Abs Training: Using Frequency, Variety, Form, Power Breathing
Review your existing ab exercise routine to understand which exercises are still working for you, if they can be made to work better, or if they are really effective at all. Some exercises can certainly be refined and improved to deliver better results: for instance, if you have been doing crunches on a flat surface, you’ve only been training the top two-thirds of the abdominal range of motion. To achieve a full-range crunch, one solution is to simulate the exercise with cable crunches done with some lower back support. Additionally, overall effectiveness can be enhanced through building variety into your schedule to keep the abs fully responsive. Abs Training
Intensity requires both a physical and mental effort, in addition to more time and energy being invested in an exercise. Many bodybuilders believe that the number of repetitions, or frequency of exercise days, are the methods that can best produce results for their abs. Instead, intensity needs to be understood as the quality of the technique you can bring to performing an ab exercise, including such elements as always employing the full range of motion, and the sufficient holding of a stretching or crunching position. Abs Training
Be aware of the abdominals as a muscle group that also support other muscle groups, notably the back. Any refined program should also pay more attention to the greater demands being put on the back muscles in a new program. Several exercises commonly followed for abdominals are either dangerous when done incorrectly or even dangerous to do under any circumstances, but fortunately there are either alternatives or ways to modify these. Abs Training
Progress With Intensity and Effectiveness
Intelligent training technique is the overall principle that needs to be followed in achieving a successful ab training program. The basic biomechanical dynamic to be conscious of is that the muscle groups of the abdomen are synergistic, which means they act and react in relation to one another. In most movements, one muscle group is a prime mover, another group is a secondary mover, and a third may be used as a stabilizer. Furthermore, while the abdominals contribute to the strengthening of your posture, it is also true that the muscles of the back are directly involved in much of the exercise required for strengthening the abdominals. Abs Training
Fitness personality Clark Bartram, a former natural bodybuilding champion and American fitness model, is one expert who discusses effective abs training in his video, Chiseling Abs. Bartram’s objective is not to recommend any single routine of ab exercises; instead, he explores some of the applications of effective and intense training for a variety of body types, levels and needs. “We’re not promoting any system, or the “only” way of doing abs,” he points out. “Some people say you must isolate, others disagree. We show all aspects of functional abdominal training and add things such as power breathing that will maximize any ab workout.”
Originally a technique used by certain martial artists, power breathing assists in forcing the abs to work more directly than usual, while also inhibiting the hip flexors from working on the contractions that the abs should be performing. Power breathing creates more muscle tension, and tension along with attention to detail are the qualities that Bartram emphasizes the bodybuilder bring to each ab exercise. The critical points about frequency, variety and form that emerge from his discussion are these: Abs Training
- Training frequency: Two to three times a week is probably the ideal for anyone to develop the abs—remember, resting periods are also part of the dynamic necessary for results; even within a workout session, five to 10 repetitions is usually sufficient for any movement.
- Training variety: Strategies such as changing your routine about every four weeks will have the effect of stimulating your target area. Remain aware of this need to vary your routine, even if it’s just techniques such as varying the loading pattern.
- Training form: Form will always be important from the earliest stage of any program, but like everything else, even form itself takes time to perfect. Focus on the negative range of your movement initially, then start to apply the same precision to the positive range.