Build More Visible & Blocky Abs so They Pop Out

Build More Visible & Blocky Abs with these ab exercises. Each day’s routine target specific ab muscles that will help them pop out.

What’s going on Nation? Welcome to bench break episode 6. how to build more visible & blocky abs.

Now we all know that as you start to decrease your body fat percentage, you’re going to start to see the outlines of your abdominals and your obliques. But what if you want to have those extra deep cuts and you want to have the kind of abs that really poke out when you flex? Well, in order for that to happen you need to train your abs like you would any other muscle part that you want to grow.

What I want to do today is go over with you the training techniques that I use to help me build a defined 6-pack and obliques. For your frequency, I’m going to recommend that you train your abs 4 times a week. What I like to do is split those workouts into two different categories.

On day one, I like to focus on the rectus abdominis and on day 2 I like to focus on the obliques. And then what I do is I take a rest day. Then repeat those workouts with day 4 where I get some dominus, day 5 I’m hitting the obliques again.

For the intensity of these exercises, you’re going to be trying to lift as much weight as possible for the designated rep ranges. Just like any other muscle group that you train you want to apply as much weight and progressive overload as possible to really rip and tear the muscle fibers so that you can actually have some growth.

Now, the sets and reps and rest periods for these exercises. I’m going to recommend that you do at least 4 sets per exercise and you keep that rep range between 12 and 15 repetitions. And only take a 60 to 90 second break in between each exercise.

Now that you have an idea how to format your routine, what I want to do is go over with you my six favorite exercises for day one. When you decide to make your routine, you only need to pick 2 to 3 exercises per day. So if you want to use the exercises from this list, just pick 2 to 3.

I’d also want you to know that there is a lot of speculation out there that you can’t target your lower abs specifically or the upper. In my experience, whenever I perform an exercise that involves weighted leg lifting, so whipping my in the air and applying extra weight to it, I feel like I have a lot more engagement in my lower abs. So with this in mind, every single time I do my day one workout I make sure I always incorporate an exercise that involves lifting the legs.

Day One for Build More Visible & Blocky Abs

So let’s get started with the first exercise.

Ab Pulldown

Now the first one is my all-time favorite exercise. It’s called an ab pulldown. Now I’m going to simulate this with bungees, however, if you check out this video right here, it’s actually an exercise you can perform a lot easier with a lot more weight with a cable machine. But, I don’t have that in my studio, so I’m gonna demonstrate it right here.

So the ab pulldown is very simple. On your knees like this; you’re holding the handles by your head; and you’re bringing your knees to your elbows. Or just a elbows to knees. If you could bring your knees to your elbows that’s Talent.

And you’ll notice I’m trying to keep my torso in one place as I do the exercise. When you start to lift really heavy with this exercise, if you can have somebody stand on your toes, you can focus more on contracting your core as opposed to trying to do the exercise and hold yourself in one spot.

Dumbbell Hanging Knee-Raise

Second exercise is going to be a dumbbell hanging knee raise. Now for some of you it actually might already be intense exercise just to kind of hang like this and raise your knees in the air as high as you can. For those of you who are a bit more advanced, I’d like for you to do it with a dumbbell. There’s a few different ways you can do this if you have access to ankle weights, you can use those as well. If you don’t, just position the dumbbell where you can grab it with your feet. You’re gonna hang like so and bring it up as high as possible, controlling the weight on the way up and on the way down. And you’re not using any momentum. You can also perform this exercise or the dips, doing the same thing.

You bring yourself in the air and with this one you want to make sure your hips are staying in line with your hands. Okay. I’ll show you the difference. This is what the exercise I suppose would look like. It’s actually pushing my hips forward. This is what you don’t want to do. You don’t want to be doing this. Okay. Hips forward. Bring the weight up as high as you can. So that’s the more advanced way to do it.

Ball Passes

My third favorite exercise is the ball passes. These can get pretty intense, especially if you use a slower tempo. So you go a lot slower with the ball pass.

