How to Train
Your abs are used in a lot of lifts and exercises, because they’re your core muscle. Who doesn’t need a toned core to do a nice deadlift? You can’t have a proper squat without a strong core. They go together. That’s why you need to approach abdominal training with a combination of heavy and low weight, direct ab-targeting exercises and a varied amount of reps.
Make sure you know which part of your core you are targeting with each exercise: upper/lower abs, intercostal muscles (the muscles that pull in your stomach) or obliques. Effective abdominal training should include some HIIT cardio, heavy weight and low-weight lifts, specific ab exercises, and a clean diet.
Be careful, however, not to bulk up where you don’t want the bulk. For ladies, this is often the waist. By adding weight to your oblique exercises or intercostal exercises, you can add unwanted bulk to your waist. Side planks can do this also. For guys, you this is more of a benefit, as it broadens your torso.
Examples of workouts for different parts of your core include:
Lower abs: bicycle crunches, V sit-ups, reverse crunches
Upper abs: bicycle crunches, V sit-ups, standard crunches,
Obliques: windshield wipers, cross-body mountain climber
Intercostals: dumbbell flyes