Train your abs like a pro
posted on 31/05/2016 12:04:00 AM
Train your abs like a pro
Are your abs in hiding? Learn the solution to building and revealing your abs sooner with WBFF Pro Andrew McDevitt.
WORDS & MODEL ANDREW McDEVITT | IMAGES DALLAS OLSEN
They say abs are made in the kitchen, and that is partly true — nutrition will be the key to revealing them — but let’s say you’ve already got the nutrition side sorted and now you need to build the muscles, specifically the abdominals.
To do this, you really need to focus on the contractions of your abdominals. This might mean slowing the movements down and taking control, instead of using momentum.
If you want to build size in the abs, you should add some resistance instead of doing more reps. To get the most reward for effort, you will need to train them consistently and at a high intensity.
Set-up: Start by lying on a flat bench; ensure you give yourself enough room to put your legs on the end of the bench.
Action: With your hands comfortably behind your head, contract your abs so your shoulder blades come off the bench. Contract your abs at the top of the movement, then lower yourself back down with control until you are flat on the bench.
Tip: The bench gives you an opportunity to activate more of your core muscles through balancing, so ensure you activate them well.
Bench oblique crunches
Set-up: Using a flat bench, lie on your side so that one leg is on the ground and one leg is on the bench. You can hold on to the bench for extra support.
Action: Choose a side to perform the exercise on. If it is your left side, you should have your left leg on the bench and your left hand behind your head. Once you are in position, crunch your obliques so that your elbow is moving toward your knee. After contracting at the top of the exercise, relax your obliques and repeat the process.
Tip: Alternatively, you can do this without a bench for more stability if you are just starting out.
Hanging leg raises
Set-up: Using a heave bar or anything that you can hang from, hold on to the bar with your grip a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.
Action: Start by lifting your legs up as high as you can, with a slight bend in your knees. You should be able to get them as high as your belly button. After contracting at the top of the exercise, lower your legs with control until they are nearly all the way down, then start the exercise again.
Tip: Try to slow down the exercise and keep control of the movements.
Set-up: Using a flat bench, sit on the end and grab the bench firmly with your hands.
Action: Begin with your knees bent and your torso leaning back as a counterbalance. Extend your legs so that they are almost straight while holding on to the bench to stay balanced. Once extended, start to contract your abs so that your knees move toward your abs until they are bent at 45 degrees.
Tip: Imagine that you are trying to shape the letter ‘V’ while contracting.
Andrew is a lifetime natural competitor, WBFF Pro fitness model and online trainer. Not long ago, Andrew was a skinny backpacker who decided to start lifting weights after people commented on how skinny he was. Now, after achieving a physique that has won him his WBFF Pro card, he has been able to coach people around the world to help them achieve their goals. He believes the most important goal is to achieve a lifestyle around fitness. Andrew is a natural bodybuilding advocate and promotes the benefits of a healthy and balanced lifestyle while getting results.