Arnold’s Ab Workout: Sculpting The Austrian Oak’s Trunk



In 1968, 20-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger misplaced the IFBB Mr. Universe to a ripped Frank Zane. In his Encyclopedia of Fashionable Bodybuilding, Arnold pinpointed his lack of ab growth and muscle definition as a serious contributor to his loss. Studying from that humiliating expertise, the Austrian Oak made certain {that a} properly developed stomach area would by no means be his downfall once more.

Throughout his Mr. Olympia successful streak (1970-1975, 1980), Arnold adopted a high-volume ab routine that helped him develop abs that complemented his excellent chest, large shoulders, and arm growth.

On this article, I will lay out Arnold’s precise Mr. Olympia ab exercises, alongside along with his coaching suggestions and key insights on easy methods to current the midsection to the most effective impact on stage.

Arnold’s Ab Exercise

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ab routine was carried out a number of instances per exercise because the final a part of the exercise. It was designed to hit the three key areas of the stomach area – the higher abs, decrease abs, and obliques – whereas additionally bettering core power.

Arnold’s Nineteen Seventies Mr Olympia ab exercise consisted of the next 5 workout routines:

  1. Hanging Knee Raises: 3 units of 25-50 reps
  2. Roman Chair Sit-Up: 4 units of 25-30 reps
  3. Mendacity Leg Raises: 3 units of 25-30 reps
  4. Facet-to-Facet Twist: 3 units of fifty reps
  5. Seated Leg Tucks: 4 x 25-50 reps

The Workout routines

 arnold schwarzenegger abs workout

1. Hanging Knee Raises

The hanging knee increase, a variation of hanging leg raises, is Arnold’s favourite transfer to focus on the decrease portion of the abdominals. Here is how he did it:

  1. Hold from a pull-up bar along with your fingers shoulder distance aside. Your legs ought to be collectively, and your knees bent barely.
  2. Pivot from the hips to carry your knees as much as your stomach space.
  3. Now, spherical your again, bringing your knees as excessive towards your head as potential. You’ll be making an attempt to roll your self right into a ball.
  4. Maintain the highest contracted place for a second.
  5. Decrease beneath management to the beginning place.

    Arnold’s Coaching Tip:

    Carry out the train slowly and intentionally to keep away from utilizing momentum to get your knees up.

    arnolds ab workout

    2. Roman Chair Sit-Up

    The Roman Chair, or hyperextension bench, is a padded bench with seat and foot helps designed to help you work your core at a variety of angles. Here is easy methods to do the Roman Chair Sit-Up:

    1. Sit on the bench along with your toes hooked beneath the foot helps. Fold your arms in entrance of your physique.
    2. Preserve a good core as you decrease your torso again to a 70-degree angle. Don’t go up to now that your again is parallel to the ground.
    3. Contract your abs to twist your torso as far ahead as potential. Absolutely contract the abs within the high place.

      Arnold’s Coaching Tip:

      Place a block beneath the again of the Roman Chair to extend the problem of the motion. Should you’re health club would not have a devoted Roman Chair, you can even carry out this transfer on a seated calf increase machine.

      arnold abs training

      3. Mendacity Leg Raises

      The lying leg raise is an train that has fallen out of favor with the conclusion that the abs don’t really connect to the decrease physique by means of the legs. Because of this, the impact on the abs is minimal. Nonetheless, Arnold swore by the results of this transfer on his decrease ab growth.

      1. Lie on a flat bench in your again along with your butt on the top of the bench in order that your legs are hanging off the top.
      2. Place your fingers on the bench by your hips and lengthen your legs out straight.
      3. With out bending your knees, carry your legs as excessive as potential.
      4. Pause within the high place, then decrease to only beneath parallel.

        Arnold’s Coaching Tip:

        Preserve your head up by taking a look at your toes all through the motion.

        abs workout arnold

        4. Facet-to-Facet Twist

        The side-to-side twist was Arnold’s favourite exercise to develop the obliques along side the waist. He alternated between the seated and standing bent-over model of the train. Here is easy methods to do the seated side-to-side twist:

        1. Sit on a bench with toes shoulder-width aside and an unloaded barbell throughout your shoulders. Maintain the bar out large.
        2. Preserve your head trying straight forward as you twist as far to the best as potential.
        3. Maintain the intense place for a second, then reverse to twist in the wrong way.

          Arnold’s Coaching Tip:

          Moderately than swinging backwards and forwards, carry out the train in a fluid, easy movement.

          arnold schwarzenegger abs exercises

          5. Seated Leg Tucks

          The seated leg tuck (additionally known as the In and Out Abs Exercise) contracts the rib cage towards the pelvis, working each the decrease and higher stomach space.

          1. Sit on a bench along with your legs collectively and lengthen in entrance of you with knees barely bent. Maintain the edges of the bench for help.
          2. Lean again at a 45-degree angle.
          3. Concurrently, curl your torso up as you draw your knees towards your head.
          4. Maintain the highest contracted place for a second after which slowly return to the beginning place.

            Arnold’s Coaching Tip:

            Don’t permit your toes to the touch the ground between reps.

            arnold schwarzenegger ab workout

            3 Extra Ab Coaching Ideas from the Austrian Oak

            1. Coaching Frequency

            Throughout the Nineteen Seventies, bodybuilders have been identified for his or her high-volume coaching applications. The exercise simply described noticed Arnold performing greater than 500 reps each exercise. Arnold felt that the abs ought to be labored a number of instances per week. Main as much as the Mr Olympia competitors, he was even identified to work the stomach muscular tissues twice per day.

            2. Indirect Coaching

            Arnold wasn’t blessed with a naturally small waist. So, the very last thing he needed to do was make his midsection look any greater. Because of this, he by no means added further weight to his indirect coaching. As a substitute, he used managed twisting actions with an unloaded bar.

            3. Work Abs Final

            Arnold would practice his abs on the finish of his exercise. He believed that his psychological focus wanted to go on his different muscular tissues and main physique elements and that he may afford to work the abs when his vitality was diminished after smashing his chest, again, or quads.

            arnold 6 pack

            Arnold’s Ab Posing Technique

            Whereas Arnold’s abs throughout his Nineteen Seventies Olympia reign weren’t a weak spot, neither have been they a standout. He by no means had the nice stomach growth of such rivals as Frank Zane or Serge Nubret.

            Arnold was a grasp poser who knew easy methods to showcase his physique to its greatest benefit. Check out video and images from his Mr. Olympia wins, and you will discover that he usually twists his physique whereas posing. This appeared like a tiny waist whereas emphasizing his gargantuan biceps and again.

            arnold schwarzenegger abs training

            Wrap Up

            Arnold Schwarzenegger’s abs coaching routine was a product of its time. From a contemporary perspective, it appears to be very excessive quantity and consists of not less than one train that’s frowned upon at present. Nonetheless, there isn’t a denying the outcomes that Arnold was in a position to obtain with this routine.

            Why not give it a attempt to see if it does the identical for you?

            (All picture credit score to authentic house owners)


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