Exercises for core?

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Stefan 93
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Exercises for core?

Post by Stefan 93 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:24 pm

Hi guys!

Do you know which exercise is the best for both rectus abdominis and hip flexors? Maybe it is Leg-Hip Raise? There we do our hip flexors while we bring our legs toward our stomach and then we lift our bottom which works abs. Is it enough or we must do some crunch variation?

Do we need to do some exercises for obliques or they are worked with this, too? Which one is best exercise for them? I do side bends and twisting crunch, which one is better?

I do those unilateral exercises but I don't have many of them...


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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by stuward » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:35 pm

Bringing your knees up parallel to your waist works the hip flexors, bringing them higher works your abs. I do knees to elbows with weight tied to my ankles. 1 set of 5 each day.

Tony Gentlecore has a new exercise: http://www.tonygentilcore.com/blog/exer ... gator-walk
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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by tyciol » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:46 pm

Well stu the abs do get worked isometrically even if the pelvis doesn't move, because otherwise our backs would arch as the hips flex due to the leg leverage. But yeah, for the abs to shorten as they contract (concentric) the pelvis has to tilt posteriorly relative to the upper body (ribs/sternum I guess)

Of course, I'm not sure if the rib cage stays perfectly level in space the entire time, it's hard to pay attention to its orientations. Like I find that at the peak of a pull up my rib cage tilts backwards so I can pull bar to clavicles (or almost, I lose power to get it that high... over-active insufficiency?) and I think it uses more upper back since you'd be approaching a rear delt row line of pull.

So if the rib cage tilted back like that, if they maintained the same orientation to the pelvis it would have to mean that the abs worked to tilt it posteriorly relative to space to catch up with the rib cage which had tilted back first.

Like notice when you do that and your back actually kind of arches, it's like an abdominal stretch, so attaining neutral posture would be difficult on the abs even if you didn't flex your hips at all.

Also, for the very strong it would be possible to round the lower back and posteriorly tilt the pelvis while keeping the hip joints extended. It's just that the lever would be very difficult (even with flexed knees) so that's I think why we flex the entire leg to begin with since it makes the leverage the easiest.

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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by stuward » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:02 pm

It's all relative. If you only raise your knees to your waist you're not really engaging your abs like they should be. Did you try the exercise in Tony's blog?
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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by tyciol » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:06 pm

'Should' is of course, relative, since many argue for the merits of training the abs for stability rather than mobility.

Of course some of the t-nation guys I think are exaggerating concerns like "omg repeated flexions causes hernia!" especially when we're talking about hanging movements because I would think the traction would discourage or even reverse hernias because gravity would be pulling the vertebrae in line below each other rather than sideways or twisty.


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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:42 pm

my head asploded

Stefan 93
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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by Stefan 93 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:03 pm

Thanks stuward, I'm always happy to throw out some exercise Image
Those Alligators are pretty.
How do we do those woodchops? Which parts we don't move? Feet, knees, hips, shoulders?

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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by stuward » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:11 pm

There are several ways to do woodchops. Just check Google and you'll get lots of variations.
Here's one way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqGEJr6GAt4
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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by jml » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:22 pm

The article mentioned bodysaws, which I've recently found to be pretty great. Here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hoiwnkFAHE" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
You can also do them for obliques by doing essentially the same thing with a side plank

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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by Stefan 93 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:56 am

I think that Alligators are better because we need to stabilize our core while we are on one arm, and it works our shoulders more...
I apologize to everyone I've enraged. I'll try to correct myself.

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Re: Exercises for core?

Post by tyciol » Thu May 05, 2011 10:09 am

I just want to point out here: while bringing the knees to the chest guarantees you're shortening the abs to tilt the pelvis, you don't really have to bring your legs high at all to be working the abs.

For example, it would be possible to keep the hips extended and just curl the torso while dangling. You might only shift your knees a foot or two forward this way but it would be an intense abdominal contraction.

Just look how the hips are extended during dragon flags for example.


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