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  1. #1
    Registered User schumpetter's Avatar
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    Do oblique abs really make the waist wider??

    I'm still confused about what to do with oblique abs in my routine.
    I hear a lot of people mentioning that developed oblique abs make the waist wider, and therefore stay
    away from training them.

    Considering the anatomy i doubt they really make the waist wider. Especially since the internal obliques are behind the external obliques.

    Some physiotherapist at my gym said that training the obliques in fact make the waist SMALLER, because the muscles withdraw
    the intestines.

    What do you guys think?
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    Just like any other muscle, if you train it enough it will grow; however, I also think a small matter to consider would be how developed your quadratus lumborum (ql) and transverse abdominus are as well. Also, smaller lats could give the appearance of wider obliques. The abdominal region is tricky, but I don't see any reason to avoiding training a certain area of your body unless there is some kind of contraindication. Genetics also play a part in the matter. Some people have well developed abs or legs with little to no effort, while some struggle almost eternally for desires results. Everyone build a little different, but as stated before, I don't see a feasible reason for not working on a particular muscle group unless thee is something medically wrong or disruptive.
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    Registered User steyrsp's Avatar
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    Yes. This is why some top bodybuilders simply don't train obliques or abs directly at all.

    Just do squats and big compounds and train your core that way, I never bother with isolated ab exercises anymore.
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    Registered User bravo96's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    Yes. This is why some top bodybuilders simply don't train obliques or abs directly at all.

    Just do squats and big compounds and train your core that way, I never bother with isolated ab exercises anymore.
    there is no reason to avoid direct ab work. the reason top bodybuilder try limit oblique work is because there waiste's are already big as is due to the **** there taking. for most people a wide waiste wont be a problem.
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    Registered User steyrsp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bravo96 View Post
    there is no reason to avoid direct ab work.
    Here is a reason - compound exercises that work your core.
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    Here is a reason - compound exercises that work your core.
    not to the extent that actual direct ab work will. the best powerlifters, athletes and natural bodybuilders all train there abs.
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    Bodybuilders don't train their obliques because their waists are already 45" from the HGH/slin and the other crap they're taking.
    Think about every other muscle in your body?
    Did you train it once,even super heavy and saw it grow in a small amount of time?
    No(I suppose )
    Train them,I doubt that unless you do 100lb side bends you can grow a core muscle that big that it destoys your image.
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    Originally Posted by Christaras9 View Post
    Bodybuilders don't train their obliques because their waists are already 45" from the HGH/slin and the other crap they're taking.
    Think about every other muscle in your body?
    Did you train it once,even super heavy and saw it grow in a small amount of time?
    No(I suppose )
    Train them,I doubt that unless you do 100lb side bends you can grow a core muscle that big that it destoys your image.
    this^

    chill op ...people have this misconception that if you do heavy weights or if you do regular weights you ll become huge as the pros ...sslli then every guy doing weights would be a bodybuilder....it takes years lifting, amazing nutrition and lots of other stuff ...its not that easy to become huge...so don worri and go ahead ...
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    Here is a reason - compound exercises that work your core.
    Yea let's stop working biceps cause they get hit on back day and no need to do triceps since chest and shoulders hit them pretty hard lol, strong reasoning you have.
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    Originally Posted by schumpetter View Post
    I'm still confused about what to do with oblique abs in my routine.
    I hear a lot of people mentioning that developed oblique abs make the waist wider, and therefore stay
    away from training them.

    Considering the anatomy i doubt they really make the waist wider. Especially since the internal obliques are behind the external obliques.

    Some physiotherapist at my gym said that training the obliques in fact make the waist SMALLER, because the muscles withdraw
    the intestines.

    What do you guys think?
    So much bro science...

    First off, obliques are not abdominals. Abdominals are named so because the abduct the abdomen at the waist (bend forward).

