my primal journal:
The guys I knew who had the kinda shredded, ripped abs you're looking for were all extreme sports junkies. And the things they did required a lot of rotational motion and pulling your lower body towards your upper - think boarding, blading, etc.. However given their passion for high-adrenaline stuff - they probably did the equivalent of working out 6-8 hrs a day, 5x a week. It's no wonder they were so lean and could eat massive quanitites! They were always out doing something, and their jobs were physical too. My husband also has some pretty sweet abs (defined, but not popping out at you) and his thing is soccer. Again - lots of lifting your thighs towards your abs and using your core as the central powerhouse for some explosive moves.
Mine are not shredded because I'm not lean enough, but I've gotten an incredible core from pilates and barre. I've had to really work at isolating my muscles due to back issues and nothing I've ever tried even comes close to isolating muscles like pilates on a reformer. The mat exercises and PT were good, but that reformer opens up an entirely different world of isolation. I can comfortably strengthen any part of my body and be confident that the exercise is not inadvertently pulling in any part of my body (ie: injured back) except the part(s) I want to work.
Have fun reaching your goal!
Yeah, I've been really shredded before (when I was nonstop active with extreme stuff all day every day), and I'm still pretty active compared to average. I think I can pretty easily run a small calorie deficit and do virtually zero sugar for a couple of weeks to get there. Well, friends are coming into town for the Great American Beer Festival in 10 days....so....after that.
I'm just happy to hear that you want to work on your abs not your biceps.
Yeah I'm the same way. I wana get some sick abs but its a bitch to get there especially if you are woman. I feel like I'm in great shape already in comparison to the rest of the women I see in the gym. I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to improve your body composition from an aesthetic point of view.
Honestly, I had to do ab exercises at least 3 x a week to get a strong looking tummy. Yes compound movements work them in some ways but I found that isolating them from front, side and back made a huge difference. I'm still on my way though.
I would be wary about emulating "fitness models", remember that the pics you see on front covers are the results of extreme dehydration, clever lighting & digital manipulation.Try looking for info from top fitness models like Rob Riches, Greg plitt etc on how to drop the last few pounds to get absolutely shredded.
Interesting LeanGains post on losing the last few pounds: Intermittent Fasting and Stubborn Body Fat | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health
Although I cannot personally verify the method, Martin's pics seem to provide proof enough - certainly the scientific approach makes sense to me especially if you want to achieve your goals with a minimum of effort.