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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

Exercise & Fitness Board Index

ah, abs, an area of muscle that when is in great condition, you feel good! (even though i have a gut in the way! it still feels good being able to have the control of my body the abs give).

There isn't any "endurance muscle" as i know. The abs are a muscle like the others, but they can be worked out a lot more, probably because of the type of contraction they give and all the other muscles associated. Some people will tell you that you can't work a muscle everyday ... if you're working endurance, yes you can. If you're at that level. One coach i know has been running all his life, is in great .. great shape! and is tiny but stronger than most people i know! it's strange because he doesn't actualy have the muscle mass to do what he can do! lol But he works his abs every day, a few times a day! I'm in three of his classes so i get them twice in one day, three days a week! (in his class, i do them on my own at other times).

Anyway, it comes down to how you're working them. If you do cable crunches or something that adds poundage and do slow controlled contractions, you're going for strength and generally you don't do that everyday, but a couple days a week (some will say just one).

Moving on though, you only need a few ab workouts to get great results, it just depends on what you're going for.


* bicycle kicks/lying ab twists:

lay on your back, legs up like you're going to do crunches, with hands behind your head, fingers locked, curl up and bring the right elbow to left knee, then left elbow to right knee, continue this twisting motion quickly. This is a great all around mid section endurance workout! especially at the end of your workout. I've seen some do an 'advanced' version of this by doing the bicycle kicks, personally i don't feel like trying to be that coordinated, it's hard enough to stay up just doing the ab twists lol (you do them fast, you slide around and can fall over!).

* crunches:

You can do these slow with tight contractions or quickly for endurance burn. It really isolates the upper part of the abdominals. Note that arm position plays a large part in all of this. To really isolated the upper abs, i find sticking your arms straight out to the side really hits it, while going for that tight controlled contraction, hands down by your sides is good. In one of my classes though we do four different hand positions and with one leg on the ground bent up and the other leg crossd over it and then switch half way through the set (arm position). Going from arm positions of hands together straight up, hands outward to the sides, hands down by the sides and hands together and going up between the calf and leg crossed. Followed by what's next:

* oblique crunches:

Laying on your side, you can do these many ways, but i find one leg bent on the ground, the other one straight and raised a little. Keeping one hand going above your head, with your finger tips touching your head but make sure not to pull your head up, the other hand extended down along your raised leg and crunche sideways, i find focusing on that hand and reaching it down the length of your leg really brings your body up and contracts those obliques.

* reverse crunch/leg lifts:

Basically this motion is to hit the lower abs by a rolling motion of the hips. the reverse crunch is the same positin of the crunch with the legs up, but instead of rolling off your shoulder blades, you roll your knees up to your chest, or your head for a better stretch. The pattern is best used to hit muscle groups if these are done first and then crunches afterwards. These can also be done 'quickly' (not that quickly though) or slowly and on some kind of incline/decline for a better contraction. The leg lifts are with your legs straight up and instead of rolling your hips you push straight up, having your hands down by your sides and can help push the hips up and keep them straight, try not to roll them though.

I find it best to hit the muscles though in this order: lower, upper, obliques and then finish with those ab twists! Great endurance workout.

And i stress STRETCH, roll onto your stomach and with your hands push your upper body up as far as yo ucan and look up and get an ab stretch and make sure you breathe while doing this and hold for at least 30 seconds.

Hope this helps.

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