Give me rock hard(ish) abs!
July 13, 2008 7:03 PM   Subscribe

I started following today. I'd like an exercise plan along those lines to follow on the off days to work my abs. Is there a hundredsit-ups-type plan? Are sit-ups even the best way to strengthen my abs? I'm only looking for exercises that I can do at home without equipment and without much space.
posted by cheerwine to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Depending on your definition of "equipment", there's always the shovelglove.
posted by yort at 7:11 PM on July 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'm no expert, but I find the plank to be a superior exercise to situps. You can work on both increasing the number of sets and the duration.
posted by ms.v. at 7:19 PM on July 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was just thinking about this. I know it must not be a perfect comparison, but couldn't one just use the same chart from hundredpushups for sit ups, cruches, or any other similar exercise?
posted by niles at 7:23 PM on July 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I am doing a slacker version of hunderpushups and have added sit ups equal to double the number of push-ups I am doing, (ie, yesterday 5x10 push ups and 5 x 20 sit ups). I asked a related abdominal question here.
posted by shothotbot at 8:30 PM on July 13, 2008

I've been doing jackknife sit-ups in equal numbers right after doing the push-ups. Seems to be working well enough for me.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:03 PM on July 13, 2008

If you have any issues with your back crunches are far preferred over sit-ups, and probably over jackknife sit-ups. If you want more resistance do them on an angled surface with your head inverted or similarly over a large exercise ball. Frankly, sit-ups are so bad for your spine that even if you don't have any current issues they should be avoided.
posted by caddis at 7:04 AM on July 14, 2008

You could do the 8 minute ab video on ab days. Just do it more than once. And the plank that ms.v mentioned is the shiz nizzy for core strength.
That is the mighty humbler. Especially when you start doing side planks.
posted by a3matrix at 7:11 AM on July 14, 2008

Sit-ups won't give you rock hard abs, you realize. There's a common bodybuilding saying: "Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym." Nice abs are all about losing body fat, not building up your abdominal muscles. And since you can't spot reduce fat, any calorie-burning activity is as good as any other.
posted by Khalad at 7:11 AM on July 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd also like to second what caddis said. Sit-ups are bad news for your back. They also hit your hip flexors more than your abs. If despite my previous post you still decide to do ab exercises, then your best options will be crunches, leg raises, bicycle kicks, and the plank.

(But I must repeat that if rock hard abs are your goal, ab exercises will not get you there. Ab exercises should be reserved for a well-rounded core strength program which includes hip, oblique, and lower back exercises as well.)
posted by Khalad at 7:19 AM on July 14, 2008

Reading Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.
posted by tiburon at 9:03 AM on July 14, 2008

Shothotbot : I am doing a slacker version of hunderpushups and have added sit ups equal to double the number of push-ups I am doing, (ie, yesterday 5x10 push ups and 5 x 20 sit ups)

Yep, same here. I do my situps on my bed with my feet hooked under the end-board - I find that much easier on the back, and it makes it easier to focus the effort in my belly rather than my legs.

Anyway, I'm seeing a decent amount of improvement in the definition of my abs. I mean, they're not standing out like dumplings or whatever, but they're nice and delineated. But I'm a skinny guy, so I don't really have to lose any bodyfat to see that.
posted by Drexen at 9:06 AM on July 14, 2008

Logical and doable exercise program. Should benefit anyone who dares take on the OMG 6-weeks?! program. I usually do 25 situps and pushups every morning, but I can definitely see the benefit of pushing the pushes gradually during a longer time period.
posted by avocade at 11:42 AM on July 18, 2008

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