Lower Abs & Obliques with Matus
By Team iForce Nutrition
Having a great, well defined stomach is the most important sign of each person’s fitness level. A washboard stomach is the first body part people notice when you are on the beach, in the locker room, on a cover of a magazine or just anywhere with your shirt off. I have been lifting weights for many years and I’ve always noticed that the majority of guys are doing bench-press or bicep curls. Of course those are the manly muscles and everyone desires to own respectful ‘guns’, but paying close attention to your midsection might bring you much more admiration.
As I mentioned in my previous articles, I train abs every day that I workout and do it at the end because I don’t want to make my abs tired. I usually spend between train them for about 20- 30 minutes. Weighted crunches are probably the key exercise to developing solid ab muscles. However; it’s more important to improve your lower abs and your side obliques if you want to have a total six pack package.
I personally conduct three exercises for my lower abs.
The first one is weighted leg lifts on a flat bench. This is where you lift your legs up to a 90 degree angle and than slowly return back to the level of the bench. I usually place a 10 or 15 lb dumbbell between my legs. After ten or twelve reps I drop the weight and continue for couple more reps just with bodyweight. This is a great exercise and even lower repetition can bring fantastic results. You can go without weight for the first few weeks. Then after the body adapts to this exercise bring a dumbbell into this routine. I typically do 3 sets of this particular exercise.
The second exercise I perform works my lower abs. This exercise is done on the ABFLEXOR machine. It is an advanced exercise and is similar to the flat bench leg lifts. Not sure if every gym has this equipment but lucky for me mine does. The ABFLEXOR is a machine where you lay down in a flat position on your back with a fixed upper body. With your bended legs you perform the leg raise with your knees touching the stomach area. You can describe it also as a reverse crunch, but instead of your upper body coming towards your knees, this time your knees come upwards to your midsection. This machine is fantastic because you can adjust the weight plates according to your needs and fitness level. I usually go pretty heavy so I can perform quality 10 reps. The return of your legs should be a controlled slow movement. Three sets should be enough with short breaks in between.
My last exercise is the famous roman chair, which you can find in every gym. This is a machine made for hanging leg raises, where your upper body is attached to the back support, forearms are resting on the pads and the goal of your exercise is to raise your knees as high as you can curling your pelvis forward. Hold the position at the top and then return slowly down. Be sure to use your abdominal muscles and not the momentum to move your legs. You can also do this exercise while holding a dumbbell between your legs. I personally shoot for about 3 sets of 15 reps.
For oblique muscles I only use one machine which is the kneeling lower body twist machine where your chest is pressed against the pads with help of your arms holding the handles. You slowly twist your bended legs to work your side abs. You do the whole set for one side, then switch the side of the kneeling pad so you can work the other side as well. Again you can adjust weight according to your needs. The other oblique machine is lever twist where you sit and rotate your torso through waist to opposite side and back or the seated torso twists which work on a similar basis. You don’t want to build huge obliques because that will increase your waist size and lower the chance of having a perfect hourglass physique. For this part of your abdominal group you want to do higher reps with lower weight to loose the ‘love-handles’ but still keep your waist nice and thin.
In conclusion, training abs is a necessity for a fit look, plus having a strong midsection helps the body to perform better in almost every other exercise. This muscle group recovers very fast so you don’t need to take any days off. From my own experience I know it’s not any fun to train them (especially heavy), but when summer comes, I am always very happy I did because a lean midsection always brings the most attention.
The best way to see your abs is to lose the body fat you have over them! A quick way to do that is to start taking the strongest fat burner on the market, DEXAPRINE™. This, combined with the exercises, will get you that six pack faster!
Work those abs starting today!