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CW: True Ab Strength

In most workout programs I follow one of the suggested exercises is decline sit-ups while holding a weight on you chest to increase resistance. I have read somewhere that to determine if you have true ab strength you should hold the weight behind your head.

So in the gym today I decide to try it. I can easily knock out reps with a 45 lb. plate on my chest but when I put it behind my head it was a struggle for my life to sit up once. So what gives. Someone give me some info. If you read this CW let me know whats up.

BUMP for Waterbury.

good question…

If holding the plate behind your head makes the exercise more difficult for you, then do them w/ the plate behind your head. It’s more difficult because you can’t really “cheat” as much w/ the plate held behind your head, and the resistance is now placed in a position where your leverages are worse

Duh, its basic rotational physics. You’re increasing the resistance.

Hold the weight at arms length behind your head and see if you can even sit-up and not just cry.

Let me think of a good example…

Is it easier to do bent arm rear delt raises or straight arm? Weights farther from your body and your lever arm is longer. Makes it tougher to lift.

Same thing with sit-ups. You’re moving your center of gravity farther from your hips.

Simple physics. When the plate is over your head, it’s farther away from the fulcrum (your hips/abs). Simple lever action.

You can make it even harder by holding the plate over your head. Just be sure you don’t drop it.

IMHO using a plate is useless. Use a dumbell instead. Hold it so the handle touch the chin the whole time. MUCH better.

Yep use a dumbell, it should fit right on the back of your neck, use hand-over-hand to hold it their.

[quote]GriffinC wrote:
Yep use a dumbell, it should fit right on the back of your neck, use hand-over-hand to hold it their.[/quote]

I prefer to hold the dumbell at front because when you get stronger it’s quite hard to get a good, secure grip when holding it behind your neck.

You can use more weight but overall you make the exercise safer, I think it feels a bit “un-natural” to hold the dumbell behind my neck. Plus you look like an idiot when you drop the dumbell :wink:

I agree with Moose on this one here. I like the in front variety as well. Also I tend to use two and hold one up on each shoulder, they touch one another just under the chin and then go up over each shoulder.

As of late though I have been doing much of my ab work with the high low pulley and bands. Little off topic put anyhow.

More than one way to skin a cat I suppose. Find what works for you and which present the most challange to payback, not what is easier.

Just my take,
Phill

Another version of sit-ups I do once in a while is to do them in the cable cross.

Hook the rope normally used for triceps pushdowns to the lower pulley. Hook your feet under the opposite side, grab the rope and sit up.

During “normal” sit-ups with weight there’s no load when sitting upright. When using the cable-cross the highest load is when sitting upright.

Also quick to change resistance, you don’t have to carry the dumbells across the gym;-)