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Abdominal Development

Articles by Vince Gironda


Contrary to popular opinion, you cannot produced localized spot reduction by performing a few sets of sit-ups every day. Only nutritional dieting and high activity training with minimum rest periods will cause weight loss. Heart and lung function are very important to emulsify fat.

Because they obtain the best blood supply in the body, the abdominals do not have to be worked with dozens of sets of high reps every day. Simply work the abs using 8-12 reps with 4-5 sets per exercise.

(IronMan Magazine Nov 1973 Vol. 33 No. 1)

Aside from causing lordosis, research has proven that leg raises and sit-ups are not effective as abdominal trimmers or developers.

I have always maintained that arching the back causes the work to be done by the back muscles (Psoas Major) rather than the abdominal muscles (Rectus Abdominus). Because an exercise is traditional does not mean that it is good. Many exercises were developed as far back as the 18th century. With no scientific knowledge behind them! They just seemed good for the particular muscle.

Toe raises, for instance, performed where you raise out on the toes instead of up on the big toe and ball of the foot with the heels coming together produce not only a bow-legged look, but stretches the structures of the feet and weakens the arches.

Low Abdo Special (The Hip Roll)
(IronMan Magazine Nov 1973 Vol. 33 No. 1 and Musclemag Vol 2 issue 1)

This exercise is best done with the back flat on a table plus the head and shoulders rolled forward and the hands flat on the table besides the hips.

Next step, cross your legs, as in the frog sit-up, and roll the hips and crossed legs back towards the chest. This flexibility of the hips and lower back takes practice. This movement also requires that you suck in your abdomen as you perform it.

Home ab exercises
(Musclemag Magazine October 1988 )

Vince, I do not have access to a gym as I live in the country and have no car. I do have a barbell and dumbbell set. I was wondering if you could give me exercises for my abs I can do at home. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Most ab exercises you can do in a gym can be done at home. Crunches are probably the single best exercise and you can do them on the floor. Knee-ins can also be done on the floor or even on your bed The mattress makes it comfortable to do Knee pull-ins can be done seated on a chair or a bench. Abdominal vacuums can be done as well. Train your abs as you would any other muscle. Reduce fat around your waist with diet but build the abs as you would any other muscle.

Strong ab exercise
(Musclemag Magazine October 1988 )

I am a bodybuilder who sometimes powerlifts in the off-season because I really enjoy lifting heavy weights and testing my strength. Is there any special ab exercises I can do that lets me handle heavy weights and will really build and thicken my abs?

Very few weight trainers realize that the abs are a very strong muscle. The barbell 1/4 roll up is a sure size builder because you can handle enormous poundages.

To start, clean a barbell and hold it at shoulders height while sitting at the end of a bench. Lay back, allowing the feet to remain on the floor.

Of course, if you have a training partner to hand you the barbell, it makes things easier.

Hold the barbell across the front deltoids with the elbows high. From this position, roll the head and shoulders forward until the abdominals are flexed. To insure full contraction, cramp the muscle forcibly at the top of the movement. Try four sets of 10, 8, 6 and 15 reps.

(Musclemag Oct'84)

I know that diet has a lot to do with the condition of the waist but I really need something different. I do crunches, situps, leg raises, twists. Vince, I want you to give me something new for my intercostals and midsection. Please suggest a good new ab exercise. I am really looking forward to reading your new book. When will it be published?

The book "Unleashing the Wild Physique" will be out in about six weeks. It will be available at all better book stores.

Try the following exercise for your abs. Lie on the floor on your back. Raise the right knee to the left elbow, then immediately raise the left knee to the right elbow. Endeavour to touch elbows and knees together each repetition, but do not jerk the legs upwards. The movement must be slow and deliberate. Lay the head back flat on the floor between each leg lift.

You say that you know that diet has a lot to do with waistline impressiveness. "Knowing" is not enough. You have to put what you know into practice. Eat less as of now!

Waistline Sag
(Musclemag Vol 2 issue 1)

I am 5 feet 10 inches tall and weigh 140 pounds and, obviously, very thin. I also have small bones. My problem is that the only fat on my body is concentrated on my obliques area and I cannot get rid of it which takes away considerably from any V shape look I may attain. Any weight I gain goes right to the waistline, but if any is lost it comes from the rest of my body. I have read contradicting stories as to the benefits of side bends and related movements. Some state they will thicken the obliques too much in cases like mine where they are already heavy while others think the stretching of side bends will trim the waist. Would you care to give me some advice or program on how to alleviate this unsightly sag?

Your problem is mixing carbohydrate and protein at the same meal. Protein and carbohydrate are incompatible. They both digest in a different medium. Protein digests in an acid medium and carbohydrate is an alkaline medium.

Also, support your protein meals with H.C.L. tablets and carbohydrate meals with Enzyme tablets. No exercise acts as a subcutaneous fat emulsifier.

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