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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are some of your ab workouts like, I'm curious? I've always had strong abs, but they've never really shown more than a shadow of a 4 pack (and not even that right now).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am doing The Firm ab sculpt, and it really seems to be working (I have a beer gut, but my core muscles feel stronger).
 

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Doesn't matter how strong your abs are, if you've got even a little fat around the mid-section, they're not going to look sculpted and defined.<br><br><br><br>
I do a mixture of cardio and ab work. Unfortunately, it's genetic in my family to hoard fat around the middle, so I've got a bit of a pooch that I don't think will ever go away (even though I'm really skinny everywhere else). But, strong abs are good for things other that asthetics--they support your back, are good for balance, etc.<br><br><br><br>
I like plank exercises b/c they work the muscles really well. Also, reverse crunches (where you lift your legs instead of your upper body off the floor) do wonders.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by rigmarole</i><br><br><b>What are some of your ab workouts like, I'm curious?</b></div>
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I'm rocking a keg, myself. I've started to work abs more, but I have other issues I'm more concerned about. I just started <a href="http://www.menshealth.com/personaltrainer/t4_routines/original_index.html" target="_blank">this</a>. A great free resource is <a href="http://www.exrx.net/" target="_blank">here</a> (specifically: <a href="http://www.exrx.net/Lists/WorkoutMenu.html" target="_blank">this.</a> You probably know this, but you will have to to some serious cardio to burn the fat around the waist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by sunshinemelissa</i><br><br><b>Do you fat around your belly that could be hiding them?</b></div>
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sunshinemel how dare you ask such a question??<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":mad:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":mad:"><br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> just kidding<br><br><br><br>
I wouldn't say that I'm fat by any standards, but no matter how much cardio I do I can't seem to get rid of this bit of "thick skin" over my abs. To be fair though I've only been at it again for a couple of months so maybe what's needed is just time as far as that goes.<br><br><br><br>
But beyond that, I do have strong abs but I'm feeling for and I don't feel any cuts or lines that would show even if I didn't have that fat layer there so I don't know what to say.<br><br><br><br>
How long does it take to develope good abs if I work every day at it? Actually, I think it'd be a bit different for everyone, but for anyone with good ab cuts how long did it take to develop if you remember?<br><br><br><br>
rigmarole
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by rigmarole</i><br><br><b>but for anyone with good ab cuts how long did it take to develop if you remember?</b></div>
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Funk?!?!?<br><br><br><br>
Ring... Keep an eye out for Funkified, our resident ab-specialist and the unofficial dreamiest person ever. She's got mad-abs, and probably could shed some light on this for us.<br><br><br><br>
FUNK!!! Getchyersweetassoverhere!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh, yeah it might help if someone looked at and maybe corrected my ab routine. I'll usually do crunches and leg lifts but since I seem to be able to go forever I don't count. I time myself and 2 minutes seems to be my limit before my lower back starts to hurt. I crunch center (for abs) then left - right( for obliques) then cross left - right (abs/obliques) and I just repeat those five movements for as long as I can but like I said my back gives out before my abs do. Even though I do feel it in my abs too. Then leg lifts using random central raises and focusing left - right.<br><br><br><br>
If this makes sense the way I wrote it, does it seem an efficient routine?<br><br><br><br>
rigmarole
 

