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Best Abs Exercise is No Abs Exercise?

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  • Best Abs Exercise is No Abs Exercise?

    So, I am now concentrating much more on compound exercises and avoiding isolation exercises as much as possible. This being the case, I am now wondering if I really am better off to avoid crunches, leg lifts, situps and all other manner of direct abs exercises. I'm still trying to burn off the last of the stubborn belly fat so that I can see my abs come to the surface. Of course, that belly fat took a while to build itself up. So I realize it will also take a while to burn itself back off. But, I'm hoping that since I am now more focused on not overtraining, eating better, and getting plenty of sleep each night, that stubborn fat will finally begin to make its exit. Below is my current routine. Thoughts?

    Monday, Wednesday, Friday
    (alternate between list A and list B each day, 4 sets of each exercise, working to fail on each set)

    A
    Squats
    Barbell rows
    Pullups

    B
    Flat bench press
    Decline bench press
    Lat pulldowns


    Tuesday, Thursday
    10 minute HIIT Cardio only (5 minute warmup at a slower pace)

  • #2
    I suppose I should also mention that each weight training day is approximately 30 minutes in the gym.

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    • #3
      If you're doing compound lifts, you don't really need all those ab exercises. Also, spot reduction is a load of crap. You don't burn belly fat by doing crunches; you burn belly fat by eating right, getting rest, and being active so that you lose body fat in general.
      “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

      Owly's Journal

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Owly View Post
        If you're doing compound lifts, you don't really need all those ab exercises. Also, spot reduction is a load of crap. You don't burn belly fat by doing crunches; you burn belly fat by eating right, getting rest, and being active so that you lose body fat in general.
        Exactly. The more research I do, the more those facts become clear to me. Ultimately, my biggest issues have been overtraining, not eating properly, sleep deprivation, and too much sitting on my rump. I am now correcting those first three issues which means I now need to concentrate on being more active outside the gym.

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        • #5
          I read somewhere (might have been on Nerd Fitness) that compound-movements will strengthen those abs. I do a lot of different ab-stuff, but I have major repair to be done after pregnancies.

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          • #6
            Abs are made in the kitchen...
            http://baye.com/getting-ripped-abs-w...nal-exercises/

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            • #7
              What has been most frustrating for me is that, in general, I am a skinny guy. And that stubborn belly fat really isn't a lot. But it's just enough to keep my abs mostly covered and make me not like what I see in the mirror each morning. I'm just glad though that I'm finally getting some trustworthy advice on how best to achieve my goals. That six pack will get here. It's just going to take time and patience.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jpatrickclark View Post
                What has been most frustrating for me is that, in general, I am a skinny guy. And that stubborn belly fat really isn't a lot. But it's just enough to keep my abs mostly covered and make me not like what I see in the mirror each morning. I'm just glad though that I'm finally getting some trustworthy advice on how best to achieve my goals. That six pack will get here. It's just going to take time and patience.
                Lift some heavy ass weights.
                W.O.W. 9/10/11-How Physical Culture Neglects the Poor Responder »

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by js290 View Post
                  Trying to lift as heavy as I can. And again, working to fail on every set. Since I stopped overtraining, I have already added 10 pounds to my bench press work. Most of the other exercises I listed above I'm still fairly new to though. So, I'm still working towards adding additional weight with those.

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                  • #10
                    main thing is how you use whatever it is you're developing.

                    eg, i do certain ab movements for my yoga students so that they can develop the core strength to do other yoga postures more effectively. so, it is a sort of "ground work" on how to access that space. and then it's not as necessary because youa re doing it when you are doing the postures.

                    so, i look at a lot of al's videos and stuff -- and a lot of it is just this or just that. you know, doing the compound movement or whatever. but then i realize that some of it might require strength in other areas. i mean, plank pose can help with developing the arm strength that facilitates chins, etc.

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                    • #11
                      I haven't done crunches in a really long time and I don't plan to ever again. There are a few worthwhile ab exercises, but like you said, you can build strong abs just by doing things like push-ups, pull-ups, deadlifts, etc.

                      Check out my article on training your abs for more.
                      "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                      "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                      My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Old strong lifts had reverse curls and planks as core excersises in the support excersises. You did reverse curls and iirc push-ups with WA and pull-ups/chin-ups and planks with WB. Then Mehdi cut out the support, because with 5x5 workouts got real long, real fast as the weight went up.
                        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Glamorama View Post
                          I read somewhere (might have been on Nerd Fitness) that compound-movements will strengthen those abs. I do a lot of different ab-stuff, but I have major repair to be done after pregnancies.
                          This is true, assuming you have proper form. When doing squats and deadlifts correctly, they also involve your abs and lower back muscles. In general, your core muscles will be involved in any exercise where you have to maintain a good posture while lifting/pulling a heavy weight.

                          Even a standing triceps pull or biceps curl will work your core if you focus on standing straight and having a proper posture (i.e. no swinging back and forth with the upper body).
                          Norak's Primal Journal:
                          2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                          2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                          2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

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                          • #14
                            You want to work your core???

                            Squats (and no belts... less weight with correct form builds core.. belts = getting hurt from what I see)
                            Turkish Get ups... they destroy my core
                            From an overhead squats... Mother of god these do me in quick

                            Also worth metioning are
                            Clean and Jerks
                            Snatches
                            Planking

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Glockin Grok View Post
                              Planking
                              Planking has gotten me good lately! I also do plank twists! My obliques actually feel rock hard under that layer of fat!

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