    Second, internal & external obliques, as well as transversus are essentially a functional unit. You don't train them individually. The fibers of ext and internal oblique run perpendicular, and both are fired when there is rotary motion of the torso (less so with lateral bending).

    Third, "withdraw the intestines"? wtf does that mean? I have no idea what that PT was trying to get at. If you train your core muscles (whether by compound or isolation lifts) these muscles will get larger and tighter. However:

    Having a trim waist is about bodyfat, pure and simple. Whether visceral (internal, within the abdominal cavity, under the muscles) or subq (external, above the muscles), any extra weight you carry makes your waist bigger. If u want a smaller waist, loose bodyfat. Don't think you're gonna get trimmer by avoiding "bad" exercises. That's asinine.

    As far as the obliques (or any core muscles) growing "too large" that's rarely, if ever, a problem. The core muscles are long sheets of muscle fibers and don't naturally regrow "thicker" to the degree that appendicular muscles do (chest, upper back, arms, legs).

    As far as bodybuilders, yes, a lot of them are not regrowing their muscles "naturally". With enough roidage/HGH/HCG/LH/(the list goes on forever), your core muscles will grow in an unnatural manner (they will get thicker), and the more they exercise them, the worse it will get.

    I won't chime in on the isolation vs compound movement for core, but I've noticed a bigger difference in my core after I got serious about compound lifts. Purely subjective.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by bravo96 View Post
    not to the extent that actual direct ab work will. the best powerlifters, athletes and natural bodybuilders all train there abs.
    1. their*
    2. i have developed a pretty serious core/oblique str from just squats/deads, they are completely unnecessary
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    Originally Posted by Neroo View Post
    Yea let's stop working biceps cause they get hit on back day and no need to do triceps since chest and shoulders hit them pretty hard lol, strong reasoning you have.
    It is strong, they are called compound exercises - Rows, Chin Ups, Close Grip Bench, Dips, I guess you missed that memo?
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    I'm no "expert" but IMO waist width is probably just something mostly genetic anyways.
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    Originally Posted by Tomohawk92 View Post
    1. their*
    2. i have developed a pretty serious core/oblique str from just squats/deads, they are completely unnecessary
    well i disagree. there is a reason all top squatters train there abs with extra work.
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    Registered User schumpetter's Avatar
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    So what exercises do you guys recommend for building some mass on the obliques?
    I really hate that rotary torso machine, winds up burning a lot of calories and fatigueing everything BUT the obliques.
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    Originally Posted by bravo96 View Post
    well i disagree. there is a reason all top squatters train there abs with extra work.
    Not all top squatters do train their abs with extra work. And even if they did they are doing it to assist with that heavy load - not because squats didn't build them a huge core in the first place!

    My understanding is that many top Russian and Eastern Europeans do zero isolated ab work - and they are some of the best in the world. So your statement is patently false anyway.

    From the mel siff book "Facts and Fallacies";

    "At one NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) conference in the USA, I remember one of the top Bulgarian strength coaches, Angel Spassov, laughing at questions from American football coaches who wanted to know the best way of doing situps or crunches to 'strengthen' the abs for Football.

    His response was that if players were squatting, cleaning and pressing, bench pressing, deadlifting and so forth,their trunk muscles were already much more strongly involved than they are during most situps, crunches or machine training."
    Last edited by steyrsp; 07-22-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    Not all top squatters do train their abs with extra work. And even if they did they are doing it to assist with that heavy load - not because squats didn't build them a huge core in the first place!

    My understanding is that many top Russian and Eastern Europeans do zero isolated ab work - and they are some of the best in the world. So your statement is patently false anyway.
    for **** sake, okay then most top squatters train there abs with extra work. just because they are hit through compound doesnt mean the extra ab work wont help. its like the same debate as dont train arm directly they are hit enough through compounds.
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    For me deadlifts and squats were never enough to pack mass in the abs. Really have to smack it hard at least twice a weak with weigh in stead of boring long crunching sessions.
    Still:
    Anyone got some good exercise tips for building mass in the obliques?
    Last edited by schumpetter; 07-23-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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    Originally Posted by bravo96 View Post
    for **** sake, okay then most top squatters train there abs with extra work. just because they are hit through compound doesnt mean the extra ab work wont help.
    You are way out of line - just because I post a quote from a top strength coach who differs with your opinion, you flip out like a little girl and start swearing?

