Video: AB EXERCISES (Should You Use Weight?)
What's up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. The question comes to me all the time. 'Coach Cav, can I get my abs to pop more noticeably if I train them with weights? Should I be incorporating weighted ab exercises into my ab workouts and routines? The answer is actually, maybe. Now I'll explain to you exactly why I say that in one second, but first, before we have any discussion about abs, we have to understand that in order to get them, right here you can see this guy's got none, to get them is going to start first and foremost with solid nutrition. If you're idea of good protein is a Haagen-Daas milkshake, you've got some work cut out for you. You've got to make sure that your diet and nutrition is in check first before you start even considering the abs because the abs are always going to be covered by body fat if your nutrition is poor.
And the only way you're going to get them to be visible to see what it is that you have there in the first place is to make sure your nutrition's in check. It's such an important part. Some guys say 70 percent, some say 80 percent, it's such an important part that I go through the trouble of going through a day by day meal plan to give you the flexibility no matter what size you are now to allow that meal plan to work for you. We do that with our ATHLEANX Program, but the ab equation then becomes one where we know our nutrition is in check of what really should we be doing training wise. And we have to understand that the abs themselves are really just one area of muscle ok. The rectus abdominus, and we've got others that contribute to the whole core. But right here, the rectus abdominus and what makes it available in a six pack or an eight pack is a tendinous sheet that runs down through here, then a linea alba that goes down through the middle, ok.
And then we've got linea transverse that come in this way like this, ok. Now, this separates your ab muscle, your rectus abdominus, into different quadrants or components, but it's really that one muscle group underneath there and it's dictated by how thick and wide your linea alba are, ok, and how tightly they're sutured down to create that separation. Now me, I actually have about a finger width in between each ab muscle. I can basically lay a finger in between each one. I've got pretty good width. I've got pretty good depth. so, when I say maybe, the answer to you is, if you're lean enough and you're finding that even when you're lean, you're not really seeing your abs, they're not really popping, you might have a situation where your linea alba are not as good as they should be.
The unfortunate side of that, guys, is that you really can't do anything about that. That's why some guys will actually have uneven abs as well. It's dictated by this tendinous sheet and its attachment, as to what the alignment of the abs actually is. You can't change that, but what you can do is, you can make the muscles hypertrophy and pop out more by training them with traditional resistance training to then allow the depth of that linea alba to become deeper by visually popping the muscle out a little bit further by causing some hypertrophy. Now we're not talking about distended, bloated, steroid bellies. We're talking about actually developing the ab muscles, the rectus abdominis, a little bit more to allow that 3-dimensional look. Now, if you're somebody, as I said, who trains a lot, who's trained their abs, who eats well, and you can't see your abs that much, you're likely a very good candidate for doing some weighted ab work.
So, you can do that with some of the exercises that I'm showing you here that add weight into the exercise to allow you to actually load up a little bit more and try to fail more in that traditional 10-12 rep range. You can see I'm doing Weighted Crunches here, k. I'm doing them from various angles. You can do Single Arm Crunches here to try to really work a little more from the side in to incorporate a little bit of that oblique and rectus abdominus tie-in. You could do Weighted Crunches on a physioball by applying the weight across your chest or up over your chest, and doing some crunches that way. Again, the idea here is not to take these things to high, high reps. You're trying to overload. You're trying to do really quality tension, really quality reps to overload that rectus abdominis, to create that popping out against the suturing of that linea alba and linea transverse. You can also do this really great exercise here. It's a Weighted Vest version of an Ab Wheel Rollout, k. You got all that extra weight, in this case a 40-pound vest, that wants to additionally weigh me down and pull me down.
So, you can see guys, we know that we can incorporate the weight of our legs into any hanging race and any hanging ab exercise. That's why they're much more difficult than some of the traditional floor-based exercises. So even your legs against gravity can act as resistance. But we're talking about actually adding weight to your exercises and it might just help you to get your abs to pop out just a little bit more. So, I hope this clears up the confusion. Again, I hate the maybe answers, but maybe is the appropriate answer, and iIt's the responsible answer here. Remember, if your diet sucks, you're not going to have any visibility of your abs. If your diet's in check, you may have visibility of your abs and not having to do any types of weighted workouts. If you're one of those guys, great. Continue to do your non-weighted ab workouts. If your diet is in check and you still can't see your abs, you've got to start doing some weighted ab workouts because it's likely to help you get through that barrier and get those abs to start showing.
If you want your abs to start showing, every single day, guys, not in the right lighting, but every single day, then you've got to start following the right nurition plan, the right workouts, and the right ab workouts. We combined all that into the ATHLEANX Training Program. It's about training like an athlete. It's about eating like an athlete. And it's doing your abs, as I always say, doing them frequently, and doing them the right way, through the right sequence. And make sure you hit all the areas together. It's not just about the up and down motion, but it's about the twisting, resisting rotation, everything else we've covered in past videos. You can head to ATHLEANX.COM right now and grab our 90-Day Training Program. In the meantime, if you found this video helpful, make sure you leave a thumb's up below and anything else you'd like to see, I'll make sure I do it.
Alright, guys, I'll see you back here soon..