Displaying items by tag: abs training

We all know that gymnastics have a well-defined, super strong and athletic set of abs which many of us (if not all) admire and envy. By incorporating a few of their exercise in the end of your workout routine, regardless of what it is, you are making your core stronger and develop all of the four main muscles in your core (which are the Rectus Abdominis, Transvenous Abodominis, and the external and internal obliques). In theory, the process and training to get six pack are pretty simple. All you need to do is to be persistent, perform the right exercises that are effective for your core and keep your diet on point. In Calisthenics for Life, we believe that “abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen”.

It Is Mostly About Body Fat

If you have a super strong core muscles with amazing muscular development but with a super high body fat percentage, you will not notice your abs (not even with glasses). The lower the body fat, the more visible your abs are. That is a fact! We believe that the optimal range of body fat for most men is around 10-12% and around 20% for women. However, When your body fat percentage is too low (such as in bodybuilding competitions), you will start experiencing hormonal imbalances and decreased workout performance. In extreme cases, super low body fat can even lead to heart attack:(.

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The General Training Blueprint

To get those aesthetic six-pack your training plan should ideally include both, dynamic and static exercises, that will allow a full muscular development of your abdominal muscles. Dynamic exercises include leg raises, windshields, crunches, etc. Static exercises include the plank, L-sit and the challenging front and back lever. Ideally, it is the best to include both.

The crazy 5 mins Abs workout – Sample routine

Not everyone has hours each week to train their abs. Therefore, we’ll use a simple workout routine that uses supersets to make your abs workout more time efficient. Perform the following exercises for 3 circuits in order:

  1. Leg raises variation (for 30s)

  2. Diagonal Abs Wheel Roll Outs (for 30s)

  3. Any plank variation (45s)

  4. Rest 45-60s

*Remember: Follow the above routine consistently (2 -3 times a week) for optimal results. Switch the exercises up every few months to keep challenging your core, and progress in the gym (or outside of it).

Bonus Question: Can I bulk and still make my abs more visible?

Undoubtedly, that’s a very interesting and common question. The short answer is only two words: it depends. The long answer is that if you are a beginner or have an amazing genetics, you can definitely build muscle (during bulking) and shred off fat at the same time. If you are an intermediate or advanced trainee, then it will be almost impossible for you to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Therefore, if you fall under that category, you still need to train your abs consistently but remember that they will be less defined when you are bulking (i.e. gaining mass). Your abs will be visible again after your shred off the layer of fat that covers them!

Conclusion

As seen above, abs training is mostly about a matter of body fat %. By incorporating the right nutrition, with the right training plan (such as the 5 mins abs workout above:)) you will have amazing abs.

 

Published in Abs
Sunday, 26 May 2019 00:42

Should I directly Train My Abs?

As you probably know, there are two kinds of training for the muscles in your core, direct and indirect. Direct training simply means that you are doing exercises that specifically target your abs. For example, in crunches you are flexing your trunk and as a result engaging the Rectus Abdominis. Indirect training includes compound movements that train the abs indirectly as well as many other muscle groups. Some of the most well-known compound movements that train the abs indirectly include the squat, deadlift, military press and even pull-ups.

 

So is indirect training enough for the abs?

By doing solely indirect training for your abs, you can still get results for sure. In almost all of the compound movements the abs stabilize our body. This is important because the abs protect our back from an injury and they exert an additional force that help to us to complete the movement. Thus, the muscle microfibers in the core tear and become thicker and stronger with each training that involve challenging compound moments (especially the transversus abdominis). Even thought compound movement are crucial when it comes to abs development, training your abs directly will result in a better development of more muscles fibers in your abs (which means a stronger , more athletic and aesthetic core:)).

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For how long should I be including isolated abs work? What if I do not have the time?

I recommend you to train your abs directly (isolated movements) 2 -3 times a week at the end your main workouts. Some of the isolated movements you can do at the end of the workout include (but are not limited to) the plank, weighted crunches and Russian twists. Your abs training should generally last between 5 – 15 minutes but can vary between different individuals. If you really do not have the time to incorporate direct abs training into your workouts, you should prioritize compound movements as the bulk of your workout routine since they are the most effective exercises for building more muscle mass and strength. Regardless, make sure your nutrition is on point to see the results you desire.

The Verdict?!

In one word, the answer is definitely. Direct abs workouts offer a new stimulation to the muscle fibers, which in turn yield better results in terms of muscular development. Make those direct abs workout short and effective as much as you can. Also, always remember to prioritize compound movements in your workouts that activate many muscles fibers at the same time (including the abs). Though isolated work for the abs is a significant bonus, compound movements still should be your main focus.

 

Published in Abs

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