    The extra work for back, abs, whatever that some heavy squatters do is really addressing what they consider weak points on a failure set basically. So, essentially what they are doing is taking a short cut and working what they consider to be weak points, RATHER than simply squatting for a few more months to build the muscles that way. So its not like the Squat won't build these core muscles eventually - they are just taking a short cut.

    The Bulgarians under this coach probably just squat a few more months or whatever with lower weight to build the muscles that fail under their top 1RM that way...

    In addition, this idea of doing selective back or ab work for squats is in the upper echelon of weights lifted - this has little application to the original argument; to the original argument I was right, squats and deadlifts will build your core just fine and there is no need for isolated ab work until you are doing very very high poundage squats and you want a short cut.

    Originally Posted by bravo96 View Post
    its like the same debate as dont train arm directly they are hit enough through compounds.
    If you doing compounds there is NO REASON to do isolated arm exercises I can think of; the only reason is to achieve a look that your genetics do not naturally build with compounds. Someone with the right genetics may look perfect doing compounds though, so again its back to that point about cheating or short cuts.
    Last edited by steyrsp; 07-22-2012 at 11:08 PM.
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    If you doing compounds there is NO REASON to do isolated arm exercises I can think of; the only reason is to achieve a look that your genetics do not naturally build with compounds. Someone with the right genetics may look perfect doing compounds though, so again its back to that point about cheating or short cuts.
    The name of this site is bodybuilding.com. Almost everyone here relies a lot on isolation movements. I personally dislike isolation movements, but I do use them from time to time, to bring up lagging parts such as my rear delts and forearms.

    Also, please don't compare the Bulgarians or other juicers to us, normal people.
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  21. #21
    out to lunch THElabCHIMP's Avatar
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    don't sweat.
    unless you dedicate an entire workout to obliques. you aren't going to develop huge obliques.

    moderation. everything should grow in proportion.
    Every time I walk past a building site, I get the urge to do a few pull ups on the scaffolding.
    I live in a city with a lot of development going on.
    Now my lats are too big, and I can't put my arms straight down by my side

    #bodybuilder problems
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  22. #22
    Registered User bravo96's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    You are way out of line - just because I post a quote from a top strength coach who differs with your opinion, you flip out like a little girl and start swearing?

    The extra work for back, abs, whatever that some heavy squatters do is really addressing what they consider weak points on a failure set basically. So, essentially what they are doing is taking a short cut and working what they consider to be weak points, RATHER than simply squatting for a few more months to build the muscles that way. So its not like the Squat won't build these core muscles eventually - they are just taking a short cut.

    The Bulgarians under this coach probably just squat a few more months or whatever with lower weight to build the muscles that fail under their top 1RM that way...

    In addition, this idea of doing selective back or ab work for squats is in the upper echelon of weights lifted - this has little application to the original argument; to the original argument I was right, squats and deadlifts will build your core just fine and there is no need for isolated ab work until you are doing very very high poundage squats and you want a short cut.



    If you doing compounds there is NO REASON to do isolated arm exercises I can think of; the only reason is to achieve a look that your genetics do not naturally build with compounds. Someone with the right genetics may look perfect doing compounds though, so again its back to that point about cheating or short cuts.
    lol at comparing isolation exercises to shortcuts and cheating. why would you try and build your muscles in a less optimal way. also it doesnt work like that this is the reason for assistance exercises. acording to you people could just train with the big lifts and never hit a sticking point or create a weak area.
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  23. #23
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    You are way out of line - just because I post a quote from a top strength coach who differs with your opinion, you flip out like a little girl and start swearing?
    Don't like it when someone says fuck?

