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5 rules for sharpening your abdominal training

Have you ever heard the saying "Abdominals are made in the kitchen"?


Abdominal muscles are not produced in the kitchen, abdominal muscles are developed through training. The nutritional component is simply what minimizes body fat in the midsection, allowing you to see the muscles you have developed. If you want to get a better six-pack and get diagonal stripes on both sides of the "washboard", you can take action outside the kitchen with the following five main actions.

. 1 Do you know your abdominal anatomy?

You can not train a muscle properly if you do not know what it is and what it does. We are talking here about the anatomy of the middle part.

The 4 muscles of the middle part

The four muscles of the middle part are the rectus abdominis, the outer, the inner and the transverse Obliques abdominal muscles. When we talk about the "core," many other muscles come into play, but we focus heavily on the front of the torso, forming a better six-pack.

The rectus abdominis is the "six-pack" muscle. It consists of long fibers that run along the front of the midsection and contract or shorten to bend the spine as if sitting or crunching. The rectus abdominis, especially the lower part, also serves to lift the pelvis, as in an inverted crunch or a hanging leg or knee elevation.

The e xternal and inner oblique are located on either side of the pelvis middle section and help to laterally stabilize the upper body. Note that the fibers of the oblique muscles are diagonal and that the outer and inner oblique muscles are indeed in opposite directions, although they work together. This is important, because to train a muscle optimally, you have to train your fibers in the direction in which they run. For this reason, oblique crunches are made at an angle to one side or the other. If you crunch diagonally, the diagonal oblique muscle fibers are caught. You can also target the slopes via the lateral flexion of the trunk with exercises such as dumbbell side bending and slanting the cable.

  The 4 Muscles of the Midsection

The Transverse Scalp Muscles are located deep in the abdominal musculature and are referred to as the "Cummerbund Muscle" because it runs horizontally across the middle section. The rectus abdominis is superficial and means closer to the skin, which is why you can see the six pack. The transverse abdominis is deeper than the rectus, so not visible.

While the rectus abdominis bends the spine and raises the pelvis and the obliques trigger lateral flexion and twisting movements, the transverse abdominis stabilizes the core more isometrically. When you contract your abdominal muscles and pull the navel, the transverse belly is the muscle responsible for this pull-in action.

The 4 areas to train

These four muscles provide you with four main areas to focus on in your training – the upper abdominals, lower abdominals, oblique abdominals, and torso. Essentially, you divide the rectus abdominis into two distinct parts (the upper and lower abdomens), combining the outer and inner abdominal parts in one area, giving the transverse abdominis the more common name "core".

2. Develop a Mind-Muscle Connection

It's one thing to know your anatomy, but you also have to feel how the muscles work. If you can not feel a muscle, you can not contract and develop it. The key is to focus intensively on the target muscle during training. For example, when you're doing crunches, focus your attention on the upper abdominal muscles, and feel how those muscles contract with each repetition.

The upper abdominal muscles are the easiest to feel muscles. It's a bit harder to make a good connection between the head and muscles with the lower abdominals, the slants and the core. It takes time and practice. So for each exercise, make sure that you always focus your attention on the target area of ​​the muscle.

Work on the contraction of these muscles outside the gym before you perform a mind-muscle connection during your abdominal exercises. One technique is to observe the muscles in a mirror as you contract them. When you're home, stand in front of a mirror with your shirt off and watch your upper abdominal muscles as you bend and crumple your spine. Then grind to one side and look at your slopes, focusing on them. Do it on both sides. As you crunch, place your hand on the muscle to feel it contract. Practice this often.

  Develop a mind-muscle connection.

The Querabdominis is too deep to be seen or felt with your hand, but you can still focus on it while you press your navel, not to mention plumbing in the gym.

. 3 Make sure that the muscles shorten.

There are two ways to train a muscle: you can contract it so that it literally shortens, or you can do an isometric hold. An example would be a crunch against a board. In both exercises, the abdominal muscles work, but they work in different ways – the muscles shorten with the crunch, but not with the plank.

Many trainers will tell you that planks are the best way to exercise the abdominals. It has come to a point where many so-called experts advise you to avoid crunches altogether. That is a terrible advice! The best way to build a muscle is to shorten it. If you make all planks and no crunch, never shorten the muscle!

Yes, isometric planks act on, among other things, the rectus abdominis, but because the muscle does not shorten, you will not develop it fully.

If you want to fully develop the rectus abdominis, you must do exercises that bend the spine and hit the upper abdominal muscles; Lift the pelvis, aiming for the lower abdominal muscles. and turn the torso, the oblique works. In other words, you have to perform crunching and leg raises, exercises that actually shorten the target muscles. Planks concentrate on the lower trunk muscles, not the upper, lower or oblique abdominal muscles.

. 4 Strengthen Your Abdominal Exercises

One of the biggest concerns people have about abdominal muscle training is that the abdominal muscles become bulky with increased resistance and form a larger waist. I'm talking about exercises like cable crunching, machine gnashing, diagonal cable crunching and crunching variations done with a dumbbell disk or a medicine ball.

  Add Weight to Your Ab Exercises

Do not be afraid of building big abs. You can not and will not overdepend your abdominal muscles. It just is not possible. You will not increase your abdominals by adding weight when you train them.

Do you know what makes your waist bigger? A bad diet! That may contradict my introductory statement that abdominal muscles are not made in the kitchen, but this is a workout article, not a nutritional discussion. It goes without saying that a bad diet can make you fat.

The abdominal muscles are like any other muscle. They shorten and contract and become stronger as the overload progresses. They respond well to heavy weight and low repetitions, light weight and high reps, as well as moderate weight and moderate reps. Do not be afraid to resist your abdominal exercises. You will not be able to achieve this clear separation of the six-pack without developing it.

. 5 Proper order of your abdominal exercises

The order in which you perform your abdominal exercises is important. I generally recommend following this pattern if you are completing more than one abdominal training session:

  • Lowering Abdominal Muscle: Leg Raise and Knee Raise, Crunch Reverse, Hip Joint
  • Abdominal Muscle Top: All variations of Crunch, Weighted and unweighted
  • Obliques: oblique crunch, oblique suppression of cable, lateral bend
  • Core: plank, lateral plank, wood chipper, dead land mine
  Proper Ab exercises

I recommend first the lower abdominal muscles, as this is the most common problem for trainees. Of course, this depends on the person, but generally the lower abdominal muscles are a weak area, especially compared to the upper abdominal muscles. Hanging leg raises, for example, are a much harder exercise than crunching. Therefore, you should do the former when your muscles are the freshest and strongest.

The order of the upper abdominal muscles and oblique muscles is interchangeable. You can train oblique abdominal muscles in front of your upper abdomen if you want to focus more on this area. (To see a demonstration of the cable slanting down, read my article "5 Shortcut to Shred Exercise Swaps," where it is number 5 out of 5.)

The important thing is that You first lower the abdominal muscles and train the core most recently – or on a very different day -.

Why the core last? Because these smaller, deep core muscles are pretty weak and do not have much stamina. When you train the core first in your abdominal training – for example with a board – you will tire those deep transverse abdominal muscles from the beginning.

That is, there is a problem with training the core last. When you work the other areas, you still use these core muscles to stabilize the upper body. So, if you've already made them tired before you hit the floorboards, you will not be that strong in this exercise, and you probably need to finish your set sooner because your core is tired.

but I would much rather be able to do 3 sets of 20 leg raises than 3 sets of 10-15 because my core was already fried by boards a separate day.

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