Now whenever you do these it’s actually a 1-1 count. So it’s not one repetition until the ball leaves your feet and then comes back to your feet. So just like this. Lay down the ground, hands over your head. Come up as you come up to grab the ball your shoulder blades have to come off the ground. Don’t just get lazy and do this. Shoulder blades up grab. Come back down. Don’t let your feet or the ball touch the ground. Bring it back to the middle and then go back and forth just like this.

Medicine Ball Floor Crunch

The fourth exercise is going to be a medicine ball floor crunch. For this one you might want to start off with a smaller size medicine ball. This is an 8 pound ball and the way this exercise works, it’s similar to the ball pass where you’re going to hold the medicine ball between your feet. Don’t have a medicine ball, you can try to find something else to hold. You hold the ball in the air and as you bring the ball and you’re going to crunch and touch your elbows to your knees just like this. And you’ll notice the whole time I wasn’t letting the medicine ball touch the ground. And for me, that one really kills my lower abdominals.

Dumbbell Toe-Touch Crunch

The next exercise I want to show you guys is going to be a dumbbell toe touch crunch. And for this one you’re gonna lay down on the ground like this. You’re gonna hold your arm in the air. Show lay it on the ground. Keep one leg bent. Then what you’re going to do is raise one leg in the air and touch the toes with your opposite hand, like this. Then come back down to the ground just like that, And what you would do is perform all your reps on one side, and then switch to the other. Again, you guys will see that all these exercises I’m really getting my shoulders off the ground. I’m contracted my abs as hard as I can.

Ball Crunch with Plate

The sixth exercise is going to be a ball crunch with the plate. The way this is going to work, you don’t need much weight in this exercise, believe it or not, is you’re going to sit on a ball, take a plate. Then you’ll hold it behind your head, like this Then what you’re going to do is you’re gonna lean back as far as you can, come up for a crunch, and then come back down and hold that plake to your head as tight as you can. Just like that.

Those are some of my favorite exercises. That’s how I get the rectus abdominus on day one.

Day Two for Build More Visible & Blocky Abs

So we’re going to do now is go to day two. I’m gonna show you some of my favorite exercises that target obliques. Now we’re on to day two, which is going to be obliques. Once again, I’m going to show you guys four challenging exercises to really target your obliques. But remember, you’re only picking two to three to do on your day two workout.

Woodchopper

The first exercise is going to be a woodchopper. For this exercise you want to use a cable machine, however I’m going to demonstrate with a bungee once again. So for the woodchopper, what you want to do is you want to set up the pulley so that’s at about your hip height. From there you’re gonna hold on to the handle. I like to interlock my fingers. And as a rule of thumb with most oblique exercises, I like to keep my hips facing one way and never let them move. That way I get as much tention as possible as I twist my torso.

So for this exercise I’ll actually start with my toes facing forward and my hips facing forward away from the machine. Grab the hand though. Keep my arms straight and then push all the way through. And as they come back, I’m keeping my hips facing forward, just like this. And for this exercise you will obviously have to do 15 reps on one side and then 15 reps on the other side.

Now you can also switch up this exercise every once in a while. If you would like, you can try doing it from a low angle like this, just to target your obliques a bit differently. And you would go from the bottom to the top. And then you can also put the bungee up higher and target from top to bottom. But you’ll notice that whether I’m doing the middle, top, or bottom, the bungee is always going through the center of my core.

Standing Oblique Curnch

The second exercise I want to show you guys is a standing oblique crunch. Now with this exercise it might be easier for you to start off by holding a plate. But as you get more advanced and stronger, you go to dumbbells. With this exercise, once again, you can do 15 repetitions per side. It’s really important that you keep your hips in one place and you only dip as far as you can go without your hips pushing out to the side. Don’t move a little bit. But there’s a big difference between dipping this low and then dipping like that. It’s really throwing your body out of whack, unwanted pressure on your spine. It’s just not good thing. So stay with your feet about shoulder width apart put your hand on your hip or behind your head. Dip down as far as you can and then crunch. And even when you crunch, crunch as tight as you can without pushing your hip out to the side too much, So you don’t want to be doing this. You just want to stay nice and tight. Go down, come up, really crunching your torso and focusing on your obliques. As soon as you’re done switch sides. Pick the other side.

