Get away from your basic crunches and situps and try to incorporate some more explosive and more strenuous type exercises. I realized that a medicine ball is one good investment, and I didn’t even buy one. My school’s gym has one. Doing things like that work your abs out real well. Also, try decline abdominal exercises as well.
For the lower back I would say hypers and supermans are the best/probably only way to go. Your low back gets a workout in most lifts you do.
Pushups are good and so are dips as well for some GS in the core area. I would try incorporating some of those as well.
Make sure your doing your tempo with good posture. This makes it an excellent core trainer. Since dcw pointed this out a while ago I think my core strength has improved greatly, which has led to better posture in regular life as well as training. Then mix in some low-intensity exercises like situps and such with your tempo.
Tempo is great for postural development as well, but more explosive exercises and those variations of your basic situps and crunches will help you become stronger all around. My strength has gone up a lot when I started training with more explosive movements for abdominals.
Even though tempo is recovery, I don’t think that explosive AB movements are too CNS stressful that you can’t do them on tempo days. Try it and see if your strength doesn’t increase partly because of it.
My squat jumped 15lbs in one week because I started training my abdominals more explosively…and I don’t even squat!!!
Squat - 240 and bodyweight 158. I will be at 300 by the end of December probably the way I have been improving (great weights program )
My ab exercises…(bear with me)
Med. Ball crunch passes - I put the ab “bench” on a decline that is high enough to hurt and low enough to avoid death. I get myself in a full crunch position and have a partner stand in front of me with the ball. He lightly but quickly (fast but not hard) throws the ball at my chest and I allow my body to lean back just a little bit. My abs stay flexed the whole time and I feel it after about 15 (I do 25 per set). It’s back and forth, quick, quick, quick and you keep your abs flexed with all the forward and backward motion. 4x25
Leg pushdowns - I get on a decline bench press machine, and again I need a partner. I grab the bar that connects the bench to the foot holders with my hands. My feet are together and I lift them up quickly and my partner, standing in front of me, pushes down on my feet with a bit of force to push them down, BUT, I use my abs (isometrically) to keep my feet from touching the ground and pop them back up to get pushed down again. This one is actually fun (and the ladies like to join to, so… ). 4x25
Med. Ball Decline Oblique Twists - Same setup as crunch passes, but I do it myself. I get up to a full situp position, get the ball, and lean back to a point where my entire back up to just below my shoulder blades is on the bench (keeps the abs flexed) and I situp, twist once to each side, and go back down to the same point (not all the way). This one gets difficult. 4x15
I also do hanging leg raises and a variation where you only lift your knees, lift them to your chest, and bring them down where they are parallel to the floor and bring them back up again (keeps the abs flexed) and repeat. I usually do burnout sets here as well as the next few exercises. I also do bicycles, traditional crunches (upper abs aren’t as important) and that’s it for dynamic exercises. I also do some isometric stuff. I just rotate it each day and make sure to change it up so I don’t do the same things two days in a row.
It’s not really “explosive” per se, but it’s more dynamic than your traditional crunches and situps and they work a lot better. I’m not dreadfully sore after the workout (usually recovered within an hour), but I can see the difference and feel it.
Sorry about the descriptions. I did the best I could. If I could videotape them I would, but I can’t.
I know my squat isn’t much, but I haven’t lifted since last July and I have been lifting consistently for only about 1 month to 6 weeks now and my maxes are already exceeding my previous maxes. My bench is now 190 (was 185 last time), PC is still 185 (not a vital part of my program), and my squat is 240 (was 225). So, I have seen a difference and I know a major part of it is my newfound core strength as well as my program.
For the core: training movements where the hips or the thorax are fixed or supported by another surface will not sufficiently develop the anterior abdominal wall. More important than trunk flexion, and the major role of the ant ab wall is the deceleration of spinal & hip extension [the later of which has more potential for a runner].
could you expand on:
More important than trunk flexion, and the major role of the ant ab wall is the deceleration of spinal & hip extension [the later of which has more potential for a runner].
It seems that we could unearth a monster can of worms with this one…