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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:14 pm 
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first of all id like to ask(HAVE to ask), from whenever i can remember myself people around me said "there are exercises for 'upper abdomen' and for 'lower abdomen'" and knowing there is only one Rectus Abdominis im not sure what that means, is that just BS?

can you actually work on your Rectus Abdominis in a way in which the lower part will be stronger/weaker/more muscular/less muscular than the upper part? or does any and every exercise that works the Rectus Abdominis will make the whole muscle stronger?

2nd question is - in my long path towards a 6 pack and a fit stomach, i know i need relatively lower body fat percentage - but as for the muscle part of the abs, is it enough to have 2 exercises per workout? one for the Rectus Abdominis and one for the Obliques?

and which kick-ass workout's would u recommend for those two muscle groups?

TY!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:09 pm 
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Anatomically, RA is only one muscle. No upper or lower parts. Just one. The six pack is formed by a fibrous tissue called Linea Alba.
But, there has been arguments and even EMG -measurements that point to possibilities of targeting different parts of RA. I'm quite sceptical about this. It doesn't just make sense to me. There are lots of muscles that run around the abdominalis that can create the feeling of lower and/or upper abs. (Like hip flexors and pyramidialis for example).

Okay, Tony Gentilcore said it best: Abs are made in the k-word. Ab hypertrophy is way overrated. Low bodyfat is the key to all. The main purpose in my mind of doing core work is to support the spine and improve movement skills and quality (Pro bodybuilders excluded).
Also consider that you work your abs on almost every exercise: Deadlifts, Squats, Pull-ups, Push-ups. 2 Extra-exercises per workout is pretty lots. But you can try it out and see how you feel.

For Rectus Abdominis, curl-ups, rollouts and plank variations are my picks. For Obliques, I'd go for anti-rotation exercises depending on your strength levels. But some landmine rotation variations are awesome, same for different plank variations again. Cable lifts and chops are good too.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:13 pm 
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i love talking workout's... i feel so stupid and everybody else sounds so smart! i LOVE IT! so much to learn!

can you further explain what curlups,landmine rotation and anti-rotations mean?

so if i give it a go and take just 1 AR ex and 1 Obliques for a while ill see how it works out.
i've only JUST started (2 workouts) - but im burning with desire.


if anyone has anything else to add id love to hear it


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Caniv wrote:
i love talking workout's... i feel so stupid and everybody else sounds so smart! i LOVE IT! so much to learn!

We are all learning too. And we've all been there. Wondering what the best exercises for certain muscles would be and what's the proper amount of them. There is years and years of experience and trial-and-error in this forum.

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can you further explain what curlups,landmine rotation and anti-rotations mean?

Well, Robert just suggested full contact twists on another thread this week. They use the landmine setting, which in common language is just an angled barbell. Youtube has lots of great landmine exercises to share.

Curl-ups are just like sit-ups, except they are done with a very limited range of motion. Only the scapulas/Upper back are raised on the curl-up, instead of lifting the whole back to flexion like on sit-ups. There's very limited hip flexor activation this way, and it's more safe to the spine.

Anti-rotation simply means that you don't move your torso when there's forces trying to move it. So, instead of doing twist situ-ups where you rotate you torso, you would have Landmine rotations or one-arm planks or something similar that demand huge effort from the obliques to resist movement.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:10 pm 
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nice! ty for all the information!

would something as simple "vertical leg-hip raise" (as named in the directory) be good enough
to give the RA a good workout? or do i have to resort to weights? i REALLY don't want to put
any un-needed tension on my lower back.

the Obliques are a-bit harder for me to choose from the variety of ex's there are... maybe
im not fully getting this but if the "Auxiliary" ex's are "extra" does that mean that those
aren't enough on their own in order to strengthen the muscle? if so than things like
the "Lying Twist" (which seems awesome for me to start from) is not usefull and i have
to resort to things like twisted crunches (which im not a big fan of)

we do have a machine kinda like the lever seated side crunch but machines always rubbed me the wrong way.. as if im missing something...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Caniv wrote:
would something as simple "vertical leg-hip raise" (as named in the directory) be good enough
to give the RA a good workout? or do i have to resort to weights? i REALLY don't want to put
any un-needed tension on my lower back.
Weigths are not necessary, if the exercise is challenging enough. It just gives you different amount of stress. But, as long as the exercise is challenging (When you can do less than 30 reps in a rows, it's my opinion of challenging). Leg raises do stress the lower back, but not too tremendously. They also work lots on the hip flexors, so try to focus to using your abs.

Quote:
the Obliques are a-bit harder for me to choose from the variety of ex's there are... maybe
im not fully getting this but if the "Auxiliary" ex's are "extra" does that mean that those
aren't enough on their own in order to strengthen the muscle? if so than things like
the "Lying Twist" (which seems awesome for me to start from) is not usefull and i have
to resort to things like twisted crunches (which im not a big fan of)

Okay, I'm not following you here. What do you mean by Auxiliary exercises?
I wouldn't personally do either lying twists nor twisted crunches. But if you want to try it out, you'll find out very quickly if that exercise hits the rigth places. Don't go too deep into exercise descriptions, just try things out. Obliques rotate, prevent rotation, and take part on lateral flexion and general stabilization. You'll find the best exercises for yourself.