Floor Oblique Twist

The third exercise is going to be a floor oblique twist. You’re going to use a plate. If you want to you can also use a medicine ball. For this exercise you’re going to actually try to balance on your gluts. So keep your feet together, flex your glutes a little bit, lean back as far as you can while still being able to sit upright. And what you want to do is bring the plate back and forth. You can touch the ground if you’d like to, but the exercise would be a little more intense if you just go as far as you can to the ground without touching. And then go back to the other side. So I’ll show you real quick. So down back and forth just like this. And once again, you’re doing 15 reps per side.

Standing Oblique Twists

Now the fourth exercise and this is a really challenging exercise is gonna be, you know, standing oblique twists with dumbbells. And the way this exercise works is you’re going to stand with your feet a little bit wider than shoulder width apart. You’re gonna hold your arms out to the side like this, bend your knees, and then you’re gonna twist side to side just like that. And again, you’ll notice that my hips are facing forward the entire time. I’m not really using that heavy of weight. The most I usually do one this is ten pounds dumbbells. Believe it or not, fives are actually pretty challenging.

You can do it correctly. You’re doing that one one count, again. So one rep is left, right, one left, right. You also want to make sure your arms are staying straight the entire time. If you’ve never done this exercise before, I want you to start off with just your hands. What tends to happen if you go right to dumbbells is you’ll twist and your arms will start doing things like this. And it’s not really letting the exercise do what it’s meant to do, which is target your obliques. So start off with your hands out to the side like that, and focus on keeping everything nice and straight.

If you want to practice, you can actually get up like a wooden pole or something to put across your neck and put your arms on top to practice it like that as well.

Review

So that’s your day two routine. You can be targeting your obliques: pick 2 to 3 of your favorite exercises. And remember, try to progressively overload as you’re doing your routines. The goal is to get 15 repetitions. If by the time you get to your fourth set you’ve increased the weight, you can only get 10 to 12, that’s okay.

Just push it as hard as you can. If you guys have any questions about this video or your exercise routine to get better results, join us on the forum section, right here. The community and I are there daily to help you guys out. And for more great tips, exercises, and routines, feel free to join us in our home in Fitness com.

And as always, more good stuff coming soon. See you guys.

If you’re looking for a quick way to switch things up, login to your profile and go to the workout section of the website. Once there, click on the muscles you want to train. Then you’ll be brought to a page where you can further filter down your search. Now you have a complete list of all the routines that target your chest and utilize only a barbell or dumbbell. From here you can race the routine, add it to your routines in your profile. And if you scroll down you can see a write-up of the entire routine as well as photos of all the exercises. You can also download a printable PDF just by clicking on it.

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My Complete Ab Workout – Rob Riches

British-born cover model, Rob Riches, shows his complete six pack workout to target the entire abdominal section.

The next step up to being able to engage and really develop our lower abdominal structure is to add some gravity. So basically, what is the same as the lying leg raise. I’ve got a height adjustable bench here. Head up at the top, and get my hips down here. Legs at the same movement but now I have a wider range of motion.

I really have to engage, work the lower abs. The same principles apply. Tempo: we’re keeping momentum out of the equation. Here we’re focusing on that deep breathing and contracting out up at the end.

Secondly, form and technique: both my knees and my arm position are fixed. The only parts that are really moving are my hips and the lower abdominals. Think of it like a almost in a cocoon, fetal position. Elbows up on my temple. That keeps my arms fixed and keeps the abdominal muscles, down here, constantly tense which helps add to the intensity of the exercise.

Breathing, again, exhaling as you come up. I really can’t stress the importance, especially as you step up the advancement level, breathing has in actually engaging the abdominals, helping you increase that muscular contraction. Fifteen to thirty reps on here and if you need to take a short break, five seconds, back on and try and complete at least two if not five more reps after that.

