When I ask people which body part they would like to work on the most? 9 out of 10 people say their abdominal muscles. The abdomen is one of the most common areas for the body to store fat, making abdominals one of the most difficult, and often one of the last muscles to notice the results of your hard work and dedication.
There are two main objectives you must take into consideration in order to achieve that desired 6 pack:
Loose the fat – dropping the extra pounds around the mid section will uncover the hidden muscle underneath.
Develop the muscle – build and define the ab muscles to obtain that shredded, lean look.
We could spend the whole day talking about the first objective so we are gonna leave it for another article, instead I would like to focus on the second objective.
Developing the Muscle to obtain that much desired six pack. You must use resistance to develop the muscle, and of course this applies to the abdominals. This is the key to achieving your strong, define, abs.
Let’s say you saw someone’s in the gym performing 100 biceps curls with 2.5 lbs. Dumbbells, what would you think? You would probably think their arms aren’t going to grow, right? They might become more defined, over time…long time, but they are not going to turn into Popeye’s arms. So why do we consistently perform hundreds of sit-ups with only body weight if we don’t yet have the size and definition in our abdominals to see them?
Your abdominal muscles are just like any other part in your body, so let me say it again, YOU MUST CONSTANTLY INCREASE RESISTANCE IN ORDER TO BUILD THE MUSCLE. Lets stop being afraid of the weights.
To get you started, here is a effective exercise for your abdominals. We will start with light resistance for those starting out, and make adjustments to increase resistance as we go. This workout should be performed three times a week, on non consecutive days, with a rest time of 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
KNEELING CABLE CRUNCHES
I prefer to do ab movements with the cables in different variations to maximize the isolation on the target muscle. Also, using a cable station allows you to add weight with the pull of a pin, and the constant tension you get from the cable means yours ab muscles must work hard at every point of the movement making it a more effective move then the crunch
Here is how to execute them:
Attach a rope handle to the pulley of a cable station and get down on your knees a few feet in front of the station. Keeping your weight on your knees and shins, let the cable pull on your arms and torso so that you feel a light stretch in your abdominal muscles. From there, crunch your body, bringing your forearms down to your knees and your head to the floor. Slowly return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Perform 4 sets x 10-12 reps.
Tricks of the trade:
You should be using a resistance that allows you to reach failure after 10-12 reps.
Emphasize the stretch as well as the contraction. Each movement is slow, controlled and with a purpose.
At the end of each set do a static hold and then few pulsations. The static hold duration depends on your level of fatigue. It could last for 2 seconds or 20 seconds.
Exhale during contraction of the abdominals and inhale during extension.
I hope this helps and that you are now a little more motivated to train with resistance. Maintain a clean diet with consistent cardiovascular activity, while performing resistance exercises such as these, and see the results for yourself!!