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Even though I have low fat % on my body, I have a problem getting my abs bigger. The truth is I haven't lifted weights or gone to the gym to make them bigger. My training is:

  1. Ab wheel exercises (it makes my abs stronger, but not bigger)
  2. Abs simulator - I am using that device on my abs, that is doing like "massage". The device is supposed to get you bigger abs in 1 month, but I still haven't seen results from it.

I am doing those exercises 4 times a week about 12 minutes each time.

I am eating healthy.

Thanks in advance.

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Like any other muscle, you build bigger abs by training and feeding them. The three primary mechanisms that stimulate muscle growth are first- Mechanical Tension, second- Metabolic Stress, and third- Muscle Damage. You should seek to apply each of these to your ab training. Also, because of the anatomy and function of the abs, it's possible to distinctly target the upper and lower abs when training.

Also, when doing ANY exercise (not just abs) make sure to build and concentrate on your mind-muscle connection with the targeted muscle(s). This can be difficult when you are just getting started, but you should be able to feel and contract your muscles. Likewise, make sure that your form is as good as possible when doing an exercise to elicit the maximum benefit.

So what are some examples of what this looks like in practice?

  • General Ab Training
    • Mechanical Tension Exercise: Cable Crunch / Ab Pulldown
    • Metabolic Stress Exercise: Bicycle Crunch
    • Muscle Damage Exercise: Ab Wheel Rollout
  • Upper Ab Training
    • Mechanical Tension Exercise: Weighted Crunch
    • Metabolic Stress Exercise: Physioball Crunch
    • Muscle Damage Exercise: Ab Roll Up w/eccentric focus.
  • Lower Ab Training
    • Mechanical Tension Exercise: Hanging Leg Raise
    • Metabolic Stress Exercise: Flutter Kicks or Scissors
    • Muscle Damage Exercise: Dragon Flag


Note: The goal of each mechanism of muscle growth is as follows; Mechanical Tension seeks to maximize the resistance that a muscle can actively work against. Metabolic Stress seeks to create a pump/burn mid-exercise and to push through that as much as possible. Muscle Damage seeks to overload a muscle primarily through eccentric overload, but it can happen in other ways as well.

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  • I have question . You must do all those together ? And with some series i.e first general abs after upper and final the lower abs – m.s Jun 26 '19 at 8:49
  • That’s one possibility, although it would be quite difficult. I would personally recommend to pick three and do two sets to failure with minimal rest. Because lower ab training tends to be the most demanding I would recommend starting with a lower ab exercise and finishing with an upper ab exercise since they are less so. This could be done daily or a few times per week, just make sure to actually challenge your abs. Also keep in mind that if you want to build a visually complete core that you’ll also want to work your obliques, transverse abdominus, and even the serratus anterior. – JustSnilloc Jun 26 '19 at 11:06
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The most important thing in getting your abs more visible is low body fat percentage. However, in order to get your abs more visible, you'll need to build a muscle mass in the abdominal muscles. I would suggest you to do the following:

  1. Maintain a healthy diet. That a very large topic. You should research more about it.
  2. Train more on the abdominal muscles. I would suggest you to workout your abdominal muscles at least 4 times a week, 15-20 minutes each time, and consist 3-5 types of exercises that focus on the abdominal muscles. Here are a few examples of those exercises (you can always search on Google to find more):

    1. Arms-High Partial Situp.
    2. Dip/Leg Raise Combo.
    3. Flutter Kick.
    4. Medicine Ball Russian Twist.
    5. Medicine Ball Mountain Climber.
    6. Plank.
    7. Medicine Ball V-Up
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Take a look at Eddie Hall (especially), Brian Shaw, Thor, or other strongmen. Their bellies look absolutely massive. The thing is, their bellies are almost entirely solid muscle and those guys carry far less body fat than most would expect. That said, sometimes they do carry a lot of extra body fat if they’re shooting for some sort of world record.

I have never seen any of them do ab wheel rollouts or anything like it. They build massive abs by squatting and deadlifting heavy weights. The military press with a proper Valsalva maneuver will also put a tremendous amount of isometric pressure on your abs if done correctly.

You can do 100,000 exercises for your abs, but heavy weights with a proper Valsalva maneuver will build abs like nothing else.

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To build huge abdominal muscles train them as if they were your legs, sure push ups/bench presses use the legs but expecting to grow huge legs without training them just because one does heavy benches is ridiculous.

Abdomen musculature is no different.

In response to:

Take a look at Eddie Hall (especially), Brian Shaw, Thor, or other strongmen. Their bellies look absolutely massive. The thing is, their bellies are almost entirely solid muscle and those guys carry far less body fat than most would expect. That said, sometimes they do carry a lot of extra body fat if they’re shooting for some sort of world record. I have never seen any of them do ab wheel rollouts or anything like it. They build massive abs by squatting and deadlifting heavy weights. The military press with a proper Valsalva maneuver will also put a tremendous amount of isometric pressure on your abs if done correctly. You can do 100,000 exercises for your abs, but heavy weights with a proper Valsalva maneuver will build abs like nothing else.

One could argue that the reason strongmen have huge abdominal muscles without training them is just because of insulin and steroids which are common among sponsored athletes. Plus recently Eddie Hall posted videos showcasing him struggling with doing a few sit ups and crunches. Meaning the strength of his abdominal muscles are not on par with his size, typical of drug users.

Not launching any accusations here, nothing wrong with using steroids, specially if allowed by the competitions and strongmen allows for use of drugs. Taking steroids is not a shame and it's fine as long as there is medical prescription and supervision. Steroids are like cigarettes or alcohol, dangerous and will kill you if abused but not a crime.

Also valsava manouvre is about air pressure, at most it trains the diaphram and the deep breathing muscles of the abdomen, it does not train the six pack or external obliques which work only as flexors of the spine. It's like saying overhead press builds huge dorsal muscles because you have to keep your shoulder girdle thigh or that deadlifts build your calf muscles because it keeps you from falling.

Holding air in your stomach,standing still or keeping a thight upper back has the same difficulty regardless if one does it with no weight at all or if they do it with 300 kilograms.

Why don't we see everyone with abdominals as big as Eddie's or other professional athletes? People do the valsave every time they defecate... After 40 years of defecation one should have enormous abdominals... But this isn't the case. The valsava does not build abs PERIOD

That's also the same reason people with good posture don't have giant lats and people have small calves regardless of how much they squat or deadlift. Stop inventing excuses for not training a muscle, just admit you can't be bothered training your abs/calves or whatever.

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