I have been working hard to get leaner and trim my waist line. I have made some good improvements but I still have “love handles” I’d like to get rid of. Do you do any specific ab exercises or direct work for your obliques to give you a smaller waist line?
Best Exercises for Abs
I don’t do any direct work for my obliques. I feel the oblique muscles get enough stimulation stabilizing your body as you perform compound free weight exercises like squats and overhead presses for example.
A smaller waist line and the disappearance of “love handles” will be achieved as you reduce your body fat levels. You can’t spot reduce your waist line by doing any specific exercise and direct oblique work will not melt away the fat in that area.
You have to attack fat reduction as an over all body process. Your waist line will become more trim as you lower your body fat around your abs. This will be a result of fat burning from watching your nutrition and your caloric intake closely with the addition of cardiovascular exercise to help you expend more energy. You need to create a calorie deficit and consume fewer calories than you expend in a day’s time.
Rather than devoting the extra time and energy doing endless sets of oblique work, you’d be better off channeling that energy towards your nutritional plan and your cardiovascular out put. These are the two main components in the fat loss equation.
Ab workouts for men: How do you perform leg raises on the Swiss Ball to get a smaller waistline? Does this exercise help you lose love handles?
To perform leg raises on the Swiss Ball you need to have something over your head that you can grab onto. I like to use the bar on the Smith Machine. That works well because you can easily adjust the height.
I position myself so my body is resting approximately on the center of the Swiss Ball. You can move your body forward or backward on the Swiss Ball to make the exercise easier or more difficult. The higher the Swiss Ball is on your back, the harder the movement becomes.
Once in position, I keep a slight bend in my knees and raise my legs approximately 12-14 inches past parallel then lower my legs until they are 2 to 3 inches below parallel.
I am currently doing 2 sets of Swiss Ball Crunches and 2 sets of Swiss Ball Leg Raises for 10 to 12 reps each. I find these great for keeping my waistline slim.
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What should I be doing to harden or tighten my obliques? I’m thinking if I train my obliques it’ll help my abs show more. Your suggestions would be helpful!
The obliques and the entire abdominal region get a lot of stimulation stabilizing your body during heavy compound exercises and I don’t think the obliques require direct work.
Some people believe that training the obliques with exercises like side bends and twists will help to trim their waist lines. The truth is you can’t spot reduce fat from an area no matter what exercise or how many repetitions you do.
Your abdominal development will become more visible as you reduce your body fat levels. That is a product of your diet and caloric expenditure more than any one particular abdominal exercise.
I advise training your abs with the heavy weight. The abs are a muscle so train them with resistance in order to increase development.
The abdominal region is worked indirectly every day during stabilization so I don’t think a lot of direct is required. I like to train abs once per week with a total of 4 or 5 weighted sets.
My current ab training consists of:
1. Weighted Leg Raises….2 sets 8-10 reps
2. Cable Crunches….2 sets 8-10 reps
3. Swiss Ball Leg Raises….1 set 12 + reps
4. Swiss Ball Crunches….1 set 12 + reps
*I perform Swiss Ball abdominal exercises to help improve my core strength and stability.
Don’t try to get too creative with your abdominal training. Always remember the abs are a muscle like any other and should be trained heavy resistance to increase abdominal development. Your diet and cardiovascular efforts will reduce body fat levels and make the development you have achieved more visible.
I want to add more cardio to help me get ripped with a smaller waistline but I am worried about losing muscle. Do you worry about losing muscle as you increase cardio?
With an intelligent approach to training, nutrition, and supplementation, losing muscle with increased cardio is not a concern of mine and shouldn’t be a concern of yours either.
First, make sure you continue to train heavy to effectively stimulate muscle growth. One of the mistakes people make when trying to get lean is they start training lighter thinking it will help them burn fat. Don’t make that mistake. Training lighter will only reduce the stimulus for growth, it will not help you get leaner.
Next you want to make sure you implement an intelligent cardio strategy. Cardio is a tool to help you expend energy and increase your metabolic rate. This will be essential for getting in great condition. Just like anything else, some cardio approaches are more efficient and effective than others.
To maximize the positive effects of cardio and minimize any potential negative impact on muscle building I suggest doing shorter (15-20 minutes), more intense cardio sessions. The key is to keep them intense and try to better your output each session.
This shorter, more intense approach to cardio will cause a greater increase in your metabolic rate and elevate it for a longer period of time after exercise.
Cardio timing is important so you don’t impede the muscle building process. You should spread your cardiovascular sessions at least 6 hours apart from your weight workouts if possible.
To maximize your cardio and dumbbell training efforts you need to follow a sound nutritional and supplementation plan. Determine your daily caloric intake and nutrient ratios. This will ensure your body is getting all the fuels it needs to build muscle while not consuming an overabundance of calories which will promote fat gain.
With all these factors in place, the only thing you are going to lose is the unwanted fat.
