Want to know to know the best way to get your abs popping?
It is certainly true you do need to be sufficiently lean in order to see your abs through the layers of skin but if they aren’t well developed they aren’t going to pop no matter how lean you are. Therefore, a well-structured ab program is going to be your key for defined abs and a sexy V-tapper you can be proud of next time you step foot on the beach.
The key to the perfect mid-section is reducing your body fat percentage and sculpting the abs through targeted training.
Within your mid-section there are four main muscles.
- External Obliques
- Internal Obliques
- Transverse Abdominis
- Rectus Abdominis
How many of you have heard that you don’t need to directly train your abs, squats and deadlifts will work them enough?
Well it turns out that the science doesn’t exactly agree with that.
A 2014 study found that the back squat had less than 20% activation of the Rectus Abdominus and External Oblique, where as a basic sit up (in the far right column had more than double the activation. And this was with the participants lifting 90% of their 3 rep maximum lift.
So the idea that one can completely target and develop their abs through just compound exercises is completely unfounded.
So what is the best way to target to abs?
With the primary function of the Rectus Abdominus (6-pack muscles) to flex the spine, crunch and sit up variations are very effective at eliciting high levels of abdominal stimulation.
Studies have also shown that increasing the load can increase activation, which means you can get greater ab results by doing weighted exercises.
TOP 5 best Ab Exercises.
1. JACK KNIFE SIT UP
This exercise is one of the best exercises you can do to activating all ab muscles.
It out performed the traditional crunch and side bridge during activation tests which makes it the best bang-for-buck ab exercises.
If you are short on time, use this exercises to hit your entire mid section.
3 sets of 15 reps.
2. AB ROLL OUT / WALK OUT
The ab roll out came out on top when comparing Rectus Abdominus activation.
This exercise is going to specifically target and isolate those 6 popping ab muscles.
Not everyone owns an ab wheel, ff you don’t own one you can simply do this on your hands, walking them out to extend the distance between your hands and knees.
If you want to really target those six pack ab muscles, ad this exercise to your next ab session.
4 sets of 10. Be sure to hold the tension at your most extended point.
3. HANGING LEG RAISE
With recent study’s showing you can distinctly target the upper and lower abs, the hanging leg raise came with the best activation for the lower abs region.
Are you struggling to see definition in your lower abs? Well this exercises is a must to integrate into your regular ab routine if you want to start developing those lower abs.
If you’re finding this exercise difficult, use the captains chair. You can place you forearms on the arm rests while your back rests against the bosu ball.
We recommend you place a light dumbbell between your feet to add resistance if you are completing over 15 reps without much effort.
3 sets until failure.
4. PARTIAL SIT UP / EXTENDED ARM CRUNCH
To target the upper abs no exercise could beat the partial sit up for activation.
The upper abs are usually the first to start showing as your body fat percentage drops. If your starting to drop the body fat to a point where your abs are almost showing, incorporate this exercise to start developing those upper abs.
To really put some extra tension on the abs try incorporating some light weights. Simply hold a light dumbbell or weight plate straight up into the air and press your shoulder blades of the ground. Ensure you tightly squeeze the upper abs at the top of the movement.
4 sets of 12 reps. Ad enough weight so that the 12th rep is tough!
5. BICYCLE CRUNCH
One of the best all round exercises you can do is the bicycle crunch. This exercise is effective at activating the upper and lower abs as well as the obliques.
This is a great exercise to add in at the end of your sessions and needs to be in your ab circuit if you’re wanting to develop your entire mid-section.
It can be difficult at first, just start slow and focus on squeezing the abdominals as you rotate. Once you are confident you can increase the tempo.
4 sets of 20 reps.
create a killer AB CIRCUIT
To completely target your entire abdominals I recommend you add in at least 1 crunch type movement, 1 leg raise movement and one rotating type movement.
Your abdominal muscles are an almost even split of fast and slow twitch fibres so it is important you use a variety of rep ranges.
Train your abs just like you would train any other muscle group. If you are easily able to do more that 15-20 reps per set trying adding some weight to make the movement more difficult.
As your ab muscles are constantly working throughout the day you will find they can recover quickly. Keep your rest to a minimal amount and keep tension on the muscle for as long as possible.
A technique I have always enjoyed for ab training is a circuit style. Set up the equipment needed for 3-5 different ab exercises. This way you can hit all parts of your abs without getting bored completing the same exercise over and over. Use the timer on your phone to keep track and complete 30 seconds on each station with a short 10 seconds rest in between. Complete 3 full rounds if your abs can handle it!