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Random health and exercise thoughts

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by Eason, Dec 20, 2009.

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  1. Hartmann

    Hartmann Senior member

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    I thought swiss ball crunches were a joke until I actually started doing them right. Reading Lyle McDonald's thoughts about ab training helped. He points out that your abs need slight spinal extension in order to contract fully. Regular flat-back situps from the floor are good up to a point, but they rely too much on your hips helping to pull you up when the weight gets heavy.

    I'm not advocating exclusively hitting the abs isolation/bodybuilder style but it helps to be able to work them directly when they're lagging behind.
     


  2. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Core workouts can be fun and your core will get rock hard, the difference will be amazing. Do this as a circuit- it is one of my favorite core circuits:

    Weighted lower back extensions (say with a 25lb plate) - 10 reps
    Russian twists on decline bench with a 20 lb dumbbell - 10 reps (go down until your back is slightly below parallel to floor but down all the way to the bench)
    Lying leg lifts - to failure
    Weighted crunches on swiss ball (I do this with a 75lb dumbbell held at my upper chest) - 10 reps
    Hanging leg raises

    Do the above for 5 rounds... slowly and in control. No bouncing or cheating.

    Finish up with 2 sets of chinnies and 2 planks held as long as possible (try for 2 minutes).

    Do this twice a week I guarantee your core will feel unbelievable within a month. As you get stronger, you can do dragon flags instead of lying leg raises and also add ab wheel rollouts.

    I got ideas for core circuits from Ross Enamait's Infinite Intensity.


    I thought swiss ball crunches were a joke until I actually started doing them right. Reading Lyle McDonald's thoughts about ab training helped. He points out that your abs need slight spinal extension in order to contract fully. Regular flat-back situps from the floor are good up to a point, but they rely too much on your hips helping to pull you up when the weight gets heavy.

    I'm not advocating exclusively hitting the abs isolation/bodybuilder style but it helps to be able to work them directly when they're lagging behind.



    Some very good points in this threak of late. DRAGON FLAGS!! A great goal.

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  3. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    I just read ripptoes thing about abs...should I just cut out ab work totally or is ripptoe just a hater? I was rather enjoying doing side-bends (I'm doing 5/3/1 right now and i just realized my mil. press day could use some more not-shoulder/arm-excercizes)

    I'm with Rippetoe on this one. Most ab workouts are more cardio workouts IMO. Although i would add in some shit for obliques to the average workout.
     


  4. Scrumhalf

    Scrumhalf Senior member

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    I'm with Rippetoe on this one. Most ab workouts are more cardio workouts IMO. Although i would add in some shit for obliques to the average workout.

    Do you have a link for what Rippetoe said about abs? Now I am curious.... I am trying to figure out how an ab workout can be a cardio workout but not coming up with ideas... perhaps he was referring to losing fat around the abs?
     


  5. GraphicNovelty

    GraphicNovelty Senior member

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    http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/abs/ Second question: I'm having trouble hitting my macros with just food, as I'm a vegetarian, and every veg protein that isn't tofu seems to come with a bunch of carbs. What to do? I drink a brotein shake Post w/o, should I add another at the beginning/end of the day?
     


  6. Scrumhalf

    Scrumhalf Senior member

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    http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/abs/

    Second question: I'm having trouble hitting my macros with just food, as I'm a vegetarian, and every veg protein that isn't tofu seems to come with a bunch of carbs. What to do? I drink a brotein shake Post w/o, should I add another at the beginning/end of the day?


    I'm vegetarian as well. Other than shakes, the only protein source without excessive tag-along carbs is cottage cheese. I eat about 2 cups of nonfat cottage cheese a day, plus 2 protein shakes. In addition, I have lentils, although they come with a fair bit of carbs.
     


  7. Lagrangian

    Lagrangian Senior member

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    Cottage cheese + peanut butter + cinnamon + splenda or stevia = quick treat w/ pretty nice macros.
     


  8. skitlets

    skitlets Senior member

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    Life has been hectic, I haven't been to the gym in about 2 months. Anyways, I took some time off to rest my hip flexors. They were really hurting from high bar back squats. They're normally tight so I always stretch beforehand but it seems any significant weight on the bar will cause some pain.

