Abs and abstraining are probably the most misunderstood concepts in the fitnessworld. There are still people in this world that are convinced about doing endless amounts of abdominalexercises to burn bellyfat.
Even though local fatloss is not even possible.
Besides this, people also think you can create a thick and deep sixpack by doing a wide variety of specific abs exercises. Which is just wrong.
Lets start with a small introduction about the anatomy of the abdominals. Our abdominal musclegroup can be split into 4 muscles.:
- Rectus abdominis muscle
- External oblique muscle
- Internal oblique muscle
- Transverse abdominal muscle
The rectus abdominis muscle is the most popular muscle, people call this the six pack. This muscle consists of multiple musclebellies seperated by tendons. There can be either 3 or 4, which determines if you have a sixpack or eightpack. The amount of tendons that seperate your musclebellies is genetically predisposed and cannot be changed.
So to burst your bubble: If you have an sixpack, you will NEVER be able to get an eightpack. Im sorry.
You will probably think that abexercises are worthless now and I have to agree with you for the most part. Traditional abtraining isn’t really effective.
Core training however, is very effective and is the single thing I recommend for abs.
If you ask a ‘regular’ person what comes to their mind when you ask about abdominal training. They will tell you ”crunches and situps” 99% of the time.
People don’t realize that doing crunches and similar movement are far from optimal and even harm your body.
You force your lower back to bend under tension. Even worse is when you combine it with a rotating movement like doing crunches and switching your torso to hit your knee with your opposite elbow.
These movements are a biomechanical nightmare for your lower back. You continuously are bending your spine which can result in lower back complaints.
You’ll also often see people grab their lower back are doing a long set of situps/crunches-like-movements.
THE RIGHT WAY: CORE TRAINING
To train your core the right way you have to train the functions of that specific abdominal muscle. Think about stability and anti-rotation for corestrength.
We will look at a variety of exercises that will work on exactly that:
- Plank variations
- Farmer Walks
- Reverse Crunch
- Ab Wheel Rollouts
- Bulgarian Split Squats
You can implement any of these exercises into your regiment. Besides these exercises, there are alot of exercises that already train your core like standing overhead press, pullups, shrugs etc. Switch your exercises up to stimulate your core more.
Go from seated dumbell press to standing overhead press. From lat pullsdowns to pullups. Etc.
Another way to effectively train your core and to take absolute control over it, is to do vacuums. I’ve explained this exercise in a seperate blogpost.
MAKING ABS VISIBLE
Before I finish this blogpost I want to quickly talk about making abs visible for the people that are unaware. The absolute most important factor about having visible abs is your Bodyfatpercentage.
If your bf% is too high, you will never see your abs regardless of how many hours of abtraining you do.
Want to see your abs? Try to lower your bodyfatpercentage by being creating a calorie deficit and your bodyfat will disappear overtime.
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