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Thread: Which ab exercise is most practical to progress/add weight?

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    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Which ab exercise is most practical to progress/add weight?

    I've been doing some leg lift variations at the gym here and there, but decided that if I am going to spend a bit of time working my abs that I should have an exercise that either allows me to make progressive gains somehow or be able to add weight to. With leg lifts it would seem rather impractical to hold dumbbells between my ankles or something (and I'm not going to do 1000000 reps because that's a waste of time, even though so many people do that!). Or maybe holding a dumbbell there would be fine? I wouldn't know, I've never tried it with leg lifts before.

    I guess a typical answer would be weighted decline crunches, but I'm wondering if there's anything else people do.

    Anyway, any input is appreciated.
    Last edited by fixationdarknes; 03-31-2010 at 02:21 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

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    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Cable Crunches.
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  3. #3
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Weighted crunches, when you max out at 45lbs, start adding incline.

    I do leg lifts with a dumbell between my legs, it's not impractical at all, just use your feet to hold the weight.
    http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/

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    Of course, weighted situps on the decline bench. Holding a dumbbell between your feet is doable up to a certain amount of weight, then it gets a little crazy. A suggestion I've done a couple times... go to the low cable row. Attached a double handle and put your feet in it. Lean back and do lower abs like that. There's tons of weighted ab exercises, sometimes you just have to get a little creative. If you want more ideas let me know.

  5. #5
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slickoiz View Post
    Of course, weighted situps on the decline bench. Holding a dumbbell between your feet is doable up to a certain amount of weight, then it gets a little crazy. A suggestion I've done a couple times... go to the low cable row. Attached a double handle and put your feet in it. Lean back and do lower abs like that. There's tons of weighted ab exercises, sometimes you just have to get a little creative. If you want more ideas let me know.
    Just to clarify your point, there is no such thing as lower abs.
    http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/

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    You're doing full leg lifts and they're too easy?

    You could also do ab wheel roll outs...don't tell me they're too easy to do if you're on your toes. How about dragon flags? Too hard? Just do them as negatives for a while.

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    Kind of a smartass comment but... it's true that you cannot isolate the upper and lower abdominals from one another. The rectus abdominis is one long muscle however the nerve innervation of the upper and lower portions is different. Although you cannot completely isolate upper and lower abs, research has shown that certain exercises can emphasize one section of the abs more than the other by choice of exercise. The abdominal region is somewhat unique because it is divided by tendinous intersections which correlate to various segments of the spinal column. It has been proven that these segments may be under separate neurological control.

    Also, if you've ever done abs in your life, you should have felt a certain level of soreness in different areas of your abs, not just in your abs as a whole, correct? If you felt a soreness in your upper abdomen from doing lots of leg raises... you might be a special case. If you felt a soreness in your lower abdomen from doing lots of leg raises, then you effectively emphasized your abdominal training to one area of your abs. Think logically next time.

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    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slickoiz View Post
    Kind of a smartass comment but... it's true that you cannot isolate the upper and lower abdominals from one another. The rectus abdominis is one long muscle however the nerve innervation of the upper and lower portions is different. Although you cannot completely isolate upper and lower abs, research has shown that certain exercises can emphasize one section of the abs more than the other by choice of exercise. The abdominal region is somewhat unique because it is divided by tendinous intersections which correlate to various segments of the spinal column. It has been proven that these segments may be under separate neurological control.

    Also, if you've ever done abs in your life, you should have felt a certain level of soreness in different areas of your abs, not just in your abs as a whole, correct? If you felt a soreness in your upper abdomen from doing lots of leg raises... you might be a special case. If you felt a soreness in your lower abdomen from doing lots of leg raises, then you effectively emphasized your abdominal training to one area of your abs. Think logically next time.
    Nice plaigarism:
    http://www.squidoo.com/lower_abs

    Even your source says that the data is mixed.
    I was just trying to clarify on a commonly misunderstood point.
    http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/

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    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    One move I've been trying is grabbing on to a pull up bar, slightly pulling up a bit while bringing one knee to my opposite elbow.

    Also, from a pull up bar hang you can pull your body horizontal, raise your hips/legs to vertical then twist side to side. If you can progress to many reps with those, your core is ****in solid.

