most important muscle group

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Richard S.

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GREETINGS! ok, i believe as a martial artist the most important muscle group i can develop is the abdominals. my problem is with the standard crunches, twisting crunches and leg raises im afraid i have reached a plateau. can any of you, my learned colleagues, suggest anything different or recommend something that has worked well for you?.............respectfully, "tricky dick".
 
There are a lot of ways to do it. Personally, I don't like doing ab exercises, so one thing I've done was mixed it in with my other calisthenics and strength work. So specific exercises which might add variety:
1. Bicycle crunch: These aren't you're elementary school gym class bicycles. Touch your right elbow to your left knee while keeping right leg straight and slightly off the ground. Switch sides, without releasing tension by touching left elbow (with arms behind head) to right knee and keeping left leg straight and off the ground. Repeat in cadence without releasing tension on abs. A health and fitness web site claimed that a study showed this to be the best ab exercise (I'll try to dig up the web site).
2. Sit-up while holding weight: You can add resistance to your crunch or sit-up by holding a 25 pound (or whatever weight is comfortable) weight plate to your chest. I started doing these after watching ROTC students at my school doing them. They used 45's, but I only used 25 pound weights.
3. Jack-knives (Also known as V-ups). Starting with your body on the ground and arms over your head with arms straight, sit-up while raising your legs and touch your hands to your toes. Your back and legs should make a V, balancing on your butt. These are killer. Did these when I used to row in high school, and really haven't done them too much lately because they are really hard, but really effective.

Also, by plateau what do you mean? If you want to get a six-pack for example, the cardiovascular exercise has to be there in addition to the abwork. But if you mean in strength, perhaps trying some of these exercises might be helpful.

Good luck, and let me know how they work out for you.

Bryan :)
 
B, i appreciate it! ive tried the thing with weights, but it messes with my lower back. i am gonna give the bicycle and jack-knives a shot though.....thanks again.........
 
Try this 12min. ab work-out I do...

3/4 Situps (3/4 so you don't get a chance to rest at the top)

Split Scisorres (on back, one knee to chest, other extended, both legs at slight angle towards extended leg, slowly switch, pelvic tilt)

Alternating situps (left elbow to right knee, then switch)

Flutter Kicks (must be in a pelvic tilt, very important)

Rockies (sitting, grab your knee, lean back 'till arms are staight, look behind you and touch the floor while leaning back, switch to other side and so on)

Bum ups (on your back, legs straight up in the air, know lift your butt off the ground, repeat)

Wide and alternating (on back, legs wide apart with knees bent, reach forward and grab the out side part of your knee with both hands, repeat on other side)

Leg extensions (on back knee to chest, extend legs untill parrelle to floor, the pull back, must be in pelvic tilt)

Obliques both sides (lay on your side, and basically do a sideways situp as far as you can)

Crunches

V-Sits

1 min. each, no breaks

Pelvic tilt: Lay on your back, feel the space under your back where your spine curves, make that space go away. Very important for the ones I listed include a pelvic tilt, without it you are waisting your time.
 
Danny, thankyou sir! tomorrow is my day off and it looks like my usual workout is about to take a turn for the intense. once again, thankyou.........respects.
 
I added a "reverse crunch", which is similiar to a leg extension. With your legs bent and feet on the floor, pull yourself to the crunch position. Holding the crunch position, lift your knees to your chest, making sure you pull your butt off the floor. If it seems to easy, where a apir of heavy boots. Try to do at least 50.
 
v-ups (jackknifes), and leg lifts. put your hands behind your head, and lift your legs six inches off the floor. hold them there. if you do it right, someone can stand on your stomache.
 
Hello,

Check out Matt Furey's website. I have his book Combat Conditioning which has some great exercises for abs, back, and for the whole body. Matt Furey is a former collegiate wrestler and Chinese wrestling champ (forgot the name of the style). He's also big into catchwrestling.

Despite what some people may think of Matt Furey (some think he's too commercialized and/or cocky), this book is great. I think all martial artists should have it on their bookshelves. All of the exercises in the book can be done with little or no equipment, and although some are very common, some are not.

Bryan :asian:
 
You might also like to check into Pilates. Somewhat yoga like, it was designed to help dancers improve their core body strength - the very areas you're concerned about.
 
a lot of gyms offer pilates classes. I've taken a few, but since some parts of pilates take special equipment, and I could drive to the gym half an hour away to do pilates, or walk to the gym across the parkinglot in my apartment complex and hop on the cross trainer and lift weights, because of the convenience, pilates kinda lapsed in my life. It was a lot of fun, tho, and if the other gym was a bit closer, I'd probably still be doing it.
 
Originally posted by Richard S.

GREETINGS! ok, i believe as a martial artist the most important muscle group i can develop is the abdominals. my problem is with the standard crunches, twisting crunches and leg raises im afraid i have reached a plateau. can any of you, my learned colleagues, suggest anything different or recommend something that has worked well for you?.............respectfully, "tricky dick".

Don't forget your back. It's more important!

/Yari
 
developing the abdominal muscles actually solves a lot of back problems...problems with the back can occur when the back muscles, which are usually very strong because we use them constantly, are much stronger than the abs. this can pull things out of wack. having well developed abs can be a way of preventing back trouble.
 
Originally posted by nightingale8472

developing the abdominal muscles actually solves a lot of back problems...problems with the back can occur when the back muscles, which are usually very strong because we use them constantly, are much stronger than the abs. this can pull things out of wack. having well developed abs can be a way of preventing back trouble.

I totally agree with nightingale on this due to personal experience. The more ab development I did, the less back trouble I began to have. It also helped to correct some old posture issues which I hope will prevent me from having too many back problems in the future.
 
Originally posted by tunetigress



I totally agree with nightingale on this due to personal experience. The more ab development I did, the less back trouble I began to have. It also helped to correct some old posture issues which I hope will prevent me from having too many back problems in the future.

I don't totaly disagree, but want to come with an extra pointer.
Your back needs to be strong to hold your "frame", but beside that, it needs to be flexible. And the disc inbetween your bones in the back need to be moved. Both ways. So to keep them healthy, they have to bend backwards as many times as forward,as far as they can go (with out over doing it).

Most people have weak backs, try sitting straight on a chair; back straight, stomach out, shoulders down. Most people cann't sit like that, the muscles in the back give up. Some people use the stomach muscles, but there still sluching (sp?). And this is not good for the inner organs.


/Yari
 
Don't forget your back. It's more important!
/Yari


I agree, and a good exercise for the lower back is to lie on your stomach, put your fists in the small of your back and raise the upper portion of your body off the floor, while keeping your hips and legs on the floor. Very effective for me.
 
some people experience back pain because of the iliopsoas muscle which is located underneath the abdominal wall. it is also a very difficult muscle to stretch and relax. if you do alot of sitting, it gets contracted. one way to stretch it is to do a lunging stretch with your back arched, bend the trailing leg upward by reaching back and pulling your foot up by bending it at the knee. if you have never tried this, get ready for an uncomfortable feeling. :D
 

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