All About Abs: ABS101 and Weekly Ab Workout

Rocking absBonnie asked me to put together a new weekly ab workout plan for her. Before I share the program I wrote for her, I wanted to explain why we need to do more than just crunches and sit ups – and why (and how often) we can do weighted and non-weighted exercises. After this short “class” you’ll better understand each muscle, how it’s worked and why we work it.

Welcome to ABS101. I’m professor Pfiester. 🙂

PS: I studied Exercise Science and a have degree in Physical Therapy. I am passionate about anatomy and love teaching.

Abs

flat stomachTransverse abdominals are largely slow twitch (slow to fatigue) muscle fibers needing to be work over a long duration with more frequency.

aesthetic purpose– compresses the abdomen (keeps your stomach flat)

six-pack absRectus abdominus has a strong fast twitch (fast to fatigue) component and needs to be worked both with high reps and frequency and with increased resistance with lower reps at least once or twice per week

aesthetic purpose – most commonly referred to as the “six-pack”, compresses and flattens the stomach region while adding definition and tone to the abdomen (even when you aren’t standing against a fence, lol).

Obliques 

Side PlankInternal Oblique, while still being largely slow twitch, internal obliques are comprised of more fast twitch fibers than the transverse abdominals.  To fatigue these muscles we need to work some days with High repetition, but we can not leave out the fast twitch, quick to fatigue, fibers which should be worked with higher resistance, lower reps, and less frequency.

aesthetic purpose– compress the abdomen during exhalation reducing the volume of the mid section for a tapered look through the waist.

Serratus_anteriorSerratus anterior (pictured right) originates on the surface of the 1st to 8th ribs at the side of the chest and inserts along the entire anterior length of the medial border of the scapula, and are mostly fast twitch muscles.

aesthetic purpose – adds definition and depth to the region lateral and inferior to the pecks the actual movements for our purposes are punching movements(scapular protraction) also overhead lifts, and strong scapular depression (like at the end of a dip)

obliquesExternal Oblique is similar to the internal oblique comprised of more fast twitch fibers than the transverse abdominals.  To fatigue these muscles we need to work some days with High repetition, but we can not leave out the fast twitch quick to fatigue fibers which should be worked with higher resistance, lower reps, and less frequency.

aesthetic purpose– compression of the abdomen and tapering on the lateral sides of the waist

NOTEThe right internal oblique and the left external oblique contract as the torso flexes and rotates to bring the left shoulder towards the right hip. For this reason, the internal oblique are referred to as “same side rotators.”  

Weekly Abdominal Workout Plan

4 Day Workout Program:
Do A OR B Workout 3 X a week and C OR D Workouts 1 X a week
Click on the exercise to view video instruction. 

High Rep Day

Improve resting tone, muscular tone, decreasing waist size, increasing definition.
REST: Recover for approximately 30 seconds between exercises.

(A)
25 reverse cross leg crunch left
25 Oblique Crunch left
25 side elbow plank hip pulse left (NOTE: don’t let your hip touch the floor like this girl does)
(repeat right)
X3

25 decline sit ups/25 decline crunch (super set)
X3

(B)
25 creverse cross leg crunch left
25 reverse cross leg crunch right
50 cartwheel with PVC (these are done much faster than the video)
25 reverse crunch (or roll up)
X4
25 ball pass (8-12lbs)
X4

High Resistance Day 

Build hypertrophy and definition of rectus abdominus and serratus anterior.
REST: allow for more rest/recovery between sets (1min)
(C)
15-20 Rope crunch
15-20 angled roman chair
15-20 hanging abs
X3

(D)
15 plate crunch
15 decline weighted plate crunch
15-25 abdominal machine (hammer strength)
X3

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About Steve Pfiester

Certified CrossFit, TRX, Kettlebell Athletics Trainer with a B.S. in Physical Therapy. Owner of Longevity Max Fitness and BCx Boot Camp.

Posted on July 31, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Do you have a video demonstrating all the ab moves you mention here? Just concerned with form…I’m a visual learner. Thank you for all you post on exercises! Love it! Keep up the great work!

  2. I was wondering if theres an alternative to the decline sit ups and crunches? My gym doesnt have a bench to do those. Thanks!

  3. Reblogged this on Toast2fitness.

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