    If you are squatting and dead lifting heavy, your abs should be getting stronger as your progress with that too.
    Last edited by Raleighwood; 03-31-2010 at 04:39 PM.
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    suspend yourself from a chin bar and lift your legs up to your shoulders. progress is being able to do more than 1 rep

  11. #11
    Hungry like the wolf. Dgro's Avatar
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    Also, from a pull up bar hang you can pull your body horizontal, raise your hips/legs to vertical then twist side to side. If you can progress to many reps with those, your core is ****in solid.
    these are called windshield wipers, and i like them a lot. here's a video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvN7uGX5QP4

    i would do them more slow/controlled than the guy in the video, but you get the point.

    i really like experimenting with bodyweight exercises like these, dragon flags, etc. for my ab work.
    ::::::::::::::::::::Updated 9-16-11::::::::::::::::::::
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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Decline weighted sit-ups with a dumbbell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slickoiz View Post

    Also, if you've ever done abs in your life, you should have felt a certain level of soreness in different areas of your abs, not just in your abs as a whole, correct? If you felt a soreness in your upper abdomen from doing lots of leg raises... you might be a special case. If you felt a soreness in your lower abdomen from doing lots of leg raises, then you effectively emphasized your abdominal training to one area of your abs. Think logically next time.
    Soreness does not equate to proper or effective training...of any muscle or muscle group. And unless you have fairly strong abs to begin with, leg raises end up being more of a hip flexor lift.

    Finally EMG testing (from your source?) has been debunked on here before as a tool for this specific use. According to EMG one can train "upper" and "lower" chest as well individually.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 03-31-2010 at 06:17 PM.

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    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Windshield wipers look really awesome. I doubt I could do those at the current moment haha, and I definitely don't even know the proper form for a Dragon Flag. What about something like Knees To Elbows while hanging from a bar? Would that be a good exercise?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  15. #15
    Hungry like the wolf. Dgro's Avatar
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    For something a little easier than Winshield Wipers, I recommend Body Curls. Visualize yourself hanging as if about to do a pullup. Basically the goal is to get your ankles to touch the bar inbetween your hands -- you'll do this by first tucking your knees to your chest, then rolling back so your torso is parallel to the ground and you're looking at the ceiling. continue backwards until your feet touch the bar and you are forced to stop. this is all done in one fluid motion, and that's one rep. i hope i explained that ok, couldn't find a pic/video to show

    these will probably get pretty easy after not too long, then you're read to try Windshield Wipers imo. you may only be able to get 2-3 reps on your first try, that's ok, just do 3 sets to failure. the learning curve on these is pretty good, i could hardly do one the first time i tried and before the end of 2 months i could already do a set of 10.
    ::::::::::::::::::::Updated 9-16-11::::::::::::::::::::
    Deadlift 1x5 @ 408 Squat Max @ 370
    CG Bench 1x7 @ 225 Power Clean Max @ 235
    W Chinups 3x10 @ +50 Dips 1x5 @ +115

    Height - 6'3 Weight - 194lbs Age - 21

    "I've got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end." - Larry Bird

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercuryblade View Post
    Nice plaigarism:
    http://www.squidoo.com/lower_abs

    Even your source says that the data is mixed.
    I was just trying to clarify on a commonly misunderstood point.
    Haha! Plagiarism? Obviously I didn't do this research myself. I don't have the equipment or the degrees required, or the time, or the test subjects. I looked it up to confirm your "further clarification" on my post. I think that should have been a given unless you thought I was some kind of scientist or a doctorate in exercise physiology lol. The data is mixed but proven that EMG activity can increase based on changes in stimulus or body placement or exercise selection, etc.

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    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dgro View Post
    For something a little easier than Winshield Wipers, I recommend Body Curls. Visualize yourself hanging as if about to do a pullup. Basically the goal is to get your ankles to touch the bar inbetween your hands -- you'll do this by first tucking your knees to your chest, then rolling back so your torso is parallel to the ground and you're looking at the ceiling. continue backwards until your feet touch the bar and you are forced to stop. this is all done in one fluid motion, and that's one rep. i hope i explained that ok, couldn't find a pic/video to show

    these will probably get pretty easy after not too long, then you're read to try Windshield Wipers imo. you may only be able to get 2-3 reps on your first try, that's ok, just do 3 sets to failure. the learning curve on these is pretty good, i could hardly do one the first time i tried and before the end of 2 months i could already do a set of 10.
    So I'm going to keep my knees tucked the whole time time doing Body Curls? Only straightening my legs at the bottom of the rep? Or do I keep my knees in even then?

    Also, for Windshields, what constitutes one rep? Going to each side and back?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  18. #18
    Wannabebig Member PeteO's Avatar
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    Do a video search of K2E or knees to elbows which is what I believe is being described here or close to it anyways.
    And as far as the reps on the windshield wipers, count them however you want.