Quote:
we do have a machine kinda like the lever seated side crunch but machines always rubbed me the wrong way.. as if im missing something...

Personally, I think you can get a bang for your buck without machines as well. Cables are alrigth.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:37 am 
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Dub wrote:
...Okay, I'm not following you here. What do you mean by Auxiliary exercises? ...


The term is used on the exrx-mainpage for the classification of exercises (look at the description in the Weight Training Glossary)... they are described as supplements to "basic" exercises that may place greater relative intensity on a specific muscle or a head of a muscle.

When you use the workout-templates there, you should normally pick "basic" exercises for the "regular muscle" and only if you want to train muscles that are listed as "optional" (listed in italic) or if you chose a second exercise for a "regular muscle" you chose auxilliary exercises...

But after all... following the instructions there, you should only train "optional" things, if a muscle is under par in comparison to the development, strength, or endurance of other muscle groups.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:38 am 
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Caniv wrote:
nice! ty for all the information!

would something as simple "vertical leg-hip raise" (as named in the directory) be good enough
to give the RA a good workout? or do i have to resort to weights? i REALLY don't want to put
any un-needed tension on my lower back.

the Obliques are a-bit harder for me to choose from the variety of ex's there are... maybe
im not fully getting this but if the "Auxiliary" ex's are "extra" does that mean that those
aren't enough on their own in order to strengthen the muscle? if so than things like
the "Lying Twist" (which seems awesome for me to start from) is not usefull and i have
to resort to things like twisted crunches (which im not a big fan of)

we do have a machine kinda like the lever seated side crunch but machines always rubbed me the wrong way.. as if im missing something...


Auxiliary lifts are things you use to either enhance the effects of your primary lifts, to make up deficits that you perceive in yourself. You can use any exercise as auxiliary. The term describes a role for the lift, not a type of lift, if that makes sense. A lift may indeed be "enough on their own in order to strengthen the muscle" and you might use it as a primary lift one time, and as an auxiliary lift another time.

Obliques main role is to stabilize the lumbar spine in the face of rotational forces. So static strength is as important or more so than strength for movement. Exercises that train you to resist rotation are what you need, not dynamic rotation. So exercises like side planks and Pallof "presses" are good.

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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 8:40 pm 
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It's not a myth that you can divide abs into upper and lower in terms of looking at the tendinous intersections as a guideline, but I haven't really found claims that you can emphasize one over the other as being detailed enough to convince. Reason being, if tension is put through one, it seems like tension would also be through the other in an equal amount.

For unequal training, it seems like you'd need unequal tension, and it hasn't really been explained how that occurs, if it's possible.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Some insist they can be isolated. Whether true or not, I think that using various exercises from different angles uses different fiber recruitment patterns and gets you deeper into the muscle fibers for better results. That being said, I'm of the school of thought that abs don't take a lot of training. I like a triset of stability ball crunches, hanging knee raises, and bicycles for 3 circuits x 3 times a week. I also do some low back exercises and occassionally do some side planks or other oblique exercises, although obliques get a lot of work on the big 3 I mentioned above. Also, don't do like a 1,000 crunches. 25 properly performed crunches on a ball should start to give you a cramp and the other two exercises will get you there.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:20 am 
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There have been EMG studies which state there is more activity in the lower portion when doing leg raises while crunches deliver more activity in the upper portion.
There is also a different theory : that the hipflexors once they get bigger and bigger push the lower portion of the abs more out. which gives the appearence of more developed lower abs(not sure). This is the same theory why bodybuilders work also on the brachialis lying beneath the biceps. when he gets bigger and bigger he starts to push the other arm muscles out. [This is (i believe) also the origin of the lower biceps myth. The first one who mentioned lower biceps was Larry scott, he swore that preacher curls develop more the lower portion of the bis. since the brachialis lies more near the elbows and larry scott was lucky to have long biceps insertion he may have thought his lower biceps grew when infact it was the brachialis below.]


2nd question : a six pack is genetic some dont have a six pack see
"4pack" : http://stek.org/wp-content/uploads/2012 ... eath41.jpg
classical 6pack : http://www.getbig.com/pics/ironman/2004 ... show04.jpg
Lcky eight pack: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/attachmen ... 1326043619
7pack: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yEfGFaL6Byw/T ... heeler.jpg
just to give you an idea
The obliques muscle doesnt really have much to do with developing a six pack. I think dynamic exercises are best suited. A regular crunch (UNLESS YOUR BACK HUrts doing flexion movements) . if you have trouble doing crunches , planks are very fine and simple and work the obliques too!. its also very earsy to progress on them just place the elbows more and more in front of you; it gets heavier and heavier.
you ALso realized that having a sixpack is a question of bodyfat, BUT also the thickness of your skin(genetics).


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:16 am 
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You really can't use pain as a guide for being cautious about exercises that involve lumbar flexion. The point of the warnings is about long-term damage that may not show up for many years.

Interesting pictures. I especially liked the "7-pack". In the picture this guy's quads look asymmetrical as well.

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