Abs Please Come Out Of Hibernation

Obi Obadike
Photo Credit: Jason Ellis

The question I get from so many people is how can I get world-class abs or how can I get abs like you. First of all I feel very blessed and fortunate to be known in the fitness industry as having great abs. I am going to share with you a little secret ladies and gentlemen — we all have abs, but now here is the twist, unfortunately some of us have to work harder than others to see those abs.

I am sure you are tired of watching some late night infomercial telling you if you do this silly abs machine your abs will pop out of hibernation and you will have the midsection of your dreams. Those late night infomercials sell a lot of fake midsection dreams and if you read enough about fitness and nutrition you will know improving your midsection is more than just jumping in some funky abs apparatus equipment product.

Having great abs are not indicative of how many sit-ups or crunches you do, but indicative of how low your body fat is. The key thing to remember is that having visible abs comes from low body fat; it doesn’t come from doing crunches until you pass out.

If I told you that some of the greatest abs you have ever seen in the world — that many of them don’t even do as many abs exercises as you would think, you probably wouldn’t believe it.

I don’t even do as many sit-ups as the average person that works out in the gym because my abs were developed at an early age as a sprinter in high school and college.

Abs exercises are always great for developing your abs but if your body fat levels aren’t low enough you will never be able to see your abs because the fat will be covering the muscle.

For the fellas to see their abs typically their body-fat has to be at least 12 percent but sometimes you can even have higher body-fat if your abs are thicker. For females to see their abs their body-fat has to be about 14 percent and under. There are several key ingredients you have to implement to attain awesome abs year-round and they are maintaining a great diet and cardio regimen, exercising your abs regularly and getting proper rest and sleep.

How important is the diet to obtain washboard abs? In my honest opinion it is the most important thing to help you attain low body fat levels. Unless you have superior genetics and an ultra-lightning metabolism (which is a very small percentage of our society), then your diet has to be very clean and consistent to reduce your body fat levels.

Some of the clean eating foods you should be consuming on a consistent basis are chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fish, turkey, oatmeal, green vegetables, oatmeal, etc.

All the foods mentioned above are what Morris Chestnut from the Best Man Holiday film ate regularly, which helped him tremendously in dropping his body fat of 17 percent down to 6 percent in 10 to 12 weeks.

Obi’s Favorite Abs Exercises

There are five exercises that I do every other week or so that have been very beneficial for helping me develop thicker abs over the years: sprinting, old fashioned sit-ups, seated knee-ups, broom twists, and hanging-knee-to-chin-raises.

Sprinting is one of the best abs exercises you can ever do. Some of the top sprinters in the world have the greatest abs on the planet and it is because of the explosive effects from sprinting. Every time you lift your leg in the air while sprinting you work your abs. A world class sprinter covers a 100 meters in about 44 to 47 steps so the average person would probably cover that distance in probably about 57 to 60 steps. So in just one 100-meter sprint you would have worked your abs roughly 57 to 60 reps or more. This in itself is incredible since most people don’t do that many sit-ups in a set or an entire workout. 

Duration: 10 to 12 100 meter sprints- one to two days a week

Sit-ups are one of the oldest abs exercises and still are one of the best exercises you can do. Performing sit-ups very slowly and with great form always targets every part of your abs as well as your obliques. This exercise, although very old, has always been very beneficial for my abs and I still do them to this day. Never snooze on sit-ups as it is still a great abs exercise that does the job.

Duration: 30 reps- 4 sets- 3 day a week

Broom Twists is another great abs exercise that is incredible for your obliques. You basically grab a broom and place it behind your head and make slow twisting movements at the waist and not the hips. This is one of the best oblique exercises you can ever do. When done with proper form you really can feel an incredible burn all through your obliques.

Duration: 30 reps- 4 sets- 3 days a week

Seated Knee-ups is an abs exercise that targets the lower abs. This exercise can be done on a sturdy chair or any bench. Keep your body stabilized, lean back slightly and extend your legs out and in front of you together while bringing your knees to your chest. The positive and the negative of the exercise should be at least two to three seconds so you can truly feel your abs working.

Duration: 30 reps- 4 sets- 3 days a week

Hanging-Knee-To-Chin-Raises is a full abs exercise that targets the obliques and abs simultaneously. This exercise consists of hanging from a pull-up or chin bar with your knees slightly bent and then bringing your knees towards your chest. When you’re at full contraction your knees should be pulled to your chest. If this exercise is done slowly with correct form your abdominals will be worked to exhaustion and you should feel the burn.

Duration: 30 reps- 4sets- 3 days a week

Abs Exercises Morris Chestnut Best Man Holiday Workout

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Kneeling Cable Crunches
Grab the rope with both hands and get on your knees and hold the rope near your forehead. Use your abs and pull your shoulders towards your knees slowly. Raise up slowly about six inches and repeat the same motion for each rep. Always keep your core tight and make sure you are doing the exercise with proper form. Your focus in this exercise should always be form and technique over heavier weight and horrible technique.

Duration: 30 reps for 4 sets

Planks
Get in a push-up up position while putting your forearms on the ground. Your whole body should be parallel with the floor while keeping a straight strong line from head to toes and your back flat. And your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders. Keep your core tight when you are in the plank position and hold the position for duration of that repetition.

Duration: 1 minute for 4 sets

Legs Off The Ground AKA Leg Lifts
Lie flat on your back on the ground, place your palms on the floor and lift your legs up about six inches off the ground and hold it for the duration of the repetition.

Duration: 45 seconds for 4 sets

Leg Raises
Get into a dip machine with your back against the pad. Put your forearms on the armrests while holding the handles and lift your legs with your knees bent towards your chest. Inhale and exhale while executing each repetition.

Duration: 1 minute for 4 sets

The main reason we implemented these exercises as the primary abs exercises is because I feel these exercises target the abdominals and obliques more than most abs exercises.

Also when Morris first started training with me, he said he wanted thicker abs similar to mine so I knew these exercises did a great job of adding thickness to the abs especially if you used a good amount of weight when implementing them.

Attaining Proper Sleep

Getting eight hours of sleep is incredibly important for optimum muscle growth especially for your abs. Getting proper sleep allows your body to recover from the tearing down of your muscles and helps your muscles grow properly. Attaining sufficient sleep is synonymous with living a healthy lifestyle. I follow an incredible formula and here it is: Great Abs Training+ Great Diet+ Great Sleep = Great Ripped Abs. If you follow this formula you will attain the end result from this.

Obi Obadike

Written by Obi Obadike

Profile photo of Obi Obadike

Obi is a Celebrity Trainer to celebrities such as Actor- Morris Chestnut, Sports host- Stephen A Smith and many others. He is also an Endorsed Spokes model, Motivational Speaker, Fitness Expert/Writer/Author and Fitness Personality as well as on-Camera host who has graced over 40 fitness magazine covers and written more than 150 articles over the past 5 years and making him one of today's most successful fitness experts and fitness personalities. He was named writer of the year for the largest fitness site in the world in bodybuilding.com in Dec of 2012. He is one of the most published fitness experts and fitness personalities over the past 5 years. Obi also has an online personal training business called Perfect Anatomy personal training with a mission to help people become more fit and healthy in their respective lives.

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