How To Get Six Pack Abs | Ab Training Science Explained ft. Christian Guzman

How To Get Six Pack Abs | Ab Training Science Explained ft. Christian Guzman

so I'm here with Susie competitor and youtuber Christian guzmán Christian you've had a lot of success with getting that ripped six-pack shredded look I was wondering if you were to offer your number one factor in terms of getting abs that really pop what would you say it is thousand serve some but one word diet most of us have heard this before abs are made in the kitchen and while it's certainly true that you need to be sufficiently lean in order for your abs to show visibly through the skin if they're not developed to begin with they just aren't going to pop no matter how lean you are and you build your abs of training and then you reveal them with diet but before we can understand how to best train the ABS for growth we need to quickly cover their basic anatomy first there are four main muscles that make up the midsection starting on the outside you have the external oblique which functions to flex the spine like in a crunch and compress the abdominal wall or increase intra-abdominal pressure like when bracing your core they also aid the back muscles in rotating the trunk and flexing laterally inside the external oblique you have the internal which primarily assists in rotation of the Trumpkin flexing laterally inside that you have the transverse abdominis or TVA which compresses the abdominal contents and aids in core stability which is why it's so active in so many different exercises and can be trained effectively by doing vacuums and finally the main muscle we'll be focusing on if the six-pack itself properly referred to as the rectus abdominis which flexes the lumbar spine like in a crunch and also contributes to trunk rotation and while we're going to cover training methods that target the entire core musculature we're going to focus on the rectus abdominis since it contributes most significantly to developing that ripped six-pack look most people are after so there's a camp of trainers who claim that as long as you include squats deadlifts and other compound movements in your training then there's no need to train the ABS directly because squats and deadlifts are the bee's knees for ab develop and by extension there's another camp of trainers who insist that doing these heavy compound movements will make your midsection grow too much leading to a less tapered more bulky appearance and if you want an aesthetic midsection you should avoid them altogether well it turns out they're both wrong because squats and deadlifts actually don't activate the ABS very well which should be fairly obvious based on biomechanics alone the lumbar spine shouldn't be flexing or rotating when squatting or deadlift but for safe measure EMG data is in stronger Tremont as well a 2014 study on rugby players by Aspen colleagues found that the back squat was ineffective at activating the rectus abdominis and external obliques netting less than 20 percent activation relative to momentary voluntary contraction and the simple sit-up had more than twice the activation Willardson Attalla found the same basic thing except even the less in favor of that a measly 10 percent for the overhead press and less than 5 percent for the squat and deadlift and these were pretty heavy 75 percent one rep max loads so the idea that squats and deadlifts are good exercises for the ABS is completely unfounded and by extension the idea that they make the waist blocky is unfounded since they don't activate the obliques much to begin with in fact dr

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Brett Contreras suggests that if a woman is concerned with obtaining a blocky appearance I'd recommend ditching the targeted abdominal and oblique exercises rather than avoiding squats and deadlifts presumably because isolation exercises actually target the abs and obliques meaning it's your goal is to grow these muscles then you should be doing ab isolation exercises and if you don't want to grow these muscles then don't do these exercises so what are the best isolation exercises for targeting the ABS well crunch and set up variations are generally very good which makes sense given that the primary function of the rectus abdominis is to flex the spine and variations of the crunch and sit-up have been shown in the literature to elicit very high levels of abdominal activity 2009 study by Morrison colleagues published in the Journal of Physical Therapy in sport found a trend for increasing activation with increasing load lending support to the idea that weighted crunches are a good way to stimulate the rectus abdominus and apply progressive overload however there's been a negative stigma around crunches for some time and whether they're safe or not remains a controversial topic in personal training and physical therapy I've covered the arguments in detail and a footnote to this video but for here I'll defer to the experts in a 2011 article dr

