Monday, October 15, 2012

Basic Ab Exercises

This guide will demonstrate some basic exercises for the abdominal muscles. First, lets take a look of what the abdominal muscles are composed of so you know what you're working with:

Basically, underneath your belly lies the Rectus Abdominis muscle group. Abs for short.
On each side of your abs are the Abdominal Obliques, or just Obliques for short.

A few things about abs that you should know about:

1) The shape of your abs are determined by genetics. You can change the size/ definition of it but not the shape.

These are professional bodybuilders (Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Kevin Levrone)
With years of hard training, strict diet, extreme self discipline, and even chemical enhancements it will not change the shape of their abs. Some people will have 6 packs some will have 4, and some will have 8. It all varies on your natural genetics.
This is a comparison of myself when I started working out and five years later.
I've never really trained abs as I incorporate them into compound movements (bench, squat, dead lifts)
I had very low body fat to start with. You can see the shape of my abs are about the same.

Frank doesn't isolate abs for training either. He uses a lot of compound exercises that work the core such as overhead squats. You can see his abs are different shape than mine while we both started off with low body fat.

2) Everybody has abs even if they're not visible. They're simply hidden underneath the layers of fat.
Here's an example of one of my friend / fan Neil 's  progress for cutting.
As you can see his body fat was hiding his abdominal underneath.
3) Doing any of these ab exercises will not bring out your abs, visibly. However it will build your core strength which will help improve other compound movements (bench, dead lifts, squats) or just for overall health & fitness. To cut the fat hiding your abs; you will need to do cardio and diet properly.

There is absolutely NO SHORTCUT.  Only determination and hard work. Don't be a sucker for the bullshit people put out just to make a quick buck. It's almost like those get rich quick schemes. What are the odds?

Now lets walk you through some simple exercises for abs...

Seated Knee Raises with Weight

**note** You can do this without weights if you're a beginner.

Sit near the edge of a bench with your knees together. Grab a dumbbell placed in-between your feet. Keep your hand behind you holding the bench and your elbows bent.
Lean back and raise your knees up toward your torso. Squeeze your abs. Repeat.

Leg Lifts into Hip Raises
Lay on a flat bench press and hold onto the bar. Extend your legs out. Point your toes straight up.

Lift both legs up where your body and your legs are 90 degrees.

At the top of the lift, raise your hips and hold for a count and lower back until legs are parallel with ground.

Barbell Bends
This exercise will target the obliques and part of the lats on your back.

Place the barbell on your shoulders as if you're about to do a squat. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and flex your knees (don't lock out your knees).

Keep  your chest out and bend only at the waist. Control the weight as you return to start position.

Alternate sides and repeat.

Planks into Hip Dip
This exercise will target the abs and obliques.

Hold plank on forearms as shown.
Basically a push up position with your forearms against the ground.

Roll your hips to one side barely tapping hips to ground to keep abs contracted.

Alternate to the opposite side and repeat.

Side Plank, Needle Through
This works out the abs and obliques.
Arms will be used for supporting your body weight up.

Start off with a push-up position keeping feet about shoulder-width apart.

Raise one arm up as your hips become squared with the wall.

Slowly swing your arms under your body to the opposite side. Repeat to finish reps. Switch sides.

Leg lifts/Knee Raises

Rest your forearms on the pad and support your body up.

Lift your knees up towards your chest.
Hold for a second then lower your legs back down to starting position.

**TIP** If the knee ups are too easy then you can raise your entire leg.
Or you can do weighted knee ups while holding a dumbell with your feet.

Abs Video

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  1. Hanh, could you do the Ab roller, or barbell rollout?

  2. Damn u mean investing in things like hydroxicut n things like that r a waste?

    1. Fat burners will help aid in losing fat... but you need to do cardio. If you are relying on it alone to get you abs then it wont work.

  3. You know what the thing is about me.. that i.dont.kmow how much cardio is enough.. im 5'9 i weigh 174 .. and the only thing i have a hard time with is abs... Like i could see them... If i flex and stuff. But i just want them to be natural... Kinda like yours.. but you had little body fat when you started... And on top of that im hispanic... So we eat alot of and what not....

  4. If i do insanity is that good? for age 16?

  5. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

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  6. May i know how to increase the size of the abs to make them pop out more obviously?

  7. thanks a lot hann for the post, i really enjoyed the workout, and i must say that planks are very important for getting good abs.

  8. Great post regarding to the basic ab exercises! Thanks for sharing, Regards, Abdominal exercises

  9. Really your post is really very good and I appreciate it. Its hard to sort the good from the bad sometimes, You write very well which is amazing. I really impressed by your pos
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