Abdominal exercises/home ab machines that don't hurt your back

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by hapaboy, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. As stated on the Soloflex thread, I'm coming off of rehab for a couple of problems, one being my lower back.

    I have a slim build, high metabolism. However, I'm feeling very, very soft around the edges due to months of inactivity.

    Used to have great abs - like most skinny guys - but those days are over. My abs are now weak as hell!

    So I intended to do what I've done in the past - major sets of situps - but my physical therapist and others have told me situps are bad for your back and crunches are better.

    Any ideas out there other than crunches? I noted some ab machines being mentioned on the Soloflex thread - any of those give a good ab workout without hurting your back?
  2. I know people will disagree on this, but I think the nautilus ab machine is worth the cost of a gym membership. They have a couple of different models, but the best one has handles beside your head and elbow pads. Just make sure you use your abs to pull it down, not your hip flexors. I had terrible back problems from crunches and this machine totally turned me around.

  3. what's wrong with just doing crunches?

    situps with legs extended is not wise but situps with legs bent feet flat on ground is essentially an ab crunch but with rest b/w each rep because the ground is providing support for your back allowing a reduction in muscle tension, ie Rest.

    personally, i like ab crunches because i do not want to remove the muscle tension b/w reps.

    nautilus ab machines (and the like, Cybex etc) do a great job working ab muscle thru a greater range of motion if you consciously minimize contraction of hip flexors, as AAA suggests. However, in practice this is not easy.

    i don't believe anything else exists out there that works abs more effectively than ab crunches, the abs perform a very simple two dimensional short range of action to produce flexion of lumbar spine. very difficult to improve this with a device.

    However, back injuries are a great concern. i, personally, believe ab crunches to be one of the best movements to strengthen the lower back BUT you can also make back worse if you have no idea of how to proceed with caution.

    What is injured in your back?

  4. Personally, I like Nestle Crunches
  5. you start a thread asking for advice then you disappear and won't follow up with replies to Q's!!??


  6. welo


    I've been looking to a solution to this for some time. I seriously hurt my back several years ago (shattered vertebra L3 - you don't wanna hear about it), and the first year of wearing a body brace didn't do me any favors (for those to work you basically have to push your stomach out the whole time, and guess what happens when the brace comes off?).

    The best thing I've found so far is just using sitting stomach crunches. Sit erect in your chair then suck in your stomach and crunch it. If you're used to doing all the usual crunches, leg lifts, flutter kicks, or various hanging abs excercises it's hard to convince yourself you're doing very much, yet it's quite effective and the best interim solution I've found.

    Beware of that "Abdominizer" thing that forces you to extend your stomach to do a crunch though. It pretty much defeats the whole purpose. And stay away from any abs machine (Nautilus, Universal etc.) for awhile unless you wanna end up in the hospital for a herniated disk. Those things don't do back injuries any favors at all.
  7. Whoa, take it easy there cowboy!

    I can't be on ET 24/7 like you and Rock! :D

    Back problem was a number of things, not one particular incident. I've had lower back pain for a while since college, when I had a part-time job as a bellman and threw my back out a few times lifting luggage the wrong way.

    Regarding crunches and resting in between each rep: how many seconds do you recommend? Doesn't pausing in-between negate the effectiveness of the crunches?

  8. Mecro


    Only ab "machine" worth buying is the ab wheel. It won't hurt your back if you use it right but it will work your abs like no other.

    Check out the book "Bullet proof abs" by Pavel Tsatsouline
  9. OK, FELLAS..........


    if you want your abs to show, you need to LOSE THE FAT COVERING THEM! also, u can not just lose the fat there......YOU HAVE TO LOWER YOUR BODY FAT %......

    now, if you want BIGGER ab muscles, then yeah, there are machines for that...... but i bet most of you want six packs....so u think u need to build up your abs.....NOT TRUE!!

    your ab muscles are just like any other muscles in your body..... i'll see some guy at the gym doing 300 sit ups.....i wanna ask him, DO YOU DO 300 REPS OF BENCH PRESS?!?!!?!?
  10. JT47319


    Indeed, first there are those who are genetically inclined to have abs showing. Secondly, one needs to lose fat by inducing a negative caloric balance (ie lowering total input calories by eating less and subtracting calories expended by exercising).

    And then by actually developing those abs just like any other muscles by exercising using weights and taking in lots of protein.

    Unfortunately, I don't really know the most back friendly exercises since they all seem to utilize the back to some extent.
    #10     Jun 8, 2003