365 Ways #115–Abdominal Training

#115–The rectus abdominus (i.e. the much sought after six-pack) is predominately a fast twitch muscle. Thus it responds best to high intensity, low rep sets. So why are you doing 50 crunches a day? Many of you reading this would be better served by focusing on the lower abdominals (those from the umbilicus down and innervated by the ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric nerves), anyway. But if you’re going to work the “upper abs” appropriately, load them so that you reach form fatigue in 12 reps or less. Higher reps for phasic (predominately fast twitch) muscles is considered faulty loading and often leads to adaptive shortening of the muscle targeted. If the rectus abdominus becomes habitually short/tight, respiration is inhibited and posture suffers as your "front panel" gets pulled down. Cause what good is a washboard if you can't breathe or stand up straight?

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