Turtle Shell Abs – UPDATED 2022 – A Complete Guide
No two pairs of abs are built the same. Whether it’s down to ab genetics, bone structure, or just techniques in working out, your abs will probably look different from anyone else’s.
That’s a good thing. Variety is the spice of life, and a variety of body shapes means that everyone has a preference and a different type to aspire to.
Turtle shell abs are just another type of abs that you can build. They’re characterized by specific features of the abdominal line. Some people find them desirable, and others see that as an intermediary step in their body goals.
What are turtle shell abs? And how can you build these types of abs easily? This is our complete guide to the turtle shell abs body shape, answering all the questions you have about this abdominal shape.
Turtle Shell Abs – A Complete Guide
Let’s take a closer look at these types of abs. It’s easiest to understand turtle shell abs by seeing them, as that’s how you’ll be able to understand where the name comes from.
As you can imagine, these types of abs are called such because they look like a turtle shell. Turtle shells have intricate patterns and definitions and are rounded in shape. The turtle shell abs figure is a lot like this too.
You’re not going to see many turtles with abs unless they live in the sewers and are being trained by a bipedal rat. But in both the fictional context and the real one, it’s easy to see where the inspiration came from.
Turtle shell abs are defined by the protruding abdomen, with defined ab muscles. This is surrounded by the obliques, which are equally as large and equally as defined. A popular example of the turtle shell abs shape is Noah Ohlsen, a CrossFit games athlete.
Noah Ohlsen is one of the top CrossFit athletes, which tells you all you should need to know about what the turtle shell abs physique means.
It’s visually appealing, with defined abs that don’t look too fake, for one. But it also shows skill and knowledge of how to build for CrossFit.
Turtle Shell Abs with CrossFit
Turtle shell abs with CrossFit are talked about together, as the former is thought to be a result of the latter. Look at what is mentioned with Noah Ohlsen, a professional CrossFit athlete who is the prime definition of turtle shell abs.
It’s not just him, and it’s not just people who do CrossFit professionally that have this figure. You might have noticed it at a lower level, such as CrossFit trainers or even just regulars at classes and the gym.
Are you going to develop these types of abs if you keep doing CrossFit? Well, probably not. You’re only aiming for this figure, in which case you wouldn’t be worrying, or if you’ve been negligent in keeping track of your body changes…which means you’ve got bigger problems.
Why do Crossfitters Have Big Abs?
So, what exactly causes turtle shell abs in CrossFit? Why do CrossFitters have big abs and the turtle shell figure?
There haven’t been any studies done on this correlation, but there’s some common sense deduction involved with figuring out why CrossFitters can get turtle shell abs.
One of the main exercises involved in CrossFit is squats. Different variations of the squat, still keep the same core principles of it. Squats are great, they build your core muscle, your leg muscles, and more depending on the type of squats you’re doing.
You can make them weighted. You can do them against a wall. You can even do them using just 1 leg. Each of these modifications adds its own benefit, but at the end of the day, you’re still doing squats.
Squats can help all areas of your back, but they specifically have great benefits for the lumbar. This is the lower area of your spine, which is prone to soreness and injury. Squats are great for preventing this and are recommended for recovery from lumbar spine injuries.
However, you can always have too much of a good thing. By focusing on your lumbar area too much, you can get what’s called lordosis of the spine. This is where your lumbar curve becomes more pronounced, and your spine begins to curve more inwards.
In turn, your spine will push your abdomen outwards and cause it to protrude slightly. As you can imagine, over time it begins to push out a little bit more until it becomes noticeable. CrossFitters are more at risk of this as they do so many exercises that focus on the lumbar.
Turtle Shell Abs Female
While we’ve given male examples, turtle shell abs are not just achievable by one sex. Katrin Tanja Davíðsdóttir is a great example of the turtle shell abs of a female. She’s been training since 2011 when she was 18.
10 years later, she looks great. Her figure has all of the hallmarks of the turtle shell abs, and her background makes it easy to deduce the cause and correlation between her training and her figure.
How to Get Turtle Shell Abs?
While these types of abs are technically due to an abnormal deformity in the spine, this unnatural curve is surprisingly not unhealthy. Doctors have very little medical concern for anyone with lordosis.
There’s no evidence to show that it causes any change other than physical, meaning that turtle shell abs are still a body type you can be comfortable aiming for.
Ok, so how to get turtle shell abs? There are two areas to focus on. The first is the defined abdominal muscles. You’ll want some form of a 4 pack to an 8 pack so that there are some abs to work with.
Then, you’ll be focusing on squats and lower back exercises. Your goal is to train this area to the point that lordosis becomes more pronounced. Focus on core exercises too, as this will make squats easier and will tone the front of your body as well as the back.
Turtle Shell Abs – Closing Thoughts
These types of abs are a status symbol as well as a physical one; they show dedication to CrossFit exercise.
Be sure to check out our other CrossFit – focused guides, workouts, and more!