Abdominal (6-Pack) Training Principles
Abdominal training consists of any exercise focused on building up the rectus-abdominis, or “6-Pack”.
The rectus-abdominis is the muscular connection between your anterior pelvis (hips) and rib cage. Its main functions include protecting your internal organs and flexing the spinal column. Other functions include stabilization along with assisting most movements of the spinal column or hips.
To emphasize the use of the rectus-abdominis, there must be a movement that brings the chest and hips closer together anteriorly. If these two points do not come closer upon movement then the focus of the exercise is placed elsewhere and the rectus abdominis becomes an assistive muscle.
To increase the hypertrophy (size or look) and strength of the rectus abdominis there must be increasing intensity over time the same as any other muscle. This can be done with added resistance or increasing volume.
When training for strength, use a resistance that allows for 5-10 repetitions. When adding volume do not do sets of more than 25 repetitions. 10-15 repetitions is a good intensity to volume range.
While building up your abdominals use basic techniques such as the ones listed below to build a base before utilizing unique exercises.
Core Training Principles
Core training consists of exercises focused on building up the muscles which stabilize the torso and resists change during movement. This includes increasing the utilization of all the core muscles in unison.
The core consists of many muscles attached between the rib cage and pelvis (hips). These muscles create a cylinder-like structure that surrounds your internal organs. The base of the cylinder is the pelvis, with all of its musculature, and the top is the diaphragm. All the muscles surrounding the internal organs between these two points help with core stabilization.
Knowing this, it is not enough just to train the abdominals and the lower back. The muscle must be strengthened in all directions around the core.
To train all the surrounding musculature, there must be movements practiced that attempts to bring the torso out of rigidity and into flexion or rotation.
Main Lifts and most exercises use the core to stabilize the movements created by the limbs and increase the use of the entire body as one unit.
A weak or misused core stabilization can greatly diminish the maximal strength of any lift.
The exercises listed below are basic exercises that lay a strong foundation for the core musculature. To increase the strength of the core, there must be an increase in resistance over time such as added weight.
While training the core, ensure that all the core muscles are working in unison by bracing your entire torso throughout the exercise.
Ab Exercise How To’s
Ab Training Exercises
Oblique and Core Training Exercises