T Nation

Ab Work for Powerlfting


#1

I figured I should start doing some kind of ab work before I start failing because my abs crap out.

Now, I’m hesitant to add anything too much to my current training because it’s working well enough that I don’t want to change it.

I was thinking of doing something similar to what I did with pull aparts: add an AMRAP set at the end of every session, sometimes three sets. I’ve drafted in to my training and it looks fine.

For exercise selection, I wanted something that’s bodyweight based as I’ll be doing it really often. That way recovery won’t be an issue. I also wanted something that takes no setup.

Anyway, I picked hanging leg raises, either at the station or using straps.

Any better suggestions or ideas?


#2

It seems that exercises that don’t involve spinal flexion are more specific to powerlifting because there is no lift that involves actively flexing your spine. Ab wheel rollouts as demonstrated by Chris Duffin and planks are the two that come to mind. I have been reading some of Dr. Stuart McGill’s articles, he says that spinal flexion exercises like situps can cause back problems like herniated discs in the long run. I’m actually waiting for one of his books to come in the mail right now. He certainly seems to know what he is talking about, he fixed Brian Caroll’s back an he also works with Chris Duffin and many other elite athletes.

Regarding the ab wheel rollouts, I find that they make my hip flexors tight so that’s something to keep in mind if you choose to do them.


#3

I would go with anti work. Anti-rotation, -flexion, -lateral flexion. Like Chris mentioned, you want your abs to prevent spinal flexion in any direction so this seems to make sense.


#4

Ab wheel, both weighted and unweighted. I really can’t recommend weighted ab wheel work enough.

Also, “rolling” planks. Starting on one arm, then both, then the other arm, repeat. Something like 20-30 seconds each position for 10 total minutes.


#5

I like weighted planks dont cheat and put the weight on your upper back put it on your butt. If you dont have some one to help load a plate on your back you can use a smith machine fairly easy as well. Suitcase holds after that. Really heavy using straps even.


#6

Reed, have you ever used a smith machine for the suitcase holds? Or do you feel that the increased stability makes the exercise useless?


#7

[quote]Reed wrote:
I like weighted planks dont cheat and put the weight on your upper back put it on your butt. If you dont have some one to help load a plate on your back you can use a smith machine fairly easy as well. Suitcase holds after that. Really heavy using straps even.[/quote]

I think we have a winner!

Thanks heaps everyone for the input. I’ll try some suitcase holds today usog farmer walk handles.


#8

Tried the suitcase carries today. Initially I went for 220 lbs with straps. They felt horrible, and not in a getting me stronger way, more a going to mess me up if I’m not careful way. I dropped down to 176 lbs without straps and they felt good. I lasted around 12 seconds per arm for three sets. I figure I’ll work up to a minute, then add 10 lbs.


#9

Grab a heavy dumbbell. Lay down on your back on a bench like you were to bench press. Put the dumbbell vertical on your belly, and push it up using your abs about 20 - 40 times.

When I say push it up, I mean flex your abs causing it to rise, don’t just stick your belly out to push it up, basically brace your core like you do against a belt when squatting.

George Leeman speciality there :slight_smile:


#10

[quote]dzirkelb wrote:
Grab a heavy dumbbell. Lay down on your back on a bench like you were to bench press. Put the dumbbell vertical on your belly, and push it up using your abs about 20 - 40 times.

When I say push it up, I mean flex your abs causing it to rise, don’t just stick your belly out to push it up, basically brace your core like you do against a belt when squatting.

George Leeman speciality there :)[/quote]

Well that sounds interesting…


#11

Have you ever tried the Pallof Press - anti rotation exercise for the obliques. It’s so simple but very effective.


#12

I havent ever done them on a smith machine because since I have been doing them I have not had access to one since most of my training takes place in my garage. But, I dont think it would take away from the movement much at all and if it makes it safer or easier to set up I say go for it. Better than just ignoring the movement all together if nothing else.

MarKo I dont do carries with these just because they feel different and I am doing them to train stationary bracing as i would use in the Squat and Deadlift. I usually do them in a power rack and set the pin so that the bar only has to be picked up about 6 inhes and then I just hold there. Like a mini rack pull hold. I feel these much better than when I have tried the waking version/.


#13

[quote]Reed wrote:
I havent ever done them on a smith machine because since I have been doing them I have not had access to one since most of my training takes place in my garage. But, I dont think it would take away from the movement much at all and if it makes it safer or easier to set up I say go for it. Better than just ignoring the movement all together if nothing else.

MarKo I dont do carries with these just because they feel different and I am doing them to train stationary bracing as i would use in the Squat and Deadlift. I usually do them in a power rack and set the pin so that the bar only has to be picked up about 6 inhes and then I just hold there. Like a mini rack pull hold. I feel these much better than when I have tried the waking version/.[/quote]

I should have said holds. I picked the weight up off the floor but didn’t walk around. I think I’m going to do those and alternate with the Leeman special, which actually sounds like what my munchkin does sometimes if I’m lying down, he just jumps and lands on my stomach.


#14

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
I havent ever done them on a smith machine because since I have been doing them I have not had access to one since most of my training takes place in my garage. But, I dont think it would take away from the movement much at all and if it makes it safer or easier to set up I say go for it. Better than just ignoring the movement all together if nothing else.

MarKo I dont do carries with these just because they feel different and I am doing them to train stationary bracing as i would use in the Squat and Deadlift. I usually do them in a power rack and set the pin so that the bar only has to be picked up about 6 inhes and then I just hold there. Like a mini rack pull hold. I feel these much better than when I have tried the waking version/.[/quote]

I should have said holds. I picked the weight up off the floor but didn’t walk around. I think I’m going to do those and alternate with the Leeman special, which actually sounds like what my munchkin does sometimes if I’m lying down, he just jumps and lands on my stomach. [/quote]

Time it so when the little one lands on your belly, your bracing of abs sends him flying back into the air, it could be a fun game :slight_smile:


#15

[quote]dzirkelb wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
I havent ever done them on a smith machine because since I have been doing them I have not had access to one since most of my training takes place in my garage. But, I dont think it would take away from the movement much at all and if it makes it safer or easier to set up I say go for it. Better than just ignoring the movement all together if nothing else.

MarKo I dont do carries with these just because they feel different and I am doing them to train stationary bracing as i would use in the Squat and Deadlift. I usually do them in a power rack and set the pin so that the bar only has to be picked up about 6 inhes and then I just hold there. Like a mini rack pull hold. I feel these much better than when I have tried the waking version/.[/quote]

I should have said holds. I picked the weight up off the floor but didn’t walk around. I think I’m going to do those and alternate with the Leeman special, which actually sounds like what my munchkin does sometimes if I’m lying down, he just jumps and lands on my stomach. [/quote]

Time it so when the little one lands on your belly, your bracing of abs sends him flying back into the air, it could be a fun game :)[/quote]

Or when he’s the bar and I do thrusters. He loves that. Good GPP workout too.


#16

I think fathers training with their kids near is the definition of alpha training. You try pulling a heavy of triple of over 500 lbs on squat with “Let it Go” in the background for your music, and having naked 3 and 5 year olds running around in your vision and see how easy it is!


#17

That would be… interesting. I train at a gym, so unlikely to happen though.