Too much ab work?

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    FlawedGrunt's Avatar
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    Too much ab work?


    So I know there's guys who swear by abs 5 days a week and I know there is guys who swear by every other day... So I'm curious... Right now I'm locked up on work release and have school tue/thur. Now I don't often focus on abs but I figure this is a good time so right now I'm doing light ab work mon/wed/fri (planks, crunches, leg lifts, torso twists, 8 count BBers) and on tue/thur I'm doing a couple sets of weighted torso twists and weight decline sit ups at the end up my weight workouts. Is this too much?

    PS - I'm running hdrol right now so I figured my recovery time should be decreased as well

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    The problem with most of the ab work people do, is that it involves abdominal stabilization with hip flexor shortening. This goes for most crunches, sit ups, leg raises, bicycles, etc. So in turn, you may actually be weakening the abdominals by causing anterior pelvic tilt (rectus abs being in a perpetual state of stretch).

    Planks/bridges are a better way to isometrically work the abdominals.

    If you want to dynamically work the abs, then you need to de activate the hip flexors. This involves contracting the glutes. So, get a medicine ball, perform a supine bridge and really focus on contracting the glutes. Now, squeeze your ribs into your hips - a very short range of motion - using the abdominals. When you get good at this, you can start adding in resistance via exercise bands or cables.

    Br
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    If his glutes aren't working well, no amount of contracting them will truly deactivate them. As far as I know, you shut off all but one of the hip flexors when the hip is flexed to greater than 90 degrees. That's the best way to "shut off' the hip flexors that I know of. Why not have him do ab wheel rollouts/stability ball rollouts instead to dynamically work the anterior core? Another anterior core/plank progression I like is 1 arm pushup holds. You get in a regular pushup position and then take one of the hands of the ground, put it on your beltline, count to 5, and put it back down. Try to do this without any twisting of the hips.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlawedGrunt View Post
    So I know there's guys who swear by abs 5 days a week and I know there is guys who swear by every other day... So I'm curious... Right now I'm locked up on work release and have school tue/thur. Now I don't often focus on abs but I figure this is a good time so right now I'm doing light ab work mon/wed/fri (planks, crunches, leg lifts, torso twists, 8 count BBers) and on tue/thur I'm doing a couple sets of weighted torso twists and weight decline sit ups at the end up my weight workouts. Is this too much?

    PS - I'm running hdrol right now so I figured my recovery time should be decreased as well
    You don't really need to do specific abwork any more than twice a week for ~100 reps a session - your abs get worked during your compound lifts and other everyday exercises. Doing them any more than maybe three times a week is a little overkill IMO and completely unnecessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    The problem with most of the ab work people do, is that it involves abdominal stabilization with hip flexor shortening. This goes for most crunches, sit ups, leg raises, bicycles, etc. So in turn, you may actually be weakening the abdominals by causing anterior pelvic tilt (rectus abs being in a perpetual state of stretch).

    Planks/bridges are a better way to isometrically work the abdominals.

    If you want to dynamically work the abs, then you need to de activate the hip flexors. This involves contracting the glutes. So, get a medicine ball, perform a supine bridge and really focus on contracting the glutes. Now, squeeze your ribs into your hips - a very short range of motion - using the abdominals. When you get good at this, you can start adding in resistance via exercise bands or cables.

    Br
    i feel like i have been hitting my abs wrong my whole life lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstojak3 View Post
    i feel like i have been hitting my abs wrong my whole life lol
    You probably have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    The problem with most of the ab work people do, is that it involves abdominal stabilization with hip flexor shortening. This goes for most crunches, sit ups, leg raises, bicycles, etc. So in turn, you may actually be weakening the abdominals by causing anterior pelvic tilt (rectus abs being in a perpetual state of stretch).

    Planks/bridges are a better way to isometrically work the abdominals.

    If you want to dynamically work the abs, then you need to de activate the hip flexors. This involves contracting the glutes. So, get a medicine ball, perform a supine bridge and really focus on contracting the glutes. Now, squeeze your ribs into your hips - a very short range of motion - using the abdominals. When you get good at this, you can start adding in resistance via exercise bands or cables.

    Br
    I agree with you quite well (though I do do some traditional exercises as well) a lot of martial artists work a lot of odd bridging style motions. We haven an exercise called Iron Board that works wonders for abdominals. Also our stances work them quite powerfully as well. I wouldn't worry so much about direct work as much as learning to harness them in other exercises
    ACSM-CPT
  

  
 

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