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Brad Schoenfeld and dr. Brett Contreras say that there's no convincing evidence that performing crunches as a part of a total body resistance training routine will have any negative effects on posture also touting potential benefits of crunches such as increased fluid flow to disks mobility improvements and performance enhancements however despite high activation levels and field tested results with the crunch there may be even better exercises a 2008 paper from Udacity I'll compared EMG activity of the main ab muscles in four different exercises the crunch the ab slide which is some to an ad wheel the supine double leg thrust and side bridge the abs slide exercise produce the greatest EMG activity for the rectus abdominis also faring very well for the obliques the double leg thrust also did really well for all muscles generally of performing both the traditional crunch and side bridge it's worth noting though that a potential limitation is that the exercises weren't loaded relative to a 1 rep max meaning that it could be the case that the ABS slide and double leg thrust had the subjects training harder which may have influenced the results in their favor data from buh heck bare hands and bus keys is also enlightening as it compared EMG activity in 12 different ab exercises showing that it's possible to target upper and lower regions of the ABS distinctly later back in Natal corroborated this basic idea by showing differing activation levels between the upper and lower abs in the BOSU ball crunch but their main finding was that the upper and lower abs were both about 20% more active when placing a BOSU ball under the lower back to create an unstable surface for the upper body when using 10 rep max loads so according to Bo heck bare hands and bus keys data the lower abs were most active with the hanging leg raise and finding supported by biomechanically sound reasoning that exercises that bring the pelvis towards the chest should target the lower region better branded this exercise isn't without limitation grip strength could limit its effectiveness if grip gives out before the ABS do and similarly since the hip flexors are highly involved we hip flexors could prevent an obstacle to taking the have sufficiently close to muscular failure of course claws abosolutely near hip flexors and establishing a mind-muscle connection with the lower abs and approach supported by some related data showing that specific coaching instructions to recruit and not recruit certain ab muscles can change activation levels I was surprised that the reverse crunch didn't fare as well in this data given that Udacity al 2008 data showed the very similar double leg thrust to be highly effective and this could be because it's easier to perform especially when done as a bodyweight movement however I think that if you load the exercise by placing a weight between your ankles it's one of the best movements for targeting the lower abs that you can do somewhat unsurprisingly the arms extended crunch was best at targeting the upper abs with the hanging leg raise coming in second further supporting this movement as a great overall AB builder they also measured activity for the obliques and found the side bend come out on top which makes sense given the lateral flexion function of this muscle and while it does present a viable way to apply progressive overload through the use of progressive heavier dumbbells not a big fan of this movement for the obliques personal I prefer to Train the obliques through a more dynamic range of motion that trains lateral flexion and trunk rotation such as by doing half kneeling cable chops with a rope despite a paucity of data on the movement so to fully activate the entire 6-pack I recommend including at least one crunch type movement and one leg raise type movement in your routine my personal favorite for the former is the partner assisted decline medicine ball crunch throw which is a mouthful but I like it because it's fun to perform and you don't have to slow down at the top which affords an explosive tempo to the exercise something potentially beneficial for size strength and power also AB training can be boring and in my experience doing exercises that involve a training partner are not only more motivating but just more fun to perform and as for the lower abs I really like partner assisted lying leg raises for similar reasons in the fact that EMG data from the University of Dortmund in Germany found that amongst these 12 exercises the vertical hip flexor lying leg raised showed the highest EMG activity for the rectus abdominus so what about planks well according to a 2014 paper published in the Journal of Sports biomechanics the traditional front plank wasn't great at activating the core cover modifying the plank into what the authors coined as a long leaver posterior pelvic tilt plank resulted in over 100% activation relative to MVC for the upper and lower abs and the obliques which is really impressive so to make this modification simply move your elbows forward so that they're more under the eyes that's the long lever part and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can that's the posterior pelvic tilt part as a word of caution this exercise is really difficult so if you're new to planks I suggest starting with a regular plank first I also have found doing weighted planks to be effective from a progressive tension perspective and again having a training partner can make this more enjoyable and while standing on an unstable surface is often touted as being better for targeting the core the research disagrees Willardson and colleagues determined that there was no increase in core muscle activity when performing the squat deadlift overhead press and bicep curl on a BOSU ball courses on stable ground indicating that you shouldn't do exercises on BOSU balls to activate the core there's also no research to support ultra high rep ab training abs are roughly an even 55 45 % of type 1 and type 2 fibers meaning that like most muscles a combination of high reps and low reps is most likely to optimize development I recommend using moderate reps in the 6 to 12 rep range for easily loaded movements such as weighted crunch variations and using higher reps in the 15 to 30 rep range for more bodyweight and explosive movements such as a decline med ball crunch I think that because of their relatively smaller muscle mass the abs can be hit more frequently than other muscle groups provided the intensity and volume per session are brought down something between 3 to 6 sessions per week with two different exercises per session and three to four sets per exercise seems likely to optimize development for most but of course specific volume and frequency recommendations will depend on your level of advancement I'd be remiss to not mention the importance of training the antagonist to the abs namely the spinal erectors of the lower back and I think that balancing out a well-rounded ab routine with an equal amount of lower back work is important so including isolation exercises like Superman's and lower back extensions will be wise for postural health and longevity however keep in mind that while squats and deadlifts are bad ab exercises they're fantastic lower back exercises so if you do them they cover a lot of bases for strengthening the lower back and so assuming you have a solid diet in place with sufficient protein that allows for a lean body composition applying these training principles will have your abs popping just like your favorite fitness icon all right what is going on everyone so I've made it back to Kelowna British Columbia Canada and I just want to give a super quick shout out to Christian thanks for being a good sport and doing this video with me if you guys haven't checked out Christian channel link down there in the description and I also wanted to give a shout out to Squarespace for sponsoring this video in case anyone isn't aware Squarespace is an all-in-one website platform that allows you to custom create your own website they have beautiful designer templates 24/7 award-winning customer service and I know this because I personally use Squarespace for the last two years from my own online coaching business and my own online store you guys would like to get started with building your own website and get started today at squarespace.com forward slash Knipper and if you use the offer code Nippert at checkout it will save you 10% off your first purchase I also made a really quick footnote to this video going into a little bit more detail about whether crunches are safe or not check that out the link over here somewhere thank you guys so much for watching you like the video please give me a thumbs up subscribe to the channel if you're new and I'll see you guys in the next one