Below Are Helpful Tips To Start Your New Year 2012 Off Right
The Janda Sit Up
- According to Pavel Tsatsouline, former trainer for the Soviet special forces, the problem with traditional sit ups and crunches is that they involve the hip flexors to a much greater degree than the abdominals (see link in References). To curb that tendency, Pavel invented the Janda Sit Up, which is a partner sit up that seeks to take the hips out of the equation, allowing the abs to take the brunt of the stress and the benefit.
To perform a Janda Sit Up, lie on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle with feet completely on the floor while a partner holds your legs right below the calves. Now sit up about halfway while applying forward pressure with your legs against your partner's hands. Keep your hands folded across your chest during the entire movement, and make sure the soles of your feet do not leave the floor. You should feel these sit ups mainly in the upper abdominals. Aim for 2 to 3 sets of at least 20 repetitions, gradually adding more reps over time as you become used to the exercise.
Swiss Ball Crunches
- While traditional ab techniques do involve the hips quite significantly, that does not make those movements entirely ineffective, so long as a full range of motion is used. The problem with performing sit ups on the floor or on a bench is that the tension drops off too soon, as movement stops when you come into contact with the surface. According to Charles Poliquin, a Canadian strength coach who trains both professional and Olympic athletes, a more effective technique for training the upper abs is to perform crunches while lying across a Swiss Ball (see link in References). By using the rounded surface of the ball to your advantage, you will increase range of motion, and thereby increase effectiveness of the exercise. Aim for 2 to 3 sets of 20 or more reps, and add resistance through a plate or dumbbell on your chest as you grow stronger.
- Our final exercise choice for training your upper abs is a simple static bridge. A static bridge is performed by lying face down on the ground, supporting your body on just three points--your toes and both forearms. Maintain a neutral (slightly curved) spine, and try to keep the rest of your body in a relatively straight line from head to toes. Brace your abs throughout the entire movement to maintain correct posture, and hold for a period of 30 or more seconds. When you can hold a bridge for 90 seconds, your abs will be rock solid.