  19. #19
    Hungry like the wolf. Dgro's Avatar
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    found a video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ks5242CrMs

    like i said they're not that great long-term, but my coach uses them to work people into WWs
    ::::::::::::::::::::Updated 9-16-11::::::::::::::::::::
    Deadlift 1x5 @ 408 Squat Max @ 370
    CG Bench 1x7 @ 225 Power Clean Max @ 235
    W Chinups 3x10 @ +50 Dips 1x5 @ +115

    Height - 6'3 Weight - 194lbs Age - 21

    "I've got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end." - Larry Bird

  20. #20
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    In addition to doing exercises like crunches, you should also practice movements of the pelvis and legs like during marching, leg raises, or reverse crunches. You should also practice twisting motions like oblique crunches or bicycle crunches. You should also practice side to side motions such as standing side bends or moving side planks.

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    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dgro View Post
    found a video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ks5242CrMs

    like i said they're not that great long-term, but my coach uses them to work people into WWs
    Should there be a feel of momentum as I raise my ankles to hit the top? Or is it all a controlled steady thing?

    And thanks Pete I will try both. K2E seems like it would be a bit easier which is good for me right now XD
    Last edited by fixationdarknes; 03-31-2010 at 11:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercuryblade View Post
    Nice plaigarism:
    http://www.squidoo.com/lower_abs

    Even your source says that the data is mixed.
    I was just trying to clarify on a commonly misunderstood point.


    OH SNAP!! i love/hate it when theirs someone smart on here who can call people on their facts when they dont do all their research. Like when i come off smart to my friends by explaining the process behind something were talking about... like the difference between a super and turbo charger (please no explain it) im secretly hoping they dont know the real truth and call me on it...thank god most of my friends are dumb but every once in awhile a smart-ass over hears it and has to call me on my bs, damn smart people who actually do the research to look smart...


    on a side note i used to like to do leg raises with a light dumbell in between my feet it never hurt while doing them but i started to notice my lower back hurting the next day then one time i did them while hanging without a backboard to rest agaist and holy hell did my back hurt the next day... i think i hyper extended my back while lower the weight.

    I can get my abs strong enough just doing some weighted incline situps varying the rom, if your serious about your other lifting you really dont need to do much/any ab work those stabilizer muscles will adjust. Your body for centuries has only done compound lifts... who the hell in the 1600's sat there doing shoulder raises or crunches consistently? The abs get stronger when your body feels you lifting heavy, as you hoist that big rock/log it feels the hamstrings, back and arms contract to lift that wight it knows how your lifting the weight and where the weight is going and it registers every single strain or muscle contraction. It knows how your abs create a base and over time of repetitively lifting a similar weight in a similar way sees that stronger abs would really help the situation possibly save your life from being trapped by the weight if it falls and builds those muscles regardless if you feel the burning in your abs as you lift
    Last edited by Skalami; 04-01-2010 at 07:05 AM.

  23. #23
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    You can weight to a bunch of ab exercises. It doesn't have to be that complicated. We do a variety of ab movements that are weighted that include standing cable crunches, seated cable crunches, DB side bends, decline sit-ups, roman chair sit-ups, spread eagle sit-ups, standing band crunches, lying leg raises w/DB, cable overhead side bends, etc.... So as you can see, almost anything can be weighted with a little imagination. I don't know that there is one magic best weighted ab exercise, just find something you can do heavy and work hard.

  24. #24
    Senior Member tnathletics2b's Avatar
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    5/3/1 has you doing leg raises while hanging from a chinup bar. I put a 5 pound dumbbell between my feet and and can do 4 sets of 12 and I am toast. Also, a side benefit is working on your grip.
    Most people pray for a lighter load in life...ever thought of praying for a stronger back?

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  25. #25
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalami View Post
    OH SNAP!! i love/hate it when theirs someone smart on here who can call people on their facts when they dont do all their research. Like when i come off smart to my friends by explaining the process behind something were talking about... like the difference between a super and turbo charger (please no explain it) im secretly hoping they dont know the real truth and call me on it...thank god most of my friends are dumb but every once in awhile a smart-ass over hears it and has to call me on my bs, damn smart people who actually do the research to look smart...
    lulz

    I was genuinely curious about the topic (I want to exercise the most effectively), when my first search result turned up his post nearly word for word on another site I felt the need to point that out. Stuff like that irks me.

    And Slickoiz, for the record, copying and pasting someone else's writing without attributing it to the original author is plagiarism.
    Last edited by Mercuryblade; 04-01-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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