Abs Workout Video Guide
So for the core workout you have two different circuits that you’re going to repeat twice each exercise is 20 seconds with as many reps as possible first exercise is sitting twist let’s go ahead and get right into it Michael’s going to get seated his feed her up and he’s just going to twist now if you want to do this exercise using a medicine ball or a dumbbell that’s completely fine for our purposes today we’re just going straight up body weight good about halfway there keeping its core nice and tight good 54321 right into a plank so you can see that he’s got a nice straight line actually met haven’t caught up just a tad good you really want to make sure that your hips are not dropping down that was what really leaves your low back susceptible on this exercise his elbows are right beneath his shoulder he’s in the perfect plank position right now good 21 okay right into but ups so Michael is back on his back his feet her up and he’s just gonna touch up to my hand perfect so his head is down his hands are secured at his side and again you really just want to force your butt off the ground and come straight up in a line good and five four three two and one time good right into heel touches yep so right back down and he’s just alternating side to side again he’s already in a flexed position his starting possession position is flexed so he’s not resting at all this is constant tension on the ABS and again you guys you want to try and get in as many reps as you can in these 20 seconds go ahead in five four three two and one time right into visa so Michaels going to sit up modified V cities get it yep and he’s crossing over perfect this requires leg strength the Domino strength good and he’s keeping his core nice and tight his hands are secured at his side’s go to just five more seconds five four three two and one good right in two hundred so he’s back down and he’s just tapping his hands right to his heels trying all the way up to your heels there we go again he’s not resting his starting position his he was already tension in his abs perfect and ten seconds left he’s feeling it I can tell haha five four three two and one time right into plank step up so he’s gonna flip right over he’s in the plank position and he’s right up on those hands so again he’s bringing his hand right underneath his shoulder perfect don’t cheat this people i see they want to come out to here to cheat the tension off of the tricep in the shoulder don’t do it that way that’s also going to take the tension off of your obliques and that is not what we want good and time right into our plank walk out so Michaels just inching out inch by inch and then he’s coming right back good it’s a small movement don’t go out too far that’s gonna make your back susceptible you’re just inching out this is a great exercise especially going blank right into this it’s extremely difficult good and time right into a cross crunch so he’s back on his butt back in that starting position good and he’s coming straight up and touching the top of the seat really squeezing this that’s the most important part when you are doing crunches is that on the way back down you’re not just relaxing you really want to keep tension all the way through the movement good in five four three two and one ride a bicycle crunches there we go he’s crossing it over bringing the knees all the way in and out good and about ten seconds left you should be breathing hard your abs should be burning you should be pushing and five four three two one perfect that’s the underground one let’s get right into round two with seated twist perfect oh he’s he’s on it speed her up cores tight you guys should really be pushing through these getting as many reps in as possible in these 20 seconds good five four three two and one right into our next exercise plank alright so Michaels back back around his elbow is right underneath his shoulder carven keys in a perfect plank position a lot of times I see people do this exercise they’ve got their torso is kind of sinking down that is a big big big no-no that leaves you very very open to injury you want to stay in a perfect line with your body three two one right into cut-ups perfect let’s go okay so his head is nice and relaxed and he’s just launching those legs right off the ground trying to feel this deep deep deep in your abs again you should be winded I can hear that he’s winded you should be winded at home this should be taxing you cardiovascularly and five four three two and one time moving right into heel touches 20 seconds how many reps can you do every single round you should be pushing to get more reps in every week you should be improving good ten seconds left good and five four three two and one time right into modified v6 all right so he’s back up here we go good that’s perfect killing it you really want to keep your legs nice and straight if you need more support you can put your hands behind you while you do this exercise four three two one good right into hundreds back down here we go good these little crunches these tiny movements really really work the abs are deceivingly hard there’s deceivingly amazing too for getting results in your abs they really create those nice deep cuts that everybody wants good three two and one time playing step-ups let’s get into it so Michaels flipping back around nice transition there perfect good good he’s gonna try and get ten on this side and they move right on to the other side perfect good just about five seconds left five four three two one perfect right into a plank walk out how you feeling hahaha not there we go that’s what it should be doing there’s no mistaken where my court I thought that’s right every exercise we’re doing we’re really firing every single muscle of the course so often I see people working for front to back we’re working it from all angles today go ahead three two one time right into a cross crunch he’s gonna flip back around here we go again everything is tight he’s not letting go when he’s on his kind of downswing of this exercise he’s staying in in a position where the abs are constantly engaged good and seven six five four three two and one time right into a bicycle there we go this is the type of pace that you guys want to try and be at really really pushing it perfect good perfect over halfway there and five four three two one great so that’s the end of circuit one let’s move right into circuit to the shoulder bridge Michael’s gonna get himself in position good so he’s got his feet planted firmly on the ground and he’s just lifting his hips off the ground pushing right through his heel his head is firmly on the ground his hands are on the ground he’s keeping the rest of his body nice and relaxed good four three two one now we’re going to move into the quadra pet alternating I’m gonna flip back over he’s coming right out giving it a nice second or two to to stay in that flex position and then switching right back over we’ve worked the front of the body now we’re working the back side of the body perfect this is a great exercise for stabilization I use it with all my clients especially with my athletes and one good right back into our shoulder bridge perfect so he’s back down perfect really want to be squeezing and pushing your hips as high up to the sky as you possibly can if you feel any tension in your low back just move your feet towards your butt just slightly just that little adjustment will take a lot of pressure off the lower back squeeze it good 2 and 1 right back over the last set we are so close perfect 20 seconds again notice Michael isn’t just swinging he’s making sure that he’s got his leg out his arm out and stabilized before he’s moving on to the other side five four three two and one time I feel got the ABS yeah great job you guys that’s it for your core workout I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Ab Exercises