should the abs be kept tight when sprinting?

I like the ab wheel.I go on my toes and stretch out as far as possible with the wheel.

speaking of abs since we’re on the topic what does everyone do for abs. i know people talk about doing over 1,000 reps a week but i beleive that is only possible if you do only crunch variations. i personally find that very boring so i have been doing 500 reps a week. i usually do abs 3 days a week and do 150-200 reps.
For example on monday i’d do incline situps (almost 90 degrees) 4-5 sets of 20, legs raises on that chair thing (i dunno what the heck you call it) stright out sets of 10 immediatly follwed by leg raies bringing my knees to my chest for sets of 10.
ive only been doing it for 2 weeks and my 6 pack is already getting nice. hopefully it will have a positvie impact on my running. i know i cant keep doing those same exersises because my body will adapt so thats why id like to know what everyone does.

If you dont do it at the moment, you should not start to do it. you should focus on relaxation. just do what feels natural for you

well the cues i was always told is stomach tight, back flat, hips tucked.

“Hips tucked”. I think that is one of Charlie’s most used cues:baddevil::

what is meant by “hips tucked”

i belive the cue “hips tucked” is refering to having your hips tucked underneath your center of gravity as oppsed to running with your butt out or leaning back.

On the topic of Abdominals, has anyone encountered athletes who have overdeveloped rectus abdominals having trouble activating their transverse abdominals? Could overdevelopment of these muscles prevent the transverse from firing when necessary? Just a thought.

Through the acceleration phase the superficial abs should be activated automatically to stabilise the trunk, but once you start nearing top speed and there is less force to overcome trunk stability they are less active. At this point it is also important to breath, and strong contraction of the superficial abs prevents the diaphram from contracting.

A trend, especially at the moment, is to draw the belly button to the spine (consiously), which contracts the deep abs ie. transverse abdominus instead of the superficial abs. This stabilises the trunk but also allows diaphramatic breathing. Not sure how necessary this is though.

I wouldn’t suggest keeping your hips tucked when sprinting- or sticking your butt out either. Tucking your hips under will cause your shoulders to roll forward, interfering with arm mechanics and limiting hip rotation.

2 x 25 Standard Crunches (with 5 - 10 kg)
2 x 25 Straight Leg Raises
2 x 25 Russian Twists (with 5 - 10 kg)
2 x 25 Bent leg Raises

Power Phases
Change Standard Crunches & Russian Twists for Med Ball crunches and throws with partner.

Twice a week 3 sets of the following for between 5 and 12 reps depending on the period:

-incline/resisted situps
-straight leg raises
-resisted side bends for obliques
-resisted trunk rotation (twists) with fixed pelvis (seated).

I also do a few moderate to strong contraction holds on transverse abdominus ie. navel to spine. for periods upto approx 10 seconds.


I know of physios who have seen football players (UK) with overdeveloped abs that have restricted diaphramatic breathing. Not sure about transverse ab, although you would think it could be restricted with such overdevelopment.

Richard you are very right,
I have also read and heard froom first hand accounts from therapists in the uK how incorrect development of the abs (6packs) actaully contribute to hernia problems and Gilmores groin syndrome.
Ab development is not just about having a washboard stomach, it’s function is for posture, stability and assisting in power transfer.

Anybody got a good ref. for ab or core work - for athletic performance - not body building?

Why attempt to isolate the TVA? Isn’t trunk stabilisation during sprinting the result of many muscles working together?

Currently I do about 200 reps per day, but I have gone as high as 500 in a day. Mostly crunch variations, lying leg raises, curl ups, med ball sit ups and throws etc.

I am pleased to say (for those people who have been members for a while will know why) that I am currently still doing 400 reps per day, Monday to Friday.:smiley:

Good job OorWullie. I can recall how long it took you to start.