Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pondering Here re: Ab Specific Exercises: the Debate! Is it necessary?

Read up on a cool blog of a friend's (Hi Kali!) and read up on an article about ab exercises...and really gave me some things to ponder about going home from work today. Although I do agree that doing isolation ab exercises are not the right thing to do independently as a magic wand to washboard abs (total body workouts get you there faster and much quicker) but I think there are conditions why we should be doing them regularly in a program. Again I'm a firm believer that all exercises are considered core strengthening exercises because it is in the core that really determines how strong you can carry on an intense enough workout (knees and shoulders too :) ). Again, I'm not a trainer but do have some valid views about core strengthening, so again this is purely hypothetical but kind of makes sense to me:

a) If the goal is to lose body fat. Work on ab specific workouts later when considerable amount of bf is achieved. Remember when you do workout you are working your core either way.
b) If the goal is to gain strength. Incorporate it in your program regularly. A weak abdomen leads to overall weaker workouts.
c) If the goal of bf has been somewhat achieved, and the abs are starting to indeed show - and if you have some vanity in you (like me), I think it's a must do for more defined abs (towards a 6 pack most specifically).

I think ab exercises improve toning and definition a little more as opposed to not doing them at all.

A strong core doesn't always equate to a more visible six pack either. Here's my reasons!

I see powerlifters who have very strong cores to lift super heavy weight yet do not exactly have what we might call that six pack, but underneath some of that epidermis/adipose tissue we see on the outside --- is in fact a pretty solid core there wouldn't we think?

On the other side of the spectrum, we see the hardgainer guy who probably is 6-7% BF, never worked out in his life and see him at the free weight section at your local gym... do you honestly think his core is strong enough to handle the weight? 9 times out of 10 probably not. And if you've seen some guys at the gym that are very underweight, I have yet to see them press more than their own weight on some exercises to tell you truthfully.

But still - total body workouts are the key...but the core is definitely the foundation.

Anwyay, I may be sooooooooo off base here but this is only a hypothetical theory that warrants me to post it in my blog. I think in any workout...core strengthening is consciously or unconsciously being worked anyway. But I would have to also say it also depends on one's own fitness level too. Again, all exercises help the core but with ab specific exercises done on a routine basis (2-3xweek...some maybe even 5xweek)...I guess wouldn't hurt.

Comments and opinions are welcome! This isn't a proven theory...just my ideas is all for my blog post for the day.



Motivation said...

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Hi Andy!

Thanks for the shout out. I think full body exercises that engage the core take first priority and then if one has the time and wants to chisel out the 6er, isolation work will help make abs pop. So my opinion is full body core-engaging exercises (and by core, I am including lower back strength) and ab isolation exercises in addition if one wants.
Love, Lil

Andy said...

No problem Kali! Nice article posted at your blog!

Agree on all your points too.