One of my best ab workouts from many years ago was probably about as simple as you can get. It goes along with what I said in my previous post about sit-ups being the natural --- and, therefore, the best --- abdominal exercise. One problem with sit-ups, however, is that, when you get good at them, you can do them by the thousands. In this situation you have to make them harder! One way to do this is to do “Roman chair” sit-ups. You do them by sitting across a bench with your feet under something heavy. Then you do a sit-up, the difference from a conventional sit-up being that you hyperextend your abdominals and touch your head to the floor behind you. There are many variations of this. One that I used when the photo was taken was to do Roman chair sit-ups on my basement stairs! I had devised a way of locking my feet to a step below me and I could hyperextend as much as I wanted. If I recall correctly, I also held a barbell plate to my chest when I did them. A famous body builder from my college days, Irwin (Zabo) Koszewski, always won best abs at contests. His formula for success? Roman chair sit-ups. Lots of them!
When it comes to stomach exercises, sit-ups are king! Forget about crunches. Forget about hanging from a bar and raising your legs. Sure, there are a lot of ways to exercise your abs. But, sit-ups are the natural movement of the human body that strengthens your abdominals. Let’s face it, whenever you rise up from a lying down position, you do a sit-up. That’s the motion that your abdominal muscles are there to do. So, if you want to develop them, treat them like any other muscle on your body. You just move them in their natural way. But, you do lots of them and/or you add resistance to the movement. As far as sit-ups are concerned, it’s possible to do thousands of them. You can make them harder by holding a barbell plate to your chest, by using an inclined bench, and a few other ways as well.
Around seven or eight years ago I got fanatical about doing sit-ups and I recall that I used to do them for a half hour or so while holding a 50 pound barbell to my chest. Once, back then, I did sit-ups with no weight for roughly an hour and twenty minutes. Around 1,500 of them. Marian held my feet down and I watched a movie while I did them. Aside from the movie, it was pretty boring. I finally stopped because my shins hurt! Marian had probably been holding my feet a little too tightly! My abs were fine. But, I welcomed the excuse to stop! There are a lot of photos of me taken at that time in my book, the K*I*S*S* Fitness Program. At 66 years old my abs still looked pretty good! Now, at 73, it's a little harder to keep my abs in shape as this old body of mine wants to replace muscle with fat. All I can do is fight it…
In both my exercise books, the K*I*S*S* Fitness Program and the K*I*S*S* Weight Training Program, I use sit-ups as the exercise for strengthening a person’s abs. The approaches I take in the two books are different. But, the exercise is the same. Again, sit-ups are king!
K*I*S*S* Blueprint for Fitness
K*I*S*S* Fitness Program
K*I*S*S* Fitness Program for Kids
K*I*S*S* Weight Training