    Is this indicative of improper form?
     


  9. gvibes

    gvibes Senior member

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    Life has been hectic, I haven't been to the gym in about 2 months. Anyways, I took some time off to rest my hip flexors. They were really hurting from high bar back squats. They're normally tight so I always stretch beforehand but it seems any significant weight on the bar will cause some pain.

    Is this indicative of improper form?

    Tough to say, but it could be indicative of poor glute activation. Basically, you use too much hamstring, and not enough glutes, which causes the tip of the femur to stress the hip flexor.

    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/healing_the_hips.htm
     


  10. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    i get a bit of hip pain aswell, i always thought i had pretty good glute activation. Maybe i'll add in a few of those things.
     


  11. skitlets

    skitlets Senior member

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    Tough to say, but it could be indicative of poor glute activation. Basically, you use too much hamstring, and not enough glutes, which causes the tip of the femur to stress the hip flexor.

    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/healing_the_hips.htm


    Thanks for the link. I tried incorporating some dynamic stretches into my warmup before I took a break. Leg kicks, leg swings, etc. But by that point my hips were already hurtin pretty badly.

    Guess I'll ease back into it and focus more on glute activation. Sitting at work, sitting at home, and sitting in class definitely don't help.
     


  12. Pennglock

    Pennglock Senior member

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    Sitting at work, sitting at home, and sitting in class definitely don't help.

    Yeah, I have the same problem. Years of sitting for 12 hours a day add up to tight hip flexors. Combine this with a bit of anterior pelvic tilt in my posture, and it's a recipe for straining the hips squatting.

    I don't completely agree with the article linked above. At least with my case of tight hips, the hamstrings were not getting adequate involvement, and hip flexors were taking more than their fair share of the load. A further problem is that it's very tough to keep lumbar extention at the bottom of your squat with tight hips- this is going to cause your knees to slide forward at the bottom and youre not going to be correctly bouncing off your hams. Knees sliding forward on the second half of a squat descent = hip strain.

    Once you have a case of tendonitis in this area, it is a bitch to deal with. The only thing that's going to help is time. You can continue squatting, but your form will have to be perfect to avoid aggrivating it.

    Static hip flexors stretches (samson stretch) DO help, I dont know what the hell that article is talking about. Combined with some dynamic mobility, It's the only way you're going to loosen your hips up. Do them multiple times a day an you will start seeing a difference.

    On your squat, just be very careful not to let your knees come forward too much, and keep your lower back tight.

    Foam rolling works wonders for easing some discomfort too...
     


  13. skitlets

    skitlets Senior member

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    I don't completely agree with the article linked above. At least with my case of tight hips, the hamstrings were not getting adequate involvement, and hip flexors were taking more than their fair share of the load. A further problem is that it's very tough to keep lumbar extention at the bottom of your squat with tight hips- this is going to cause your knees to slide forward at the bottom and youre not going to be correctly bouncing off your hams. Knees sliding forward on the second half of a squat descent = hip strain.

    That is really helpful Penn, thank you. I noticed that when I enter the bottom hole of the squat (I go pretty low, almost a2g), especially today, my knees are forced forward. I'm going to have to really emphasize stretching my hips.

    First day back since June... I lost so much strength. I was on SS for a few months, got up to about a 195 squat at hair below 135bw. Doing 95 today felt so uncomfortable.
     


  14. hastur

    hastur Senior member

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    I'm with Rippetoe on this one. Most ab workouts are more cardio workouts IMO. Although i would add in some shit for obliques to the average workout.

    do a set of strict hanging leg raises, slow positive and negative on each rep, without swinging back and forth or using any momentum and come back and say that again
     


  15. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    do a set of strict hanging leg raises, slow positive and negative on each rep, without swinging back and forth or using any momentum and come back and say that again

    yeah i used to do hanging leg raises, i know they hurt.


    but cable flies also hurt probably more than bench press, doesn't mean i fuck around with them.


    nah i guess i agree to an extent. There probably is value in leg raises and other core targeting exercises, probably not for ab-showing purposes though. I don't really think they're gonna make the abs bigger, and you'd have to be adding weight for them to be getting stronger.
     


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