T Nation

Can't do any


I am doing Ian King’s Awesome Abs routine. This is the second time I am doing it as I had good success the first time. But I still have the same problem, I cannot do even one half-ass rep of Toes to Sky (the most basic level).

Last time I did the routine, I moved my hands under my lower back to provide leverage, thinking that once the muscles had a bit of stimulation I’d be able to spread my arms to 90 deg again. No dice.

If I do the exercise on a decline board (flat or inclined) using a hand-grip behind my head, I can perform them too. All other exercises were as expected, some good, some bad, improvements all around as I continued the plan.

Any advice? What’s lacking? Any other exercises I can do to bring up this part? Or am I not doing something correctly? It’s a pretty straightforward exercise to understand.

BTW, I am working on flexibility regularly, can do the Thin Tummy and do not have back pain or anything obvious to stop me from doing this. The best way to describe what happens me is if you put your hand on the ground palm-down and try and lift your ring finger as high as the other fingers can go. Everything seems fine but it just won’t work. I can’t feel what should be working, or can’t entice it to do what it should.


flynniec6 they’re not leg raises so why would you be doing them on a decline bench or a flat bench? The best way to describe the exercise is to lie on the ground and put your arms out to 90. Raise your feet in the air to 90. Then the movement is to reach your toes as high as you can, straight into the air. Its not a leg raise motion its pelvis raise to push your legs straight into the air. I think you might be doing them wrong. You’re legs don’t raise and lower, they stay completely vertical throughout the entire set. Hope this helps you.

Thanks, but I am doing them right. If you lie on a bench or board, you can reach behind your head and grip the board. This anchors your upper body and gives your upper abs something to leverage against to raise the pelvis to the ceiling. Which I think is defeating the purpose of the exercise.

Being lazy and not doing a search to be 100% sure of the exercise, (I am assuming that you are doing it with straight legs) then why not decreases the length of the lever arm and do it with knees bent. I would not consider legs straight to be a beginner exercise. Try bringing the knees into your chest so that they are perpendicular with the floor and relax the legs so that they are bent at the knee. Now move the knees about an inch or so striaght up. This is done by posteriorly rotating the pelvis. Do not anchor the arms behind. I would also suggest that you do not do them on a decline bench as this will make the exercise harder. Please post back and let us know how you got on.