There has been a lot of wrong information provided on training of the abdominal muscles than any other part of the anatomy of humans. There are many gadgets that guarantee you the six-pack abs with effortless ease.
But if you wish to get your abs in proper shape by developing them to the maximum possible extent, then read on to find out how you can do that. There is not a single unique thing as far as training of the abdominal muscles and response to them goes.
All the principles which are applicable for biceps and triceps are common for abs as well.
So 3 main elements important for your workout are:
- muscular overload to a high degree
- increase in the intensity with each workout
- adequate spacing of workouts to avoid under-training or over-training
The most common abs exercises are crunches and sit-ups. They are very good enough to take care of the first point as mentioned above, but most people don’t use it in a manner to satisfy the second-mentioned point. Only having above-normal overload will help in the development of muscles. So 20 crunches a day for even a year would not help you develop your abs muscles more than that level.
You need to push up the intensity regularly to get outstanding results. For instance, you can add few crunches daily, but still, they just mean increasing the duration. You can get results in a much better manner. Some abs exercises which have been successful include weighted crunches, weighted sit-ups and weighted incline sit-ups.
Lying on the floor with the head quite near the pulley weight stack is the best manner to do the weighted crunches. Make use of the handle attachment to clasp on the ends, and then pull on the cables till they become tight, while your hands rest near the ears. Then contract the abs muscles in a crunch which would lift the shoulders from the floor, and would draw the weight stack up by a couple of inches. Make sure that you select a heavy weight, which would help you to do 8-10 repetitions.
If a low pulley is not available, you can very well go for a high pulley. You have to sit exactly under the rope handle which is attached to the high pulley. Then after locking your legs, pull the handle near your ears, and contract the abs muscles into a crunch so as to raise the weight stack by a couple of inches. This process can be repeated for about 8-12 times.
As an alternative to this, you can also use a barbell plate against the chest and do the crunching, while lying on the floor. However, a major restriction of this is that with progression in your strength, you will be unable to hold plates in a safe manner on your chest. Considering this, you can opt for a 5% weight increase with the passage of each session, so it is not exactly a major problem that you might be confronting.