Like that title, Abs of Fury? All jokes aside, this ab workout burns like crazy. Your rectus abdominis muscles (six-pack abs) get NO break through the entire exercise…the abs are under continuous tension and resistance from start to finish.
If you want your abs to “pop”…this exercise is going to do it (and I don’t mean pop, like explode, even though it might feel like it…I mean pop like show up better).
During the exercise, in addition to the constant tension, your abs are contracting from the “top-down” (i.e. a crunch, bringing the rib cage towards the pelvis) AND the “bottom-up” (i.e. a leg raise, bringing the pelvis towards the rib cage). This activates the upper and lower aspects of the abs equally.
To perform this one, you’ll need a cable machine (or a rubber training band) and a bench.
Set the bench in front of the cable machine and use a straight bar handle. Ideally, if your cable machine height is adjustable, set it to just above the level of the bench. If it’s not adjustable, use the low pulley and move the bench a little further away.
You’ll have to experiment with the amount of weight on the pulley, so that you can get the balance for the exercise right.
Go to the end of the bench and set yourself so that your butt is off the end. This is important for positioning for performance of the exercise (you’ll see).
Reach back and grab the cable handle or have somebody hand it to you. This is why using the straight bar handle comes in handy. You can set it at an angle so that it’s easier to reach.
Grab it both hands with an underhand grip (like a chin-up grip).
Bring your feet up off the ground.
Now, keeping tension in the abs, lower your legs down again, wrapping your lower back over the end of the bench, flexing the spine and getting a stretching on the abs. This method gives you work in a range of motion that you generally don’t get with leg raises.
Keep in mind, this is happening under tension from the cable.
Now hold your legs in that position and do a cable crunch.
Come down from the cable crunch but DO NOT relax the abs. Keep tension in the cable and hold position with the arms.
Now start the leg raise portion (I recommend a bent-knee position rather than straight leg- less torque on the lower back).
Raise your legs into a vertical and straight position, with only your upper back on the bench. Use the tension on the cable machine as your “anchor.” The position is somewhat along the lines of a Dragon Flag, only with the legs vertical.
In this top position, now try and thrust your feet up towards the ceiling, as though trying to stamp your footprints into the ceiling. This gives your abs an extra shot of resistance.
Now, under complete control, reverse the sequence.
Bring your lower body back down.
Then wrap your back around the end of the bench.
Then restart the sequence, coming back up into the cable crunch, then the leg raise.
Don’t count reps…just repeat until you literally can’t stand it anymore.
You will either hit muscular failure (where your actual muscle fibers fail) or chemical failure (i.e. accumulation of lactate…the burn will be too intense to continue).
THEN you’re done (and you will curse the day I was born LOL).
You only need one, maybe two, sets of this and your six-pack abs will be smoked like a salmon.
This is yet another workout on the EXTREME END OF THE BASICS. The BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!