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  1. #1
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    Ab Carver, Ab wheel, w/e

    So my public speaking teacher told me I need to be able to do 30 push-ups and 10 pull-ups and that I should get an ab wheel to strengthen my rectus abdominus. Apparently if my body is weak then my posture will be weak and I'll fidget a lot or something, less powerful position due to lack of control of my body and thus visible derogatory body language.

    There's this video:



    Is this thing any more/less useful than a wheel on a stick? Also the advice about arching your back like that seems dubious to me, but I dunno.

    I have no idea how I got here from looking for writing/speaking tutoring, but whatever.
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  2. #2
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Google brings up sites that say it works. I would just stick with regular ab exercises, though.
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  3. #3
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    Doing pullups is one of the best exercises for your core, I'd skip the ab wheel myself. I do throw in leg raises (hanging and prone) and planks from time to time though.

  4. #4
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    The only regular ab exercises I do are sit-ups. I pretty much don't own any exercise equipment.

    Pull-ups only seem to work my arms and stress my shoulder joints. How are you getting abdominal stimulation?

    Wikipedia indicates that an "exercise ball" works better but I don't know how to do that.

    I seem to recall a horrible device with a volleyball on a rope, which some girl was flailing around whilst on her back in the martial arts dojo at which I had studied... fifteen seconds of that was enough to make me feel like I got stabbed for a day or so. I think it acted like a counter-weight or something, and you need to use core strength to stabilize yourself--and the movements required were rapid, i.e. aerobic core exercises. I'm not sure if that targets the rectus abdominus, or if it just targets the obliques.

    I also looked at NMES systems for a different purpose, but you need the muscle actually there before those do anything useful (they won't build muscle or burn fat, and getting any real use out of them involves pain).
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  5. #5
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    There's a book (and iPhone app by the same name) called You Are Your Own Gym that gives a host of great body weight exercises, including a whole section on working the core - no tools needed. The book is good stuff. Nothing earth-shattering or new, but all explained very well and with decent training plan ideas in the back. The app has videos of the exercises if you've not done them before.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Pull-ups only seem to work my arms and stress my shoulder joints. How are you getting abdominal stimulation?.
    I do wide grip pull-ups from a dead hang and try to have little to no swinging. I feel it in the areas you do plus a lot of lats and abs.

    are you sure you're not doing chin-ups? They tend to focus on the arms more.

  7. #7
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    abs, shmabs, it's all just another boring fad. i suggest getting rid of your public speaking teacher and find one that tells you want you want to hear. like people do with psychologists and such.

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Too many people confuse core strength with ab strength. Developing a balanced core that improves posture and promotes balanced movement is much more complicated. I and a lot of other folks here use Core Advantage. Best $15 I every spent. Although if your public speaking teacher knew anything at all about it, they would have recommended taking Alexander Technique lessons. It's pretty cool.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Too many people confuse core strength with ab strength. Developing a balanced core that improves posture and promotes balanced movement is much more complicated. I and a lot of other folks here use Core Advantage. Best $15 I every spent. Although if your public speaking teacher knew anything at all about it, they would have recommended taking Alexander Technique lessons. It's pretty cool.
    To be fair, a strong and stable rectus abdominus is required if you want the power to project and to hold your voice smoothly. If your RA is in good shape, you can hold deep, wide notes for a long time with a lot of amplitude. I would imagine that this would also help with the all-too-common issue of people not projecting when they speak at meetings--we've all met the type. The principle is the same: using a full breadth of second-order harmonics gives your voice more power without raising the amplitude, making it both clearer and firmer without becoming louder or changing the dominant frequency.

    When I was singing, I was doing reps of 150-250 sit-ups multiple times every day, mostly when there was nothing else to do. After a while they become insanely easy and you can just crash out for several minutes without flinching; I got to a point where I could exhaust myself and then come back 10 minutes later and do it again. Push-ups, however, are asinine, and you will never pass 20 or so without significant pain and dedication.

    Core strength is good. I have never been able to do somersaults or handstands, or gotten below the 18% body fat requirement to have nice abs.
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  10. #10
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    The exercise is fine, the name is clever, but the pricey (IMO) one-trick-pony will more than likely end up gathering dust in a few weeks, and then end up as garage-sale fodder.

    Forget the uni-purpose apparatus and do the classic body-weight exercises that others have already mentioned.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    end up as garage-sale fodder.
    That's okay, we have a world-wide garage sale going on.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    High rep Kettlebell swings are really good for your core and posterior chain..

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    High rep Kettlebell swings are really good for your core and posterior chain..
    I have a 10lb cast iron kettlebell. I couldn't find 1/4 pood or 4kg. Can't find much in the way of weights in metric here.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    I have a 10lb cast iron kettlebell. I couldn't find 1/4 pood or 4kg. Can't find much in the way of weights in metric here.
    10 pounds is way too light to have any positive effect on your core. Start with a minimum of 35-45 pounds and work your way up few sets of 20 reps.

  15. #15
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    I was going to get something in that range, too, but I wanted something light for recovery. Breaking to rest doesn't seem optimal; I usually break to a lower intensity until my body catches up.
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