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It's hard to say because what's more important than WHAT you do is HOW you do it - your technique, ya know? Having back pain is not good, so be careful on that. I have back issues, so I don't do much traditional crunching.<br><br><br><br>
I do a few crunches, side crunches, then these:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Obliques/LVTwistGripless.html" target="_blank">Twists.</a><br><br><a href="http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/RectusAbdominis/WtVerticalHipRaise.html" target="_blank">Vert. Hip Raise</a><br><br><a href="http://www.exrx.net/Plyometrics/BroomstickTwist.html" target="_blank">Plyometric Broom Twist</a><br><br>
And <a href="http://www.menshealth.com/personaltrainer/t4_routines/workout6/frame.html" target="_blank">these</a> are good for obliques and abs, and if done well they are a great aerobic workout.<br><br><br><br>
There are also other excerices that you can work in for non-ab workouts that also work the abs. I do these on various other non-ab days:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/WTHipExtension.html" target="_blank">Hip Ext.</a><br><br><a href="http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/LVSeatedLegCurl.html" target="_blank">Leg Curl</a><br><br>
And squats. A couple of others help too. I forget which. If you haven't checked it out yet, exrx.net is a ggreat resource.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by rigmarole</i><br><br><b>I time myself and 2 minutes seems to be my limit before my lower back starts to hurt.</b></div>
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As far as my routine: everything I do in dance class works my abs, pilates is fab, but I haven't been doing that as often anymore -- I think I'll do some today. I do full sit ups, crunches, reverse sit ups, obliques (standing with wieghts, and as twists while doing crunches, also doing crunches straight with legs twisted to either side... it's a long routine, I won't post it all), leg lifts, different rhythms/holds, umm... Yoga helps somewhat, I think. My abs are strong, slim, but not particularly defined, which is kind of how I like them. I do well over two minutes -- when I'm doing my whole ab routine (which I neglect because it's <i>long</i> -- usually I only do about 6-10 minutes of it whenever I do weights) it takes about 20-30 minutes. It's grueling, but fun.<br><br><br><br>
If you want to get cut, I think that's what those ab machines are supposed to help with at the gym (if you go to a gym). By adding weights, you'll build bigger muscles that will add definition. If your lower back is hurting, then you need to do something to strengthen it -- you don't want to become imbalanced with super strong abs and a weak back (or vice versa). Most of my back work comes from dancing, though I do a few weight routines that help my back. Also, after working your abs you might try just resting in a cobra position (yoga speak -- lay face down on the ground & lift your upper body up with your arms and arch back -- it'll give your abs a much-needed stretch after being so abused).<br><br><br><br>
When you lift your legs, how is your back positioned? What part of your abs feel it when you lift? (upper? lower?) Does your back get involved in it at all? I'm trying to see why your back hurts after only 2 minutes... If you are involving your back with your leg lifts (lots of people do... it's easier, but it takes a toll on your back and makes it much less useful for your abs), you might try lifting your shoulders and neck off the ground slightly while you do the exercise and kind of sinking your abs a bit. It forces you to seriously work your abs the whole time, and I've never had a sore back doing it that way. (It's how we do it in dance class, and it's pretty much how pilates do <i>all</i> their ab routines -- it's effective, but I wish I could show you a picture of the position).<br><br><br><br>
Oh, and I didn't mean to make it sound like two minutes isn't good. It <i>is</i> -- especially if you've only been working on this a little while. What I'm concerned with is your <i>back</i> hurting after two minutes. That's not good at all. I need to stop rambling.<br><br><br><br>
I was just looking out for Funkified on the Hamsters thread... I hope she makes her way over here. She's got us all beat on the abs thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, I don't do anything specifically for my back. I work out at home and only have a stationary bike, treadmill, and bench/dumbells so I don't have any equipment that would work my lower back specifically. Mskedi I think you are right that I need to strengthen my lower back. And damn, I hate that laying on your stomach backwards bending exercise.<br><br><br><br>
My back pain when doing crunches is definately muscular, which I now suspect is due to strain on a weak lower back, as opposed to the pain being in my spine. I don't have any chronic back pains like that yet.<br><br><br><br>
Max Power, I wish I could do those machine exercises, but I don't belong to a gym. I couldn't afford to.<br><br><br><br>
How can I do these pilates, of which a few of you speak, for my abs? I've never heard of that.<br><br><br><br>
rigmarole
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by rigmarole</i><br><br><b>And damn, I hate that laying on your stomach backwards bending exercise.</b></div>
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lol<br><br><br><br></b>
<div class="quote-container"><b><span>Quote:</span></b>
<div class="quote-block"><b><br>
How can I do these pilates, of which a few of you speak, for my abs? I've never heard of that.<br></b></div>
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Honestly, if you don't have a background in dance and/or yoga, I would say you need to take a class for pilates. Some instructors are better than others... even among the certified ones. (Actually, if they're not certified they shouldn't be teaching at <i>all</i>.) There are two types: mat pilates and, um, the other kind. I forget what it's called, but they use these spiffy machines for resistance. Good stuff.<br><br><br><br>
There are pilates teach-yourself type books out there. Again, some are better than others. They'd be more useful <i>after</i> you got a few classes under your belt since body placement is key.<br><br><br><br>
As for your back, there are some things you can do with free weights (not as easy as with the machines, but I don't belong to a gym either and it <i>is</i> possible)... I'm not good at describing them. When I come back later, I'll try and see if I can find a link to a page with pictures or something.<br><br><br><br>
I think I've exceeded my VB limit for the day, though, so I need to get back to work. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I also agree w/ Pilates. You can purchase cheap dvds or vhs tapes and they just get you going.<br><br><br><br>
It's fun to do, not to extremely grueling, the entire object of it is to strengthen your core muscles or your "powerhouse" as they like to call it. It makes other muscles long and lean without adding the extra bulk. Just my opinion.
 

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I laugh hard and frequently.... does that count?<br><br><br><br>
I have a balance ball and a video for a basic total body workout using the ball. I've only done it a couple times but my abs were on FIRE afterwards. You can order the ball and videos at <a href="http://www.livingarts.com" target="_blank">www.livingarts.com</a> .
 
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