Abdominals

If you don't the way he does them, tough.

STANDARD CRUNCH
Targets: Abdominal complex
Start: Lie face up on a mat or a flat bench with your feet either flat on the floor or up in the air with your ankles crossed and knees bent about 90 degrees. Cup your head lightly with your hands or cross your arms over your chest, don’t pull at your neck. This exercise is about shortening the distance between the ribcage and the pelvis.
Execution: Contracting your abs, roll your upper body toward your knees, then slowly lower to the start. To ensure proper form, pretend as if you’re trying to push your lower back into the floor/bench as you crunch up.

REVERSE CRUNCH

Targets: Abdominal complex
 Start: As the name implies, this is a variation of regular crunches. Lie face up on a mat or flat bench, your knees together and drawn up close to your chest.
Execution: Contract your abs to lift your pelvis off the floor and roll your knees toward your forehead. Squeeze at the top for a count, then slowly lower back to the start. This move is more intense because you add the weight of your lower body.

DOUBLE CRUNCH
Targets: Abdominal complex
Start: Lie face up on a mat (or the edge of a bench) your legs straight out without locking your knees, lightly touch your fingertips behind your head keeping your elbows out to your sides, finally raise your legs about 6 inches from the floor.
Execution: Slowly curl your upper body off the floor, lifting your shoulder blades as your raise your chest and shoulders toward the ceiling. Simultaneously bring your knees toward your torso to meet your elbows in the middle of the crunch. Slowly return to the start position, keeping your feet off the floor at the start of each rep.

Try this twist when doing leg raises, don’t just raise your knees, twist them so your feet go one way and your knees the other, Scotts pic says it all.

HANGING LEG RAISE

Targets: Lower abs
Start: Hang from a high bar with your arms fully extended, using a wide, pronated (overhand) grip. Keep your head straight and eyes focused forward. Your legs should hang directly below you. Keep your lower back slightly arched throughout the exercise.

Execution: Without swinging, contract your abs to raise your legs up and out in front of you until they’re roughly parallel to the floor. Pause momentarily (crunch!), then slowly lower back down to the starting position and repeat. Keep your knees and hips bent just slightly at the start, which helps take the pressure off the lower back.
Advanced Technique: To add intensity, hold a dumbbell between your feet while you rep. When that gets too difficult, drop the weight and continue to rep out using just your bodyweight.

DECLINE CRUNCH
Targets: Upper abs
Start: Lie face up on a declined bench with your feet securely under the rollers. Your knees should be bent roughly 90 degrees. Place your hands lightly behind your head, don’t pull on yer ‘ed as you come up!
Execution: Contract your abs and slowly roll your upper body off the bench, try to keep the small of your back in contact with the bench. Squeeze your abs at the top (crunch!), and then slowly lower back down to the starting position. Don’t come all the way up and don’t go all the way back down, pause at about a 45-degree angle to the bench on the upward phase and keep your shoulders off the bench at the bottom of the downward phase, try to maintain constant tension on the working muscle. This will burn, a lot, try not to let the discomfort beat you to the end of the set!
Advanced Technique: For a boost in intensity without adding weight, make the angle of the bench steeper but remember to “roll” upwards otherwise you just work your hip flexors. Between sets, sit or stand up so blood doesn’t pool in your head and cause dizziness.

DECLINE  TWIST
Targets: Upper abs, obliques
Start: Sit face forward on a decline bench with your feet securely under the rollers, loosely support the back of your head with your hands with your elbows out at the sides of you ears.
Execution: Lean back until your upper body is at roughly a 45-degree angle to the bench. Gently twist your torso to one side, pausing and squeezing briefly before twisting to the other side. It doesn’t take weight to make this exercise work, but if you’re going to add weight start light and work your way up.
Advanced Technique: With a weight held in both hands, extend your arms straight out in front of you and slowly twist from side to side. This transforms the exercise into the more difficult Russian twist. Have a training partner hand you a weight plate or dumbbell when you’re in position. I would sooner see someone using a brush handle or wooden pole “yoked” across the shoulders with hands held loosely near the ends, than with a weight. Much safer with a pole.

DIAGONAL CRUNCHES
Targets: Upper abs, obliques
Start: Lie face up on a mat or a flat bench, bend your knees and place your feet down flat just outside hip width apart. Place your hands lightly behind your head without pulling on your neck and cross one knee over the other.
Execution: Contract your abs to raise your torso as you turn your shoulders to point your raised elbow toward the opposite raised knee. Pause and squeeze at the top, then slowly return to the start and repeat for reps, complete all reps to one knee then repeat on the other side. If you do these on the bench the balance necessary to keep you falling off intensifies the exercise.
Advanced Technique: Lie face up in front of a cable station, head near the stack, grasp a stirrup handle attached to the low cable close behind your head, performing all reps to one knee before switching sides.

TIPS ANYONE?
Tip 1: Hit your abs often, and hit them hard! If possible, start your day with an ab workout, but not at the beginning of a workout.
Tip 2: Train abs at the end of your workout. I wouldn’t suggest training abs right before other body parts such as back or legs; you need your abs and core to be fresh since you use them for stability during your lifts, especially squats, dead-lifts and bent-over moves.
Tip 3: Vary your ab workout on a daily basis, although hanging leg raises always hit the lower abs right away, you may be weaker in the midrange and so start with crunches instead.
Tip 4: While most trainers typically use just body weight for most ab exercises, it’s important to recognize that weighted resistance techniques help bring the abs out and get them harder. In the off-season especially, try to add a weighted element to your ab exercises throughout the week.
Tip 5: No matter how many ab exercises you do, without proper nutrition it’s a wasted effort. In fact, if you’re hitting your abs hard and you don’t watch what you eat, you run the risk of actually making your waist look bigger, even though you’ve developed a great set of abs underneath the fat.

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