So I'm constantly getting questions about my ab routine on here (which i don't mind and thanks to all for the flattering compliments) so I thought I'd let you all in on what it is that I do.
First of all I'll get the obvious out of the way. You can't have good abs if you can't see them under bodyfat and no matter how many crunches you do on your new Ab Lounger 5000 you won't see a thing until you got your diet and cardio down. That may be material for a future essay but I'll stick now to my favorite exercises for this one.
In my case, I've developed pretty thick abs from years of lifting. On top of that (before I knew better) I was doing a lot of heavy resisted ab exercises. So, naturally, I began to develope a blocky midsection. I'm sure most of you have seen this look on pictures throughout this website. Still ripped, but not that narrow midsection that gives that athletic look that all the ladies love. No matter how lean I was I couldn't take a picture while I was sitting down without looking like I was trying to suck in a beer belly. Being a Fitness model this can cause some problems.
So what I needed to do was bring the ab muscles up and in and hopefully keeping the most of the thickness that allows for those deep cuts between the muscles. For this I trained with natural IFBB pro Derik Farnsworth who taught me some great tricks.
Here's my favorite that I've gotten amazing results with. I don't even do an ab day without this one anymore. It's crunches on a foam tube or boat bumper. Now, most gyms don't have boat bumpers like World Gym in San Diego does but I am starting to see alot more of those white foam tubes that are about 4ft long and 6" or so in diameter. Place this tube low on your lower back. Now the most important part of this exercise is sucking your belly button down towords your spin. Make sure of this throughout the entire motion. Bring your ribs towards your hips by basically lifting your face towards the ceiling. Your range of motion should be very small if your keeping your belly sucked down. Pause for a count at the top and check that your stomach is sucked down. Nice and slow back down stopping before your back touches the floor, check that your stomach is sucked down at the bottom than go back up. If your doing it right, most people can only get about 10 reps before failure until they build more endurance.
This second exercise is pretty simple but it really helped to bring out my lower abs. It's just hanging leg raises, but keeping your stomoch sucked in like in the last exercise and bringing your hips forward and up crunching them toward your ribs. Almost everyone I see who does hanging leg raises simply lifts their knees up and down. However this motion is caused by your hip flexiors and not so much your abs. You can test this for yourself standing and grabing a chair or rail with one hand and putting the other hand on your lower abs. Now lift you knee up and see if you feel a muscle contraction....... you don't. The purpose of the abs is to bring the hips and the ribs together.
For my third and final exerise I throw in a little something for the obliques. I used to do weighted side crunches, that is until my obliques looked like a fat roll hanging over my waist line no matter how ripped I got. So now I do just do this one exercise and it really helps tighten up my sides and bring a lot of definition. I grab the lat pull down bar off of the cable machine and take it over to the decline bench which I set at a fairly steep incline. I put the bar across my traps like a squat bar and lean back on the decline bench to about a 45 degree angle. Then I just twist. Hard and aggressive twists, getting as big of range of motion as I can (it really stretches my back out to).
I usually do these in a triset without rest for four times around. Try it 3 times a week for a month and let me know how it went! If your looking for more help with the rest of your routine and wanna get into amazing shape, checkout my website http://www.ithinkfit.com/ and i'll get your ass going on those goals!