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Lateral abs (you mean obliques?)
1. You can do the standing side crunches where you hold a weight in one hand, do 10-15 then switch sides.
2. Side plank where you sag your hips to the floor then raise up.
3. Work in the transverse plane: twist using cables--> set handle height mid chest, grab 1 cable/handle with both hands locked straight in front of your chest, rotate/twist upper torso to pull the weight. Focus on not engaging the hips, only upper body should be turning. You can also do variation like pulling from upper left to lower right (wood chopper). Go from low to high to engage some posterior chain muscles too (careful there because lifting+twisting is a great way to slip a disc).
Get your back squat, deadlift, and overhead press very strong. Nothing you can do wiggling around on the floor will give you more fully developed abs than that.
Reason: you're loading the work they have to do with many times more resistance than you can ever achieve with body weight or machines. Abs primary function is to stabilize the trunk. The barbell exercises train this stabilization work directly.
Also the squat/deadlift/oh press working the abs is always greatly overstated, but doing single leg work or single arm overhead work will force the abs, mostly obliques, to work hard on stability. Kettlebells are most comfortavle/natural for these types of workouts.
BigT wrote: Also the squat/deadlift/oh press working the abs is always greatly overstated, but doing single leg work or single arm overhead work will force the abs, mostly obliques, to work hard on stability. Kettlebells are most comfortavle/natural for these types of workouts.
How is it overstated? How can any amount of stress you expose your muscles to with 'single leg' work, kettlebells, wiggling around on the floor, or gyrating with a 45lb plate in your hands even come within 1/10 the level of stress you can induce by having to stabilize your trunk for a 350 lb squat, or a 450 lb deadlift, or the abdominal strength required to do the layback for a 3/4 bodyweight overhead press?
My first post didnt post, but oh press, squat, and deadlift are all good. But they don't do much good as the abs are static. I start to feel them at about the 50th squat.
I recommend this progression
1. Lying leg raise bent knee
2. Add 20lb ankle weight
3. Straight leg lying
4. Add weight
5. Lying twists
6. Add weight
7. Move to parralel dip bars
8. Move to sling
9. Move to chinup bar
The hip flexors (behind abs) will take most the load but abs will feel it too. The trick is full range of motion, some partials, and squeeze hard as you can. Working flexors also makes your abs feel hard to the touch and are larger pushing out the abs.
Vacuums will work transverse abs not abs but will tighten your waist over time.
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