Fitness myth #4,889: You don't need to do direct ab work to see stomach definition.
Fitness myth #8,777,546: Abs are made in the kitchen
Yes, you do need to be at a low body fat percentage to start seeing your abs (guys typically 15% and lower, women about 20% and lower). However, once you're there, just like any muscle, you need to build muscle for it to show.
"ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN BUT REVEALED THRU AB TRAINING."
The other myth that you don't need to do direct ab work is bullshit. Gurus say "ya but squats and deadlifts you will work your core too!"
Ya, but Gym Bro Chet, one of the keys to building muscle is:
TAKING YOUR EXERCISES TO FAILURE!!!
And if you're squatting to failure, well your whole body (mainly your legs) are pushing to failure- NOT YOUR CORE.
The oblique muscles are the muscles on each side of your core responsible for lateral flexion (side bending), rotation (i.e. russian twists), and anti-rotation (holding your upper body from rotating).
So how do we target these? Side bend exercises, rotational exercises, anti-rotation exercises, AND TAKING EVERY SET TO FAILURE.
Don't forget to do that last one or you're rendering your ab training completely useless.
Here are my top 5 (WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR DEMOS):
Russian twists SLOW
Hollow Body oblique holds
Loaded side planks
The abs recover SUPER quick, so you can do these puppies daily.