Exercise Ball Crunches and Ab Wheel

Post your exercise routines or sequences of exercises that you do during a workout, as well as your questions and tips on such routines.

Exercise Ball Crunches and Ab Wheel

Postby new2bjj » Feb 22, 2007 17:42

I have realized that my stomach muscles being weak have contributed to alot of my back injuries through out the years. I am trying to rebuild my strength by doing the crunches in sets of 50 (this is where I max out, sadly) with 3-4 sets at a time every other day. Should I do Ball crunches ( I can do about 15 reps, where I go back, with a slight stretch and up) which are more intense, before I do the high rep crunches, or just keep doing the crunches until I can do sets of 100, several times at the end of my strength workout. I am also curious about what Mr. Kurz thinks of the Ab Wheel, and does it have a place in strengthening the stomach for Kickboxing/BJJ/MMA. I've done several martial arts (Black Belt TKD and Muay Thai at Fairtex), but sadly, I read to much body building crap and not enough on sports conditioning, which, I am sure, hurt me in the long run. I have bought the Science of Sports Training, the Children's book, the Stretching Book and the High Kicks with no warm up. I'm 47 years old, and would like to keep fit and return to contact free sparring and possibly grappling.
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Re: Exercise Ball Crunches and Ab Wheel

Postby Thomas Kurz » Feb 23, 2007 19:37

new2bjj wrote:Should I do Ball crunches ( I can do about 15 reps, where I go back, with a slight stretch and up) which are more intense, before I do the high rep crunches, ...


Yes--if ball crunches make you stronger. If they weaken your back--don't do them at all.

new2bjj wrote:I am also curious about what Mr. Kurz thinks of the Ab Wheel, and does it have a place in strengthening the stomach for Kickboxing/BJJ/MMA.


It can be good if you can keep your lower back in neutral position--that is, if your abdomen and lower back are strong enough.

For general guidelines on abdomen strengthening see my answer at http://stadion.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4217#4217 . For fighters I can add this (very obvious):

Your abdomen is strong enough if its its fatigue does not interfere with quality of your actions in sparring rounds or grappling bouts--if you can use its muscles as a shield while maintaining a good stance.
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Postby new2bjj » Feb 23, 2007 22:07

Thank you for the answer. After giving it some thought, I'll hold off on the ab wheel until I can do high reps of full sit ups- 50-100- non stop. I can now do 30 of the medicine ball crunches at time, so, when I can do 100, I'll move on to the sit ups. I find the medicine ball crunches easier on my back, at this point. I remember your sports training book mentioning you should almost "wear out" an exercise, to get all you can from it, before going to the more advanced ones, or it can hamper your potential. If I am mistaken, or incorrect, please tell do not hesitate to tell me.
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