This is, hands down, the single best ab workout for a well-developed six-pack. If you want to strengthen your core and you could only choose one exercise, this would be it.
At least that’s what Mike Israetel advocates in a video he recently shared.
Dr. Mike Israetel, PhD in Sports Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community. He doesn’t just talk about exercises and fitness tips, but often dives deep into health and nutrition.
Keep scrolling and maybe add an exercise to your ab workout?
The single best abs workout for a well developed six pack
In the search for restored abdominal muscles, exercisers often have to sift through countless exercises. Today we reveal a standout contender in the ab workout space modified candlestick. In addition to effectiveness, this science-backed workout promises a unique challenge for those looking to shape their core.
The modified candlestick is a unique exercise that requires nothing more than a stationary object behind you, preferably an exercise bench. The key to this exercise is the controlled descent phase, known as the eccentric phase, which significantly stresses the abdominal muscles in the extended position.
And if just by reading this you could think of another type of exercise that Bruce Lee was famous for, you’d be right. Exercise is also called by name dragon flag.
Dragon flags are advanced body weight movements that target the core muscles and require significant total body strength.
In it, the athlete lies on their back and turns from their upper back to raise their legs as high as possible with their body in a straight line, then slowly lower themselves until they are hovering slightly above the floor.
Read more: Ultimate Guide to Amazing Six-Pack Abs in 2024
How does it work:
- Start by grabbing a sturdy object behind you or the back of the exercise bench.
- Pull your knees and feet up, thrusting your hips vertically into the air.
- Focus on a controlled lowering phase by lowering your hips first and then your legs.
- This puts heavy strain on the abdominal muscles and promotes muscle growth in the extended position.
Progression Tips: Given the difficulty of the exercise, progression is crucial. Here are three variations for different fitness levels:
- Beginner version:
- Raise your knees as high as possible by shortening the lever arm.
- Point your toes to the sky during the descent.
- Pull your legs toward you as your hips drop.
- Intermediate version:
- Straighten your legs completely without bending your knees during the ascent.
- Push your hips up, come back down, then fully straighten your legs on the descent.
- Advanced version (candlestick):
- Pull your legs fully extended, hips straight.
- Squeeze your whole body in a half-circle arc, pointing to your toes.
- Lower back fully extended.
You can read more about the benefits of a modified candlestick or dragon flag at this link.
You should emphasize the importance of proper form and full range of motion. According to the first and second options, the exercise is challenging, but effective in targeting the abdominal muscles.
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- Start with an easy version and progress gradually.
- Focus on the full range of motion and emphasize the eccentric phase.
- Train your abs twice a week, starting with one set on Monday and Thursday.
- Adjust the number of sets based on soreness, never exceed your recovery capacity.
The modified candlestick or dragon flag is a core exercise, but it works many muscles in your body. This exercise specifically targets:
- Rectus abdominus
- Internal and external obliques
- Transverse abdomen
- Rectus abdominis
- Erector spinae
- Longissimus thoracis
- Hip flexors
The modified candlestick represents a paradigm shift in the ab workout world. Its power and scientific backing make it a standout choice for those seeking not only a toned core but a transformative fitness experience. Accepting the challenge posed by a custom candlestick isn’t just about practice; it’s about ushering in a new era of muscle growth and functional strength for your core.
Traditionally, abdominal exercises have often revolved around repetitive crunches and planks, but the modified candlestick challenges the status quo. This workout introduces a dynamic and novel approach that targets the abdominal muscles in a way that maximizes muscle engagement and growth. Emphasizing the eccentric phase, where a controlled descent occurs, sets this exercise apart from others by subjecting the abdominal muscles to intense strain in an extended position, opening up new dimensions of muscle activation.
The journey with the modified candlestick is revolutionary. As you gradually progress from beginner to advanced variations, you’ll not only witness physical changes in your core, but you’ll also experience an improvement in your strength and control. It’s not just about crunching numbers or minutes; it’s about mastering the movement that makes your body adapt and grow.
Saying goodbye to outdated ab exercises means moving away from traditional routines that may not produce the desired results. The modified candlestick offers a refreshing departure from the everyday, inviting exercisers to adopt a more efficient and effective way to achieve their core goals. Its versatility, requiring minimal equipment, makes it accessible to a wide variety of individuals, transcending fitness levels and backgrounds.
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When you welcome this new era of muscle growth with a modified candlestick, you’re not just participating in a workout; you are making a comprehensive change. The exercise not only challenges your physical strength but also your mental flexibility, pushing you beyond your perceived limits. The result is a sculpted core that not only looks impressive, but also performs optimally in a variety of activities and sports.
So say goodbye to monotony and hello to a workout that redefines what your abs can do. A modified candlestick is not just an exercise; it symbolizes progress, innovation and commitment to unlocking your full fitness potential. Accept the challenge, see the change and enjoy the new strength and definition of your core muscles.
You can watch the video below if it’s easier for you visually. In it, Mike Israetel explains everything you need to know about the best single abs workout for a well-developed six-pack: the modified candlestick.
Check it out.
The allure of the fitness industry often suggests that visible abs are a direct result of well-trained and strong abs. While a strong core is undeniably essential, the real key to unlocking visible abs is achieving a low body fat percentage. This revelation reframes the narrative, emphasizing that the road to a shredded midsection involves a delicate balance between muscle development and overall fat loss.
Understanding the key role of body fat percentage makes us realize that there is no magic formula for fast abs. Research highlights that visible abs typically make their debut at 10-15 percent body fat, which varies depending on individual factors. So, as you can probably imagine by now, there are no shortcuts to seeing six-pack abs.
You’ll also learn that there’s more to an amazing core than just doing isolated ab exercises. The journey to visible abs requires a combination of targeted exercises and nutritional discipline. We delve into the intricacies of working both the upper and lower abs and explore exercises that emphasize specific areas while acknowledging the interconnectedness of the abdominal muscles.
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