Smabs Heavy Mash

3 rounds with great form:

20 sit & reach situps 6/8
20 V-twists 6/8 (R+L=1)
20 counts - stability planks
20 stability sideups R
20 stability sideups L
20 uni hip-ups R
20 uni hip-ups L

Post Rx or reps missed to comments

Then...

3 rounds for time:

10 dead lifts AHAP
10 pullups
10 DB strict press AHAP

Post weights used and time to comments.


Daily Extras - 4 rounds each. (vets only)


Workout Notes:

  •  Trying something new today. A heavy day combined with abs. After a bit of trial and error, I've learned there might be more ways to skin this programming cat. What I'm hoping for, is to be able to double up on our heavy days and double up on our ab days every week. I've been doing it with private clients and myself a bit. Preliminary results have been so good I wanted to roll it out to you sooner than later. Please let me know what you think of the combination - in comments.
  • Not getting enough out of the abs? Dude, you are a machine. It's cool try 1/2 the reps using only R leg on the planks and the hipups. 
  • Take your time on the abs. You are not in a hurry. Try to feel the burn deep within the muscles.
  • If your back is still hating life from those KBs on Tues, go easy on the weight on the DLs. 

Why Not Hip Flexors? - Neil's Musings 1/30/13

 

Q: "Am I doing this workout wrong if I'm feeling it more in my hip flexors than in my abs?"  

A:  NOPE.  

Nothing wrong with working your hip flexors.  Your hip flexors (muscles of the deep lower back and upper thighs) might be the most underdeveloped muscles in your body.  This sucks cause it can lead to problems with your low back and hips. 

Why do we get weak hip flexors?   

1 - We sit all day long.  Sitting puts the hip flexors on slack.  When a muscle is put on slack for long periods of time, day after day, it loses strength and range of motion.  Weak, shortened hip flexors are probably the number 1 contributor to low back pain.  It is a condition suffered by an estimated 80% of us.  

2 - It's not easy to work hip flexors.  There aren't many natural positions outside of situps and leg raises that work the flexors of the hips.  Tons that extend the hips (squats, running, dead lifts, etc.).  But not many that flex the hips.  So, most folks skip working them due to lack of knowledge and experience with these movements. 

3 - Hip flexors aren't comfortable to work.  Somehow we have all gotten used to the deep muscular burn felt in our legs, back, chest, shoulders, bis, tris & abs when we work them.  We've even come to like it a little.  But, the deep ache we feel in our low backs and around the tops of our legs when doing hip flexor work is unsettling.  Most of us associate it too closely with injury.  So, we fear it.

4 - Fitness experts in the 90s told us to quit using our hip flexors.  Back then, exercising was all about isolation and development.  Real body building stuff.  Those who were trying to build abdominal bulges (usually compensating for a lack of bulge elsewhere) would try to eliminate all muscle groups in a movement not associated with said bulges.  This mentality is still (wrongly) with us today.  

Keep in mind, just because you aren't feeling it in your abs, doesn't mean your abs aren't getting all the health benefits of the workout.  

Another thing to keep in mind is you MAY NOT BE ABLE to work an intended muscle (abs here) if the supporting musculature is weak.  We've learned that the place you feel a compound movement (a movement involving multiple joints and muscle groups) is usually the weak link in the chain.  It will be hard to feel the abs working until the hip flexors come up to speed, in terms of strength and endurance.  This MANDATES hip flexor work.  

Hip flexor work is extremely important to Optimal Health.  Remember, over developing certain muscle groups brings with it all of the negative health concerns as under developement does.  Those who work the hip extention (squats, DLs etc.) without considering deliberate work for the flexors are in for a world of hurt.