If you want to have amazing looking abs, it’s simply not enough to focus 100% on getting ‘a six pack’. Just like other parts of your body, your mid section is actually made of multiple different muscle heads including the obliques, the transverse abdominis and the rectus abdominis. And just like any other part of your body, you also need to think strategically about your use of specific exercises to get the look and performance that you need out of those muscles.
Got abs? Great. Now you need to start thinking about oblique detailing on either side, about flattening your stomach and about developing that awesome looking V cut.
The V cut is something you’ll notice whenever you look at the abs of any really ripped guys. It’s a great effect and one that can make you look that much more like a Men’s Health cover model. But how do you get it?
That V cut right at the bottom of the stomach is actually made from your obliques, not your abs. Your obliques are the muscles on either side of your abs right at the bottom of your torso and they’re responsible for a) allowing you to bend either way sideways and b) providing you with torque to twist your body powerfully during a punch for example.
One way that many guys will try to build their obliques using side bends. Here you hold a weight plate in one hand and then lean to the side. While this is good for building oblique strength, it unfortunately does so while making them thicker and blockier which will remove the V taper and thin waist that you’re probably aiming for.
So what do you do instead? One option is a twisting variation on the cable crunch. Kneel on the floor and take a rope in one hand then crunch it down while adding a twist. This works the lower obliques in a twisting manner. Make this a single joint exercise by keeping your arm locked in place and really focusing on your waist to generate the movement.
Of course to get visible abs you need to cut a certain amount of weight and this is even truer for exposing those low obliques. Generally you should be dieting and using CV in order to try and reduce your body fat percentage.
To get the most from the above exercise (which is courtesy of Rob Riches’ YouTube channel), you should make sure to train on an empty stomach so that you aren’t busy digesting while you work out and at the same time you might want to use the exercise right after cardio.
Rob also recommends using ‘fasted cardio’ by training first thing in the morning without eating much at all before hand. This way the body is forced to burn fat for fuel and while it can damage muscle gains, it should still target fat first and foremost. Certainly Rob doesn’t seem to have much problem in that department!