There are many muscles that people tend to overlook in their workouts – brachialis, rhomboids, hip adductors, gluteus medius and minimus to name a few. But the six-pack isn’t one of them. If anything, most people go the other way, hammering their core with frequency and determination that borders on obsession. This is one of the reasons why so many of them find sculpturing the classic washboard abs is so elusive.
I remember watching a guy do 1000 sit-ups many years ago in Istanbul’s Gold’s Gym; did he have the so sought after 6-pack? NO.
To work your abs more effectively, you need to understand how they are structured and how they function.
As you can see from the picture, the rectus abdominis (a.k.a. “abs”) is a sheet of muscle that’s divided into sections by tendons. You engage it every time you flex your lumbar spine to bring your ribs and pelvis together (think crunch or sit-up), and those divisions are what give the muscle a segmented “six-pack”) appearance when you build it up.
Here’s the secret to doing that: Work the rectus abdominis like you would any other muscle in your body. Many people don’t. They hit their abs far too often, with too many reps of the same moves.
Your move: Target your abs two or three times a week (but not more than that) with a variety of moves that hit it from multiple angels. Use a load whenever possible and follow the same progressive overload principles you’d use on other muscle groups.
Also make sure that you’re not doing more than 15 to 20 reps per set. So, if you’re currently banging out 30 reps per set of crunches, progress to a variation that challenges you to complete no more than 12 per set with good form. Use dumbbells for example. I use dumbbells and do 15 reps, increase the weight and to 8 reps, increase the weight again and do 4 reps.
Also, don’t forget that if you are not feeding yourself properly you will never see your six-pack whatever mode of exercising you choose.
That’s it for now; see you all the next time.