone or supine will work the abs.
    And then there are the genetics one possesses.
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    Sep 20, 2008 9:29 PM GMT

    Remember, the wise man built his house upon a rock. Which is my cryptic way of saying, abdominal building works best with a regular and complete full body approach. I think with the right core and full body exercises (bench, squat, deadlift), the abs will start building on their own. I never touched my abs on purpose until they made their own appearance. After that, I just religiously offer them sacrifices to show my gratitude. They like weighted situps, crunches, virgins, roller work (buy an ab roller), suspended leg raises, and ofcourse, benched leg raises (legs extented works bottom abdominals, legs up and out:back and forth work top).I can't tell what's under that shirt, but if you are new to this, start with the ab machine at the gym and free situps. After you start to rock up, the sky is the limit with abs, although, they love to get sore and cramp up. Depending on your threshhold for pain, I suggest you work them every other day, sometimes taking a day or more off in between.

    Damn, just read you don't want barrell abs. Disregard everything I said then, or not, barrell abs are hot as fuck on a man. LOL, you can't even get close to your friend's look without weights. Although, I suspect, the sort of construction the abs have once you put the work in has more to do with genetics. It is my experiance that pushups, lots of them, tend to push the abs in, but that is all I got.
  • riepenac

    Posts: 16

    Dec 03, 2008 5:52 PM GMT
    Not sure if anyone is going to see this since it seems its been a while since anyone has replied, however, the one thing that I consistently have noticed is that no one has mentioned core strength. As a certified Pilates instructor, and someone who works at a fitness center, I can tell you that the one thing that I see consistently being done wrong is abs. The definition I have in my abs has come 80% from Pilates and 20% from traditional abs exercises. The transverses is, next to your pelvic floor muscle, probably the most important muscle to strengthen. It is the first muscle to contract when doing most anything as it is suppose to stabilize you before you move. You can do all the crunches in the world and hanging leg lifts and what ever else you are do but if you are not stabilizing, you are not achieving. If when doing your abs exercises your stomach "pops" up, you are actually making your mid section bigger bc you are stretching your transverse and probably not contracting your pelvic floor. The order of muscle contraction for your abdominal ex is pelvic floor, transverses, obliques then your rectus. It is not very attractive to have a "6-pack" and have your belly sticking out like you live on beer. Your low back will thank you as well since it then takes work away from your quadratus lumborum and puts it in your core. Low back pain, if you have any, gone. Working your transverse is more than just "sucking in". Stand in front of a mirror and watch how you pull in your abdominals. Your navel should draw towards your spine and above and below should come in at the same time. There are no weights that you can use to strengthen your transverse d/t the direction of the ms fibers, so, you help strengthen it when doing abs, pulling it in. Speaking of pelvic floor, it need strengthening as well. Keagle exercises, done by pretending that you are stopping the flow of urine. Recommended for women to help with child birth/recovery, they are also now recommended for men. The great thing is that they can be done anytime and no one knows you are doing them. Strengthening them not only helps with stabilization of your pelvis, it also helps reduce the risk of incontinence, gives you a better orgasm, and have stronger erections or if you have an issue with impotence, it helps correct it, all by increasing the blood flow to that area.
    That is my 20 cents worth, sorry its the length of war and peace, hope it helps.
    Arthur
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    Dec 04, 2008 8:41 AM GMT
    Hey, Arthur. Interesting post. Apart from taking a Pilates class, do you have suggestions for particular exercises or a book or site to learn about particular exercises?

    I do have a very old book here written by a Pilates person and I used to do some exercises in it but I let them go long ago. Perhaps I should try them again. The book's by Fran Lehen and it's titled How to Improve Your Posture. Perhaps a terrible title, but I do think the focus is on Pilates exercises.
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    Dec 04, 2008 9:08 AM GMT
    eidolon7 said1) It was just an example

    2) Seems like the vacuum is more for the transveralis to keep the stomach pulled on it, not so much for the rectus abdominus.



    The vacuum is amazing and i think often overlooked. It is really important for old guys whose guts are not just fat but sagging internal organs as well.
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    Dec 04, 2008 9:28 AM GMT
    I just looked at the instructions for the vacuum exercise on this site. Here's a direct link for those who want it:

    http://www.realjock.com/workout/1096/

  • riepenac

    Posts: 16

    Dec 05, 2008 6:45 PM GMT
    theatrengym, there are, just like men, a myriad of books and exercises and methods. First I would caution to stay away from "Hollywood Pilates" like Winsor.
    The only books that I am really familiar with are the training manuals that we used during our certification course. All of the Pilates exercises are pretty much the same no matter what method you do, some may have different names. Popular exercises are;
    The Hundred
    Roll up
    'Single leg stretch" - which is like bicycle with out the upper body moving
    "Obliques" - same as above with opposite elbow to opposite knee
    "Double leg stretch" - arms extend over head, legs extend long and both come in at same time.
    "Leg scissors" - stay flexed up and scissor legs back and forth
    "Rolling like a ball" - curl into ball and roll back to pause on shoulder blades, roll back up to balance on sit bones - you should not come out of the ball formation the whole time
    "Swimming" - on your stomach arms/legs extended, abs lifted off mad alternating raising/lowering arms/legs (try this one on a BOSU)

    and the ever popular hated by most
    "Teaser" - Lying on back arms over head, legs extended long, roll up with arms/legs up at the same time into a v position and hold, then release back down with control. Can stay up and lower/lift legs before coming back down.

    All are done with abs in towards spine, spine lengthening, shoulders stabilized.

    You can also look at Borders/Barns& Nobel in the sports/exercise section. Take time and look through the books see which ones interest you.
    Hope this helps
    Arthur
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    Dec 05, 2008 9:33 PM GMT
    Thanks for the detailed answer, Arthur.