As with the pecs, the abs are not necessarily as strong as you might think. Here are five tests that can prove this, explained by Jeff Cavaliere of course.
Having visible and shredded abs is not necessarily synonymous with muscular strength. Although a six pack is very often visually pleasing, it is usually evidence that a person has a perfect diet, works out a lot and has almost no fat in the abdominal belt. Yet this same person may have weaker abs than someone’s who’s is not as visible. That could be you according to Jeff Cavaliere. The most famous Youtube coach has proposed five tests to know if your abs are weak or not.
1- Your legs get tired faster than your abs
If, during isometry exercises such as Roman chair knee-raises cans or scissors, your hips and thighs hurt before your abs start to burn, there is usually technical concerns. Indeed, with this kind of movement, your abs must lift the pelvis so that it works the right way. When it comes to knee-raises, the movement should be the abs lifting the pelvis, not the legs. For scissors, consider taking your shoulders off the ground before starting the movement. This is a bad technique and it contributes to abdominal weakness which does not allow you to lift the pelvis.
2- You have pain in your lower back
When doing abs exercises, if you have lower back pain, the tension on the back is too strong. The simplest example is to take crunches. Generally one grounds one's feet under something to create an anchor point. First mistake, this promotes stress on the back, it is better to hang your legs over this anchor, the hamstring will then contract to maintain balance. But the worst is starting the movement using the lower back. One must follow the path of the spine and first lift the shoulders, continuing on to the bottom of the back. In this case, your abs will become stronger. ‘You'll probably have fewer reps, but they’ll be quality reps,’ says Cavaliere.
3- Your abs do not contract automatically
There are three basic ‘compound’ exercises: bench press, squat and deadlift. In these three polyarticular movements, the abs must maintain the proper balance of the body. However, this must be done naturally as the workout progresses and the technique is improved. If you have to force yourself to contract your abs, this means that there is a weakness in your technique or in your lap belt.
4- The bottom of your belly sticks out
You can see your abs and yet the bottom of your belly sticks out a little. This is a sign that your lap belt is loose. It is important that it is tight for reasons of good posture, even if sometimes it can be natural. To correct this, remember to suck in and contract the lower abdominals before each repetition. Having a strong lap belt will help you in your everyday life and in most bodybuilding exercises.
5- Test your abdominal strength
In his video, Jeff Cavaliere provides more tests you can do in order to know whether or not you have rock hard abs. Careful, it is absolutely necessary to do the movements in order successfully to pass on to the next level.
1. Farmer's Walk: With a kettlebell weighing half your weight, walk for about 30 seconds while carrying the weight with one hand alongside the body. Your abs will be forced to keep your torso straight throughout the exercise. If you manage to have good posture on both sides, go to the next step. Otherwise, try again.
2. Straight arm pushup: In plank position, place your arms straight in front of you, hands flat on the floor. Use your abs to avoid hyperextension in the back. Hold the position for a minimum of 30 seconds to go to the last step.
3. The Pallof Press: With your knees slightly bent (or kneeling), stretch the pulley cable on one side. Extend your arms in front of you and bring them back to your chest. Return to the initial position and go on while maintaining a very upright posture. Do not forget to change sides. To pass the test you have to hold the position for ten seconds, two or three times per side.
Check out the video above for more!