    The extra work for back, abs, whatever that some heavy squatters do is really addressing what they consider weak points on a failure set basically. So, essentially what they are doing is taking a short cut and working what they consider to be weak points, RATHER than simply squatting for a few more months to build the muscles that way. So its not like the Squat won't build these core muscles eventually - they are just taking a short cut.
    Why wait? Besides, all the times when the core isn't the limiting factor in a heavier squat is a time when you could hit the core harder by using isolation exercises.

    In addition, this idea of doing selective back or ab work for squats is in the upper echelon of weights lifted - this has little application to the original argument; to the original argument I was right, squats and deadlifts will build your core just fine and there is no need for isolated ab work until you are doing very very high poundage squats and you want a short cut.
    Or if you want to increase the musculature on your abs in the fastest possible way.

    If you doing compounds there is NO REASON to do isolated arm exercises I can think of; the only reason is to achieve a look that your genetics do not naturally build with compounds. Someone with the right genetics may look perfect doing compounds though, so again its back to that point about cheating or short cuts.
    lol @ isolation = cheating


    Curls hit your biceps harder than rows and pull ups. Skull crushers work your triceps harder than regular bench press.

    There might be times when you fail bench due to triceps, or when you fail pull ups or barbell rows due to biceps, but most of the time this isn't the case.


    When you can't curl another rep, i will always be because your biceps are too tired. And when you can't do skullcrushers for another rep, it will be because your triceps are too tired. And when you can't do another weighted sit up, it will be because your abs are too tired. They are the priority of the exercise.
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  24. #24
    Registered User bravo96's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NZninja101 View Post
    Don't like it when someone says fuck?



    Why wait? Besides, all the times when the core isn't the limiting factor in a heavier squat is a time when you could hit the core harder by using isolation exercises.



    Or if you want to increase the musculature on your abs in the fastest possible way.



    lol @ isolation = cheating


    Curls hit your biceps harder than rows and pull ups. Skull crushers work your triceps harder than regular bench press.

    There might be times when you fail bench due to triceps, or when you fail pull ups or barbell rows due to biceps, but most of the time this isn't the case.


    When you can't curl another rep, i will always be because your biceps are too tired. And when you can't do skullcrushers for another rep, it will be because your triceps are too tired. And when you can't do another weighted sit up, it will be because your abs are too tired. They are the priority of the exercise.
    thank you someone who isnt retarded.
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  25. #25
    Bodybuilder/Strongman Wert813's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -Lucifer View Post
    The name of this site is bodybuilding.com. Almost everyone here relies a lot on isolation movements. I personally dislike isolation movements, but I do use them from time to time, to bring up lagging parts such as my rear delts and forearms.

    Also, please don't compare the Bulgarians or other juicers to us, normal people.
    I'm not gonna lie, I'm with you on this one...
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  26. #26
    Shredded deanzil's Avatar
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    Anyone know how to make them smaller? Iv made the mistake of training them and now my waist is wide srs
    Deadlifts: 162.5kg 1rep
    Squats: 120kg 5reps ATG
    Bench: 120kg 3reps
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  27. #27
    Registered User davidolson22's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by deanzil View Post
    Anyone know how to make them smaller? Iv made the mistake of training them and now my waist is wide srs
    I think you missed the point that most people made in this thread. Not to mention, looking at your picture they look perfectly normal.
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  28. #28
    Registered User TankMcRae's Avatar
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    I know this is an old thread, but YES!!! Oblique exercises will detract from a V-Taper, avoid them like the plague if you're just doing physique training. I used to train abs with some relatively advanced stuff before I got into bodybuilding, and now despite a 48.5 inch chest, and some fairly wide lats, my thick obliques detract from the overall V-Taper.
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