How To Get Blocky Abs: 5 Effective Exercises That You Can Do
If you like to learn how to get blocky abs, then it’s time to get serious with your ab workouts. Even though it is possible to start seeing some abs after dropping some body fat percentage but if you want to see them to really pop out, then you are required to train them just like any other muscle.
To train your abs effectively, you can divide your training sessions into rectus abdominis and obliques. Your goal is to increase the weight as you progress and to produce the tears that cause hypertrophy. If you would like to get started, check the five exercises below.
What You’ll Need
For Exercises 1
Dumbbell (Also For Exercise 4)
You need a dumbbell to add resistance in your basic knee raise. The dumbbell will be held between your feet. For the standing oblique crunch, you’ll be holding one dumbbell in one hand while you bend to the side.
For your first time, you may choose a lighter dumbbell like five pounds, but as you progress, you can gradually increase the weight. If you have no dumbbell, you can use an ankle weight for the knee raise and a weight plate for the oblique crunch.
A pull-up bar is a great equipment for doing intense upper body exercises with the use of your own body weight. You can use the pull-up bar attached to the power tower or you can buy a simple doorway pull up bar for home use, like this one.
For Exercise 2
One of the most effective methods in working your strength and balance is to use an exercise ball. In the ball-pass exercise, you’ll be using the exercise ball to pass from your legs to your hands, repeatedly. This large bouncing ball is both fun and effective to use for your daily workout routine.
Since you’ll not be sitting on top of the exercise ball, you can use any size from 55 to 75 centimeters. However, if you want to choose the right fit, you can sit on the ball. Ensure that your knees and hips are the right angles with the ground.
For Exercise 3
To increase the intensity of your floor crunch, you can place a medicine ball between your feet. The weight of the medicine ball may depend on how it can affect the control or accuracy of motion. Avoid using a heavy medicine ball that can cause poor form and technique because it makes you susceptible to injuries.
You have probably noticed the different sizes and weights of medicine balls. The diameter can range from a few inches to larger than a basketball. Start with a light medicine ball, increasing the weight gradually as you progress.
For Exercise 5
For the oblique twist, you need a weight plate to add some intensity. You might think that weight plates are only meant for barbells, but you’re wrong. Now, you can use weight plates like you would use a barbell to make an exercise more effective. Select a weight that you feel comfortable holding from 2.5 pounds to 45 pounds.
Target Muscle: Rectus Abdominis
The rectus abdomnis is often referred as the “six pack”. The American Council of Exercise suggests strengthening your rectus abdominis to get definite results. To train your rectus abdominis effectively, perform these three below about twice a week. Do four sets for 12-15 reps of each exercise.
Exercise 1: Dumbbell Hanging Knee Raise
The dumbbell hanging knee raise is a harder progression of the hanging knee raise that works the whole core, including the lower abs, lower back, and hips. This exercise requires advanced skill level.
Place the dumbbell upright on the area where you can grab it easily, perhaps at the bottom of the chin up bar. Put your hands on the pull-up bar and grab the dumbbell in between your feet. Your legs should be straight down. This is your starting position.
Now lift your knees in front of your body as far as they will go. Keep your upper body straight as possible. Exhale as you go up and pause at the top for about a second or so.
Slowly bring your knees back to starting position as you inhale. Repeat as to the number of sets and reps required.
Exercise 2: Ball Passes
The ball pass is a fun way to work your abdominals as you try to stabilize your torso against the movement of your legs from your center and the weight on your hands. The basic movement to remember here is to pass the ball from your arms to the legs, vice versa.
Lie with your back on the floor and hold the exercise ball in between your hands. Extend your arms above your head and put your feet together with your legs extended. Keep your body flat and eyes on the ceiling.
Now, bring your arms and legs up at the same time. Open your legs so you can pass the ball from your hands to your legs. As you come up, exhale and keep a neutral spine.
With the ball now on your legs, move your legs and arms towards the ground. Don’t let the ball and your arms touch the ground. Come back up and this time, pass the ball from your legs to your arms. Exhale as you pass the ball and inhale as you come down.
Exercise 3: Medicine Ball Floor Crunch
The medicine ball floor crunch targets your lower abs and lower back. If you have a weak lower back then settle for a lightweight medicine ball so you don’t get injuries.
Lie down on the floor and hold the medicine ball between your feet. Put your fingertips behind your ears or your head. Hang your feet a few inches above the ground. This is your starting position.
Lift the medicine ball up and come at a 90-degree angle by bending your knees towards your chest. As the medicine ball goes up, so does your upper body. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor as you bend your knees towards you. Return to starting position and repeat.
Target Muscle: Obliques
After training your rectus abdominis, you can start focusing on your obliques. Below are two exercises that you can do twice a week.
Exercise 4: Standing Oblique Crunch
To add intensity to the usual standing oblique crunch, you’ll be holding a dumbbell in one hand. Not only does it isolate your obliques, but this exercise can also target other parts of your body, like the spinal erectors and other stabilizing muscles in your lower body.
Hold a dumbbell in one hand. You can start with your feet shoulder-width apart or together, depending on what’s comfortable for you. For better stability, you can take the foot on the side that you’re crunching with forward. Now put the free hand behind your head and turn it on the way where you’re crunching to really feel that squeeze when you're doing a crunch. This is your starting position.
Bend at the waist to the side as far as possible. While keeping your shoulders back and chest up, inhale as you bend and exhale as you come back to starting position. Throughout the motion, keep your core tight as possible. Resist on using your hand to pull your head in the direction of the movement.
Exercise 5: Alternating Floor Oblique Twist
In this exercise, you’ll be using a weight plate to add resistance. By twisting side to side, you’re working your obliques.
The first thing that you need to do is lie down on the floor with your upper body upright and knees slightly bent. Pick your feet a few inches off the ground to activate your lower abs. With both hands, hold the weight plate by its sides in front of you with arms slightly bent.
While keeping your cores tight and head straight, twist from left to right repeatedly. Breathe out as you go in from side to side. You might notice your lower body moving a lot but that’s fine because that’s just your force exerted when you twist to the other side. This force is what works your obliques effectively.
Tips To Remember
1. Slow The Tempo
If you like to get optimum results, Australian Iron Man, suggests doing the ab exercises in a slow tempo. Concentrate on the squeeze and stretch of every exercise. If you like to perform fewer reps, you can add more resistance to each abdominal movement and remember to rest in between sets to avoid injuries.
2. Keep The Proper Form
When doing ab exercises, Muscle And Fitness suggests keeping a proper form. Keep your eyes on the ceiling when doing floor work. To get maximum benefits, squeeze your core tight in every motion as possible.
Learning how to get blocky abs is really not an easy work. You need a strong mindset and patience to achieve your goal of god-like abs. As always, maintain safety by never going too far on the weights. Start on the weight where you’re comfortable and gradually increase it as you progress.
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