Everything you need to know to build your abs!

If you’re not used to properly working your abs, now is the time to start! With a solid abdominal belt, you can better control and secure your position during polyarticular exercises, prevent injuries and, most importantly, limit abdominal fat storage (Delavier, 2010).

There are few good machines out there to properly train abs. Therefore, this blog offers you exercises that can be done without equipment. Seek the help of a trainer to help you master them. You can split the exercises into different workouts to train your abs between 2 to 4 times a week. Do long sets of 20-25 well-executed reps before loading.

The basic exercises

When doing this, always remember that the abdominal muscles (real name: “Right Abdomen”) are used to curl up the spine. There are 2 types of exercises:

  • For the upper abs, for example the famous «crunch»: Make sure to keep your shoulders tight, just lift your mid/top of your back off the floor and tilt your head forward.
  • For the lower abs, for example the «reverse crunch»: The pelvis must be well off the floor to encompass the «lower» part of the spine and the buttocks must not touch the floor completely.

Note: Contrary to what we sometimes hear, the simple crunch is not enough to effectively strengthen the lower abs (Delavier, 2010).

Also work the obliques

The obliques are used to move the chest, and there are two types of exercises that will help you limit the appearance of love handles:

  • For the outer parts z. B. with «lateral rotations», i.e. a left-right lateral movement.
  • For the inner parts, for example with the «Side Bust Raisers».

Don’ts: Tilt the standing exercise with two dumbbells to the left or right: it’s dangerous for your spine (Delavier, 2010)

Don’t forget the lower back

In order not to slow down your progress, it is also important to train the antagonistic muscles, so also strengthen your lower back with the following exercise:

  • «Breast lift» on the lumbar bench. This exercise will also work your hamstrings, glutes, and back. It is therefore to be included in a leg session, for example.

Tip: For more efficiency when adding a weight, hold it with your arms outstretched instead of pressing it to your chest (Delavier, 2010).

Additional exercise types

For strengthening your abdominal belt and transverse work: sheathing, abdominal vacuum or simply the habit of standing up straight while standing or sitting at a desk with your chest pumped.

On the other hand, fake arched back exercises are dangerous and ineffective (Delavier, 2009). The burning sensation you will feel is due to the isometric contraction of your abdominal muscles, which is not the best way to hypertrophy or de-fat them (Delavier, 2010).
Note: Poor form can easily recruit other muscles, such as the psoas and iliac muscles, which tend to flex the thigh over the pelvis.

And to make them appear?

Unfortunately, in order to make the abdominal muscles visible, it is not always enough to strengthen them in order to enlarge them. You may need to change your exercise style, increase volume with cardio training exercises, and most importantly, control your diet.


– Bodybuilding Movement Guide by Frédéric Delavier, 5th Edition, 2009
– The Delavier Bodybuilding Method (Volume 2) by Frédéric Delavier and Michael Gundill, 2010
– Assessing and treating muscle imbalances by Phil Page, 2010

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Name: Marcello Ronchietto

Website: Let’s go Fitness

Marcello Ronchietto
Let's go Fitness

At Let’s Go Fitness, we believe exercise should be accessible to everyone. That everyone should find the perfect place to exercise. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sporty or not, enduring or not, professional or not, muscular or not. That sport should above all be a challenge for oneself. And you are still well accompanied, heard, advised, encouraged and motivated to the maximum. Regardless of personal goals. We believe a fitness center should be more than a fitness center. It should be a welcoming place, with a good vibe, with a community of members and coaches with the same mentality. At Let’s Go Fitness we believe in the athletic potential of each individual. And our job is to make sure everyone gets THE energy they need.