The Ultimate Abs Talk (Part 2): Abs Training Guide

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Form my last blog post, I explained about different factors to having visible abs.

[If you haven read about it, check it out!]

Now As I said, the key to having a well-developed abs muscle is training. Therefore a practical guide might help you achieve your goals easier.

Abs are not made in the kitchen, abs are made in the gym. That is, you need to work on the training to build your abs. This post will tell you everything about how to have your abs training effectively to achieve your goal.

I believe that with the right way of training, everyone can have their abs visible.

Getting to Know the Abdominal Muscle

Abs muscles aren’t just abs muscles. It actually consists of four major muscles that work in different circumferences.

We have seen different abs exercise, but do you know which part of the muscle it actually targeting?

To know how each abs exercise will help you shape your perfect abs, we need to know the anatomy of abs muscle in the first place.

Different part of the abs muscle works differently, and different exercise will activate different abs muscle.

Here is what our abs muscles look like:

Abdominal Muscle Anatomy

Transverse Abdominal

A.k.a the Core.

This is the deepest muscle found in the abdominal muscle that acts as the stabilizer of your whole upper body.

Transverse Abdominal Muscle

Although this muscle doesn’t bring the definition of your abs muscle to the surface, it does help you keep your organ in place and help you improve in many upper body movements. I highly encourage everyone who trains with weight at least have some core training in their routine. Because a strong core will help you protect your spine from injury as possible in any heavy lifting circumference.

For those that wish to look leaner, here’s something for you about transverse abdominal — It helps make your waist remains smaller. It works like those corsets that the 19th century ladies wore to tighten their waist. You don’t need a corset, what you need is just a strong core.

The corset in 19th century

Therefore you should definitely add some exercise that works your transverse abdominal into your training. You’ll find its benefits in both function and aesthetics.

Exercise for Transverse Abdonimis:

Bird Dog

Dead bug

Scissors Kick


Hollow Hold

Internal and External Oblique

I group both of these into the same point because both of these muscle works for twisting and turning your upper body.

The differences between both muscles vary in position: the internal oblique lies under the external oblique, and the type of movement both act with.

Difference between external oblique and internal oblique

In short, the internal oblique works when you’re doing anything that requires your torso to bend at the same side. Whilst external oblique works when your torso rotates to the opposite side.

To really know the difference in how both of these muscles work, you can do this simple test:

First, bend your torso to either side like when you are doing side raise. At the same time place a finger on the other side of your torso.

You will feel tightening at the side of your torso, your waist will appear internally, and you will feel a muscle that locates at the deeper part of your side torso becoming harder. But not much on the outside. (You are working your internal oblique)

Then, do a twisting movement to the opposite side, like when you are doing a Russian twist. This time, the tightening feeling isn’t from the internal, but you can directly feel the muscle become hard just under the skin.

This is you working your external oblique.

Most of us think that the side bent will help us shape the 11 line abs, however, surprisingly the muscle that has a direct visual impact is your external oblique muscle. This means–rotational movement such as Russian twist or spider climb will work more effectively.

Movement :

Internal Oblique

Side Plank

Bench Side Bench

Side Bent

External Oblique

Bicycle Crunch

Spider Walk

Russian Twist

Cable Oblique Twist

Rectus Abdominis

Raise your hand if you always want to have a six-pack, this section is for you!

Rectus Abdominis is exactly the most obvious muscle that is visible itself. Those muscles look like a chocolate bar consists of row and column.

Rectus Abdominis (a.k.a Six Pack)

The function of the muscle is straight forward, it holds your organ in place and allows a person to bend forward.

Every time you try to bring your rib cage to get near your hip bone, your actually using your rectus abdominal.

That’s why most people think that crunches are the best way to grow your six-pack. In fact, it’s true. Crunches are one of the best exercises that work for your six-pack, but you need to make sure you progressive overload to make the muscle grow.

If you were fit enough, this muscle will form bumps while you try to roll your abdomen. Thus shaping the six-pack that we called.


Bicycle crunch


Hanging Leg Raise

Wheel Rollout

Training Tips

We almost have some abs training in some stage of our life. But do you know why it doesn’t work?

Here’s something that we made mistake in the abs training, it’s not the exercise selection, but how we train the abs.

Integrate Exercise That has Full Range of Motion

Usually, static exercise won’t contribute much to shaping your abs muscle. Static movement is great in some cases, especially because it helps you activate that specific muscle group.

However honestly speaking, isometric movement such as plank and abs hold doesn’t actually work your abs fully.

You’ll involve more parts of muscle when you integrate the full range of motion. It ensures you had full use your abs muscle instead of just holding it.

Hypertrophy Based Training

Let’s say you wish to grow some glutes, if you’ve been on my blog for quite a time, you’ll probably do it with heavyweight and focus on muscle growth.

The same case in your abs training, muscles need enough hypertrophy to grow in order to be seen.

The rep range of hypertrophy should be within 8-12.

If you found you are able to perform your crunches up to 25 times, that means you probably not applying enough stimulus to the muscle.

Progressive Overload

When we mentioned hypertrophy training, progressive overload is always the key.

When you’ve mastered a bodyweight crunches, then move on to loading some loads. When you found Russian twist is too easy for you, go on a wiper hanging leg raise.

Focus on improving your strength instead of aiming to do longer in each abs exercise.

I’ve explained in the previous post about the importance of progressive overload.

Final Thought

In a nutshell, you should train your abs muscles the same as how you train your other parts of the body.

However, the good news is that since abs muscles recover faster than the other part of the body, you and allowed to train every day at most.

Definitely, everyone can get beautiful, visible abs after they pay enough attention to their training. You are already working hard on getting abs, but here is just a few mind shift that you can start applying in your abs training and see the difference.

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