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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:41 am    Post subject: Abs exercises Reply with quote

Do abs exercises ever become easy?

I hate doing abs exercises. Consequently my abs are pretty weak, for a martial artist at least. But catch 22, because my abs are pretty weak, I find abs exercises very hard.

I know exercise is supposed to be hard. But take pushups. When I left training alone for too many years then went back, I struggled to manage even the minimum set of 10 pushups. But I persisted, and now I can benchmark myself against various military fitness criteria and on the pushups side of things, I'd pass any fitness test. But I can't say the same about situps or crunches. They really burn me out, and although I have made some progress with them, I've made nothing like the progress I've made with other exercises.

I want strong abs and am happy to put in the work to get them, but I believe in seeking efficiency in everything. My current abs exercises clearly are not efficient because it's a lot of work for minimal gain. Any suggestions?
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect they never really become "easy." If they did, concerns should be happening. My wife is always at the gym. She can hold a plank for about 2 minutes, and claims it starts getting hard to do after about 75 seconds.

Sit-ups might be easier for some, and harder for others. I think that largely depends on your body shape. Short torso? Sit-ups will be a lot easier for you than for someone with a longer torso. (I have longer arms, so pull-ups will always be hard for me.)

If an exercise ever becomes easy, it's probably indicative that you should change things up.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14183
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then there's the opposing opinions whereas doctor 'A' will sight the benefits of it, and doctor 'B' will sight the benefits of not doing it. I suppose that that'll be up to the individual to ultimately decide.

I see the benefits of doing abdominal exercises in order to aide in the strengthen the core. Therefor I continue to do so on a regular basis.



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LLLEARNER
Brown Belt
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Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abs can be tough. Are you working different parts of the abs. If you are just doing crunches or sit-ups you may be missing lower abs and obliques. I found Athleanx on YouTube. He has really good well rounded programs set up and sciency explanations.
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LLLEARNER
Brown Belt
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Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and do negatives.
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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6100
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate training abs but they are a necessary evil. For me, rather than just the sit ups and crunches, I find static holds really beneficial. So the plank and variations of it plus hollow holds, side planks, reverse planks etc. As martial artists it's also important to work on rotations (and anti rotations) as we engage these muscles all the time.
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Bulltahr
Purple Belt
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Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 572
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The world record for the plank is more than 10 hours, it must get easier as you continue your training, although it may not seem that way.......
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27542
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bulltahr wrote:
The world record for the plank is more than 10 hours, it must get easier as you continue your training, although it may not seem that way.......
That could have more to do with the mental strength of the record holder than the strength of his abs....
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mazzybear
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 648
Location: Scotland.
Styles: Wado Kai

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We work our abs twice each class for a MINIMUM of 5 min each time. Once after or as part of our warm up and again at the end of the class before a warm down. As a result my sit up game is pretty good but, that's not to say I find it easy.

How far up do you come when doing a sit up? I think once you go past 45 degrees you're expending energy for not much gain. Stay within the 45 degrees and your abs are constantly engaged.

It's not just a case of just plain ol' sit ups, as LLLEARNER said you have to work the upper and lower abs, separately and together and of course the oblique muscles also.

Planks are great too, although my instructor, for some reason doesn't hold much sway in planking, so I do most of my planks outwith the class.

Try doing it as a mini HIIT session. For example:


30s upper (standard sit up)
10s rest
30s lower (bum lifts)
10s rest
30s both (standard crunch)

Do this say 5 times changing the sit up type each time. When you find yourself getting better, up the time to 45s and so on. at the end of each session throw in a plank, holding for as long as you can and again increase the time as you progress.

In time you'll get much better, it should never feel easy but you will get faster and last longer as you go.

Look on YouTube for all the types of sit ups, so you can mix things up in your abs workout. For now here's a quick list.

UPPER:

Standard sit up
Legs tucked sit up
Legs straight in the air and come up to touch the toes
Half twist sit up (works obliques too)

LOWER:

Bum lift
Vertical scissors
Horizontal scissors
Leg lifts
Side to side leg lifts

CRUNCH:

Standard crunch
Star crunch
Boxers coordination
Bicycle crunch


There's loads more but, that's just to give you an idea.



Mo.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2018


PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best (core) exercises are: The ones you are currently not doing!

Challenging oneself is a personal matter, as what is difficult for one is easy for another.

As there are many muscles to strengthen in the core area then targeting them all with a variety of different exercise methods will be smarter than working just harder.

Starting off with easier exercises then progressing with more difficulty and challenging ones.

Everyone is at a different level of core fitness, then building upon from where you are right now is better than under training or over straining.

Using core exercises as a part of your warm up routine is a great habit to get in to, then in the near future, tackling challenging core exercises will not seem to be something near to impossible.
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