How to Get World Class Abs and Back…

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Question: I want to build my abs so that the muscles are in blocks, you know, get my six-pack clearly defined. Also I would like to know what exercises are best for building a wide back?
Answer: We will assume that you are doing your cardio intensely and effectively, as well as, eating a clean diet and drinking water. To get distinctive abs take a que from the gymnasts out there and rotate your pelvic bone towards your shoulders. The function of your abs is to curl your hips and shoulders towards each other.
To do this you have to do, Hanging Knee Raises. You can hang from handy straps or just do it the old-school way and hold on to a chin bar. Either way, bend you knees and lift your legs towards your shoulders. It is not enough to just pull your legs up so they are parallel to the floor but, you have to curl your lower torso inwards and upwards, lifting your pelvis in the process to get the full effect.
10 to 15 reps for three sets will begin your routine. After each set move quickly to your next exercise, Incline Sit-ups. Using an incline sit-up bench keep your torso rolled slightly forward as you move through the range of motion which is to lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor and lift back up stopping just before your release the tension on your abs. On every other exercise in the gym you would lift your ribcage keeping your spine correctly aligned but doing that on this exercise places unnecessary strain on your lower back. Slouching and keeping tension on your abs will protect your back and burn your abs. As with the first exercise, do 3 sets but 20 reps per set.
To build a world class back, begin with pull-ups. Once you are able to do at least 5 reps focus on lifting your chest to the bar instead of just trying to pull your chin over the bar. You probably won’t be able to get your chest to the bar, though some can, but pulling, lifting your ribcage and squeezing your shoulder blades together will work your lats and release some of the strain from your arms. Do 20 to 30 total reps in as many sets as you need to get that many good reps.
Bent-over barbell rows are the next on the list but not the standard 45 degree version. The angle of your torso should be 65 to 70 degrees. The higher angle positions a huge amount of the stress on your upper and middle back instead of your lower back. Pull the bar up into the lowest spot on your ribcage and lower the bar back to starting position. You have to control the movement both up and down to make the muscles work. Slinging weight up to your chest and dropping the bar back down will not make a world-class back. Four sets of 8 reps gets you ready for deads.
Start with your heaviest weight from rows and do a set of 8 deadlifts. Add weight on each of the following 3 sets to finish with 4 to 5 reps with good form.
Pulldowns are next and your tip here is to pull the bar to your upper chest as you lift your ribcage contracting the muscles as you move your shoulder blades together. A slight rocking back helps but not slinging the weight down until your torso is level with the floor. 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps works well.
Low pulley rows are a good finisher doing 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps as well. If you do this with good form and intensity you should feel like you were hit repeatedly with a bat across your back within the next 24 to 36 hours.
That’s how you get a wide, world class back.
Summary:
Abs:

  1. Hanging Knee Raises, 3 Sets of 10 to 15 Reps
  2. Incline Sit-Ups, 3 Sets of 20 Reps

Back:

  1. Pull-Ups, 20 to 30 Total Reps (break into sets)
  2. Bent-Over Barbell Rows (65-70 degree) 4 Sets of 8 Reps
  3. Deadlifts 1 Set of 8, 3 Sets of 4 to 5 Reps
  4. Pull-Downs, 3 or 4 Sets of 8 to 10 Reps
  5. Low Pulley Rows, 3 to 4 Sets of 8 to 10 Reps

God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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