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The Skinny Guy's/Gal's Guide - To Getting A Six-Pack

By Vince DelMonte Contributor
Updated: January 05, 2009
How often you train your abdominals is based on the inverse relationship of intensity and volume. The harder you train your abs, the more rest they need. The less intense you train your abs, the more frequently you can train them! If your goal is rehab or injury prevention, then you will be able to train them often with more frequent and lower loads. If your goal is to make your abs more muscular and dense, then a higher load and less frequency would be ideal. If your goal is maintenance, then a medium load and frequency would be ideal. Refer to this table:






Injury Prevention

5-7x a week
1-4 sets
4x a week
6-12 sets
2-3x a week
3-6 sets

If building a sexy six-pack is on your 'to do' list for 2008, then start training abdominals 2-4x a week. I will teach you in a moment how to split your abdominals up into two different days based on movement.

Divide Your Abdominals Into Two Separate Workouts

To train your abdominals safely and effectively you must know the basic movement patterns of your abs and train them within all sub-categories:

• Truck Flexion (upper abs)
• Hip Flexion (lower abs)
• Rotation (obliques)
• Lateral Flexion (obliques)

The majority of books and articles you have read revolve the bulk of the ab exercises around trunk flexion that is better known as 'upper ab' exercises. A full sit up is a perfect example of this.

Bill Starr in his 1976 classic 'The Strongest Shall Survive' wrote that the abdominals "...can be strengthened in a wide variety of ways. Sit-ups of all types, leg raises, truck rotation movements all involve the abdominal muscles to a different degree..."

I wouldn't be surprised if the abdominal program you are following right now is based on one movement - trunk flexion. I am guessing that your primary goal is actually to have a well-defined and sculpted six-pack, so I have provided a sample abdominal program to break it up into a four day program:
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Trunk Flexion
Trunk Flexion
Hip Flexion
Lateral Flexion

Hip Flexion
Lateral Flexion

Even though you are training each movement twice per week, you will perform different exercises for each workout.

Use A Variety Of Functional Exercises

The Top 3 Hip Flexion Exercises:

  1. Lying Hip Raise
  2. Incline Hip Raise
  3. Hanging Hip Raise

The Top 3 Trunk Flexion Exercises:

  1. Swiss Ball Crunch
  2. Weighted Swiss Ball CruncH
  3. Weighted Cable Crunches

The Top 3 Rotation Exercises:

  1. Russian Twist
  2. Weighted Russian Twist
  3. Weighted Cable Crossover

The Top 3 Lateral Flexion Exercises:

  1. Lateral Flexion on back extension machine
  2. Lateral Flexion with medicine ball over head
  3. Lateral Flexion with medicine ball and twist

Each of these exercises progresses from basic to intermediate to advanced. I suggest you master the first exercise of each before commencing to the next.


You now have all the tools and resources you require to start building a set of eye-popping abdominals. Customize your own abdominal workout and post it in the Article Comments Forum for others to compare and learn from.
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