I'm in the camp of heavy compounds will hit your abs to a high degree.
Squats, deadlifts and varients of.
There are no tricks to ab work.
A fork is your greatest tool to having abs that you can see
Hanging leg raises are one of my staples for direct ab work. Even those involve hips to a high degree.
I think ab work falls inline with arm work in most peoples minds. They want to focus on the show muscle, without realizing the go muscles are what they should be working.