Bonnie 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.
aesthetic purpose– compresses the abdomen (keeps your stomach flat)
Rectus 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).
Internal 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 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)
External 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
NOTE: The 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.
High Resistance Day
Here is one of the workouts we did this week! I thought you might like to give it a try.
Click on the links below to see video instruction:
Combine this workout with another ab workout and really blast those abs! Or combine
Have a ball with your ab workout! Instead of doing boring crunches, use a medicine ball to increase the intensity and fun. Here are a few exercises you can try with a small med ball.
12 Single Under Leg Pass
12 Single Scissor Leg Pass
12 Double Under Leg Pass
12 Double Scissor (Figure 8) Leg Pass
12 Triple Under Leg Pass
For more fun workouts, check out www.DualFit.com