BodybuildingPro.com Exercise Index Abs Introduction to Abs Training
The Muscles of the
Abdominis: A long muscle extending along the length of the
ventral aspect of the abdomen. It originates in the area of the
pubis and inserts into the cartilage of the fifth, sixth, and
Function: To flex
the spinal column and to draw the sternum toward the
(2) External Obliques
(Obliques externus abdominis): The external obliques at each
side of the torso attached to the lower eight ribs and insterting
at the side of the pelvis.
Function: To flex
and rotate the spinal column.
The intercostals are two thin planes of muscular and tendon fibers
occupying the spaces between the ribs.
Function: To lift
the ribs and draw them together.
Training the Abdominals
Few things are as
attractive as a trim, lean midsection. The coveted six pack is well
within your range to achieve if you follow the right workout
program and include the right exercises.
There are three muscle
groups in the abdominals (as described above), and each serves a
different function as well as requiring different exercises to
highlight them properly. The rectus abdominis is the wall of muscle
that covers the front of the abdomen and gives your abs that
washboard look. The second important muscle group is the obliques
at the sides of the hips. This group is sometimes called the
external obliques. The final, and most specific portion of the
abdomen in terms of bodybuilding is the intercostals, which run
from the top of your obliques up to the serratus muscles of your
chest. Training each of these groups can be achieved through
following a specific set of exercises for each.
Abdominis - Divided into upper and lower abs.
- Leg Raises
- Reverse Crunches
- Hanging Frog Kicks
- Floor Crunches
- Rope and Cable Crunches
- Machine Crunches
- Roman Chairs
The obliques, like many other small muscle groups, act to
stabilize exercises for larger muscle groups and are worked
indirectly very often as a result of that. Overdeveloped obliques
tend to make for a "blocky" look by making the waist appear thicker
than it actually is. If you would like to work your obliques
directly, there is a list of exercises below which will help you to
achieve your goals:
- Side Twists with
- Dumbbell Side
The serratus muscles are
developed through crunching movement which occurs when you squeeze
the shoulder down and in, and when you bend the torso from side to
side. Like the obliques, the serratus muscles are often developed
indirectly through a variety of other exercises. By adding a
twisting movement to your crunches, you will place more emphasis on
the serratus muscles. The exercises below will help you to develop
your oblique muscles:
- Any crunching movement with a
Tips for Achieving Abdominal
One important thing to remember is that
abs are made in the kitchen - not in the weightroom. Although
training is very important for achieving abdominal development,
even more important is proper nutrition. A high protein, moderate fat, low
carbohydrate diet is necessary if you hope to achieve that coveted
six pack. Nutrition is extremely important in bodybuilding, and
being diet conscience is probably most important to getting cut up
abdominals than any other muscle group. Some people, through mere
dieting alone, can get their abs to poke out. Training will develop
them to make them strong and muscular, but the only way to shed the
fat off is to maintain a healthy diet.
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