ok. the swiss ball tip is about core and postural work to increase core stability, yes it also works the leg muscles. this is not necessarily for building abs and is better and safer when done for advanced weights training because of the instability of the ball and therefore the added challenge so starting off with lighter weights is probably better.
gastrocnemeus and soleus training i find is best done up the hills! hiking or running. i've done a fair bit of cross country involving various gradients from the downhill to the long arduous reasonably steep ( i dont like running up or down hills that are too steep: cant be bothered not fit enough need to train more and it's boring on my own! i prefer hill or mountain hiking, i've done 1/2 marathons round the pentlands as i prefer long distance stuff to short really difficult stuff. theres a route i've done which is pretty gruelling involving a good few gradients and my gastroc soleii ( :0) ) are pretty hefty! not done much else with them gym wise.
got a photo somewhere if your interested!
have you ever done climbing? have you ever seen a climbers physique?
which reminds me ive got to do more training!! :0)
First thing, it was either Cosgrove or Poloquin recently did an article saying that. It was interesting because I had always maintained that, and it was nice to see someone like that come to the same conclusion.
Second thing, you are talking about a swiss ball exercise where the abs are the target, I was talking about targeting other muscles om the swiss ball to get activation of abs. Look at my previous post and you will see that. That is why I compare it to squat and deadlift variation.
Of course since you brought up ab targeting exercises on a swiss ball, I'll go ahead and complete the point about them being useless. I do situps on a decline bench while holding 110 pound curl bar in front of me. I doubt I could do that on a swiss ball. It would probably pop out from under me and shoot across the gym. I can work my abs better on any of the different types of ab benches or a standard decline bench then I could on a swiss ball.
The reason people think abs recover faster is because you can do those silly swiss ball crunches and whatever every day if you want to. It would be same thing with legs if you squat with submaximal weight you could do that everyday. The stair master is a submaixmal weight version of the step up, you could do that everyday, and some people do.
Show me what it is that abs are made of that make them have so much better recovery then other muscles. Show me why they detrain quickly so that you would need to work them so often.
I suppose I at least half way use them everyday because I do almost nothing but freeweight, but you could say the same about my legs too and my lower back, maybe even my upper and middle back as well.
What about calves, that is the other magic muscle, do they have the same properties as abs too? If you think so, show me how they are different.
Now I know there are different types of fibers where with an exercise like calf raises, you can probably do 4 if you can do 1 at given weight. But show me how this or other factors has any effect on recovery or detraining which required the need for more frequent work, where as other muscles can be worked once a week with good progress. Lets talk apples to apples, no comparing sets of squats close to failure with some half hearted crunches.