A variety of exercises are recommended for abs and Arnold has made the most of them, throughout his bodybuilder‘s career. But in terms of efficiency to get the best results, for him, one movement is important: the Crunch.
The abs have a simple function: pull the ribcage and pelvis together. They aren’t attached to the legs, so when you do sit-ups and leg raises, you mainly involved the hip flexors and abs have only a secondary function, stabilize everything.
Here’s what Arnold recommends:
Lie on your back or on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent 90 degrees. Put– your hands on your head or fold your arms across your chest, as you feel. This exercise involves a small movement. Just squeeze your abs to pull your upper body towards your knees, then slowly return to starting position. To ensure proper execution of the exercise, do as if you try to push your lower back into the floor when you lift your upper body.
As the name suggests, this is a variation of normal Crunch. Lie on your back or on a flat bench and bend your knees to your chest, this is the starting position. Contract your abs to lift your pelvis from the ground and put your knees on your forehead. Touch your forehead with your knees, then slowly, you deposit your pelvic floor. This movement is more intense because you add your own weight on the lower part of your body.
Lie on your back with legs straight. Put your fingers behind your head and keep your elbows on the sides. Lift your legs 6 inches (15 cm). Gently curl your upper body to the ground, lift your shoulder blades, your chest, your elbows toward the ceiling. Bring together your knees to your chest so they touch your elbows amid the crunch. Slowly return to the starting position, keeping feet above the ground.
Unlike other muscle groups, the abs can make sets with a lot reps. When asked to Muhammad Ali, how many reps he did for his abs, he answered: “I don‘t know, I count only when it starts to hurt”. Try this method with many reps after your workout or as a special “abs” session.
Crunch => sets: 3-5, rep: 25-30
Reverse Crunch => sets: 3-5, rep: 25-30
Double Crunch => sets: 3-5, item 30