Among the countless muscle groups, perhaps the most consensual search among the female and male audience is the abdomen or the abdominal region as a whole.
Today it is possible to say that this is perhaps the group that receives the most focus on training, indirectly or indirectly.
It is no wonder that no matter how well defined and with a low percentage of body fat an individual is, he still wants to improve his conditions in the belly region.
Perhaps because of its importance in determining an individual who is in good aesthetic condition, it is not that he receives all this relevance.
Considering all this eminent search and desire, knowing how to train the abdomen is a fundamental part of a successful process.
Unlike what many people usually do, the abdomen also needs specific and individualized protocols for you.
In fact, each muscle group must be seen as a set determined by X or Y characteristics.
Therefore, incorrect training can not only ruin abdominal gains, but also harm other groups. And we will understand why ...
Abdomen: The center muscle of the body
Being the abdomen located in the middle region of the human being's trunk and extending until the end of it, this is one of the groups considered as “center”, for providing a stabilization of the body as a whole.
Beside the lumbar muscles, the abdomen is precisely required in practically every physical state in which we find ourselves. Imagine that, for example, we would not be able to keep the torso fully erect without the strength of the abdomen.
For that very important reason for any position and movement you make, this is a group synergistic to all other groups (and its proper exercises).
Composed of the rectus abdominis, oblique, transverse, and popularly defined by the infra, supra and oblique abdomen, we can say that despite the small amount of muscles this is a relatively large group, due to its extension.
The abdomen is still largely composed of red-type fibers, mostly related to long-term work. However, a few white fibers are also present in this extremely vascularized muscle.
The characteristics of the abdomen make it a different muscle to be trained
As previously mentioned, each muscle group requires specific protocols in view of their anatomical and physiological conditions.
In this way, we could not think differently with the abdomen: its position, as well as the characteristic of its muscle fibers, make it a different muscle from all the principles used with others.
First, the abdomen is extremely vascularized and extremely rich in red fibers. This characteristically makes it a muscle more of resistance than strength.
Although strength training is something interesting to add to abdominal training, perhaps training that is a bit more voluminous or even with a greater number of repetitions may be more interesting.
Ideal is to mix a balance between strength and volume. Try to maintain between 10-15 repetitions in the most intense exercises and reserve an exercise to totally fatigue the abdomen with a greater number of repetitions.
In the second instance, the abdomen is a muscle where it is practically activated completely with most exercises for the same. We are unlikely to recruit the upper abdomen or even the oblique one with leg elevations, although the focus of the exercise is on the lower abdomen. Therefore, an immense range of abdominal exercises is not necessary thinking that the focus on a particular region does not also require other regions.
Finally, the abdomen is a muscle synergistic to other groups. Therefore, remember that you recruit him in countless exercises, so it is unnecessary and harmful to have a very high frequency of abdominal training days. Try to book a more intense abdominal training day and a less intense one or two during the week. This is more than enough.
Follow more bulky or less bulky methods: Which one is right for you?
There are sources that refer to abdominal training as necessarily bulky. Some athletes like Arnold used to perform 5 or 6 exercises of 5 or 6 sets with variants of 20-50 repetitions per set. These athletes usually did this at least 4 times a week.
Other sources such as Skip LA Cour defend the practice of not more than 2 times a week with just one or two exercises.
The truth is that both sources have great results. And this is due to numerous factors, such as the use or not of hormonal ergogens, which makes it difficult for an individual to suffer from over-training, the diet and the amount of macronutrients present in it, the division and method of training used, etc. .
But then, how do you know which is best for you? Only, testing. Besides that, you can still merge volume and strength training. You can reserve two days a week, using one for strength training and another for training with greater volume and duration. This is certainly a good option for differentiating the supply of stimuli.
Bonus Tip: Video Why Should We Train Abdominal Muscles?
There on our YouTube channel, he recorded a super cool video, addressing why we should train the abdominal muscles. Watch this video and see what he has to say ...
Remember that each body has a biological individuality, as well as phenotypic characteristics which make them differently trainable. Therefore, it is necessary to try different trainings to propose the one that best works for you.
However, remember that by the presence of indirect abdominal training in various exercises or by its anatomical location and biomechanical function, it makes a muscle easy to overreach and then overtrain. So ALWAYS pay attention to this! Rest for the abdomen is also essential.
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