Alright, let’s move on now hit the lower and side obliques. Next exercise is the high cable wood chop. This is a classic favorite of mine. And adding that resistance taking it through a constant range of motion really keeps maximal contraction on these internal external obliques, the V sectional apps that we really work by rotating the core. So this is a step up from I think the seated medicine ball rotation where we have a fixed object moving it around the core. This time, again, we’re fixed but we have this constant resistance that’s always the same. Basically, we have no sticking point, which means it’s a lot more fluid, so keeping those muscles engaged.

Okay, the outer arm goes on last. Arms bent. I’ve got a moderate weight on here; it’s not too heavy because really it’s my obliques doing the work and nothing else. Love this exercise. But really, developing the side obliques, I don’t use too much weight. So I focus back on the breathing and the technique and form. Keep my arms as fixed as I can I’m not bending them. My arms aren’t doing this and I’m keeping my hips my waist as fixed as possible. I’m doing this movement which even without any weight as you can see the muscles happen to work. So when I combine breathing back I really get that deep contraction pulling my abdominals in. When you add some resistance like I have done here, that really helped improve their conditioning and helps you get that grainy effect, grainy gropey muscle effect, when you’re low body fat comes throug. That is read cardio and diet come in.

But you’ve got to have have the abdominal structure developed before that can be seen.

Now, I’ve worked one set of the obliques and that will work the opposite direction and switch the handle from high to low. Basically using the same weight but now I’ve got gravity going against me. So, outer hand over on the end same principles apply. Keeping the arms fixed and rotating around my waist. Keeping that fixed as I exhale. Focus on squeezing the muscle at the end. That means slight pause and a break in momentum.

By moving on from the rotational portion of this ab circuit I’m now going to take the cable, put it back up to the top and focus on some high cable pull downs to really start to engage in bringing my intercostals here. And with that slight rotation it’s another dynamic, another factor variable I’m changing in the ABS Orcutt to help increase the intensity and help further condition and train my abs.

It’s going to set up few modifications to this exercise. I’m going to remove the handle and take the weight up. Reasons for that I’m going to hold the ball here where it keeps my wrist elbow and shoulder all in line. Instead of having a handle to pull down on. I’m actually engaging more of my obliques this way. Secondly, because the height of this, if the handle were here I’m not getting full contraction or lengthening of my abs. So by taking the ball up to the top I can get that full range of movement and then about it. The weight increasing the intensity because now I’m only that’s really flexing my ABS. I’m not having to bring that weight outwards away from that gravity.

So same principles technique form breathing control you can see from this exercise just that shortness range of motion from here how much I’m moving I’m not coming all the way down here. The purpose of this exercise is not to flex your body to the side as much as you can it’s again that contraction. With that, breath out. And that slight rotation to get these abdominals. My shoulder is working. See if I would just go up and down engaging but not as much as that twist that elbow comes down and slightly backward. It’s kind of like you’re drawing a J backwards with your elbow. See these pulling. Oh so, if you want to focus on getting that V cut just around the top of the short line, this is a great exercise to be able to build up to and really get these lower muscles working.

Okay, on with the final exercise of this particular app circuit. And for that I’m going to head back over to the decline bench and start to pull in my upper abdominals combined with a lower section again. Now I’m going to bring gravity back into the mix for this final ab exercise of the AB circuit. The reason is now my lower abdominals have to work that much harder to contract and pull my body weight with my torso, shoulders up from that decline position. So I think shoulders and hips, whichever, is going to be lower means that particular portion lower abdominals if the hips are lower than the shoulders, upper abdominals, if the shoulders are lower than the hips.

So we’re just using this adjustable bench to manipulate which part is doing more work really does make a difference how high or low the shoulders are in relation to where the hips, and how the apps that happens contract money about 20 degrees lower than my hips there. Get that little extra movement now that my abs have to be stretched out that tiny bit farther as I go down. It means they’re having to work much harder than if I was just simply laying flat or adding resistance for that same movement. So there’s another tip instead of simply trying to add heavier weight through the exercise think about the range of motion.

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