AB CRUCHES - THE "ROSWITHA" Killer ab queen way!

  • AB CRUCHES - THE "ROSWITHA" Killer ab queen way!

    Hey there, this is for "Aisulu" - try doing crunches this way and you will definately feel them! Note: Roswitha does not speak native English, so I've translated some of her words a little.

    Abs! – Doing Crunches for maximum effect!

    By: Roswitha


    Lets think about a classical crunch:

    Keeping in mind the ANATOMY of the rectus abdominis muscle is a must for everybody, beginners and seasoned athletes. I have seen lots of people working harder on their hip flexors (iliopsoas) then on their abs while ’doing abs’. Our effort should be all about bringing sternum and pubic bone closer together. If we are not doing that appropriately, we are not reaching our goal of a good abs workout, wasting time and energy.

     BEGINNERS: Correct posture! (ask a coach, not your friend, to show you).

    Chin: should always be the size of your fist away from your clavicle that is the bone you touch if you lower your chin. If you hold the head in that position, you are looking about 45 degrees upwards to the ceiling. It should be a natural position.

    Lower back: if I put a paper sheet under your lower back, I should NOT be able, during the whole exercise, to pull it out of there. In other words: do not hyper extend your back at any time to prevent excessive pressure on the often fragile lower back. Relax your neck as much as you can. This needs a bit of practice, but you can do it.

    Arm positions:  I use 5 different positions to increase difficulty levels.

    Correct posture: work slowly, feel the burn, that’s it! Take the 1 min rest between sets (you should need it!), but not one second more. Taking longer rest changes the effect of your successive set VERY much.(happens if you chat in-between sets)

     ADVANCED: Correct posture all the time. When you think you are going slowly, you are not. Go slower. Is it hard? It should be.
    When you are ’up’ in a crunch, you are not done. Squeeze 20% more to contract the muscles to the max!! Now exhale all the air so that you contract the transverses abdominis muscle too. Still not finished! Lower the upper body VERY slowly. (While the breathing is an optional, the rest is not. Most of the time we do NOT contract 100%, but 80% or less) You should feel the NEED for 1 min rest after all your sets, except maybe the first 12 which I consider a warm up.

    EVERYBODY: It is easy to be carried away by the show-off-factor. By doing reps in the ’saving energy mode’ we can impress others and ourselves more easily. Avoid. You should squeeze out of every single rep the last drop of energy, and if you are fried after 4 reps, it doesn’t matter, that is the way. Next time you will do more. No shortcuts here. If you really want strong abs, you can’t afford to cheat.

    KEEP IT SIMPLE: I see overcomplicating as a trick of the mind that misleads you. By focusing on complicated things we lose easily, without noticing, sight of the basics. No need. Here my biggest abs-lesson I learned doing the Italian National Aerobic Championship.

    Only 4 (four!) very slow simple crunches were required in the race routine. Easy? No way! The judges were watching the form of the crunches EVERY split second of 4 long reps (positive and negative contraction). That’s the way to do your abs. Try to be THAT focused on your SIMPLE workout.

    INTENSITY: After all I said earlier, it is understood that intensity by doing a sincere workout is a MUST. From many years of teaching and observing, I know that most people overestimate themselves greatly when it comes to their abdominal strength. Most people, if maintaining good form, do not need to add a big deal of weight. Even sitting on the crunch machine, if max concentrated mentally (which is not easy, but we should always aspire to), most do better with less weight. Has mental laziness something to do with exercise? Yes, a lot! At a lower level you can go away with it, the more advanced you become, the more you will need, and hopefully be able, to use the mind to your advantage. It is a learning- process. (That never stops)

    MYTH: The biggest and seemingly hardest to overcome is this: ’more is better’. NOT TRUE!
    The amount of abs given by BFL is ENOUGH if you give max effort. Don’t think:’ Oh, maybe this was not really a 10, let me do a few sets more. Take note on your journal and next time do as prescribed. Hit your 10, more so, if abs are important to you. Then you don’t need more abs in numbers.

    Finally (and here fail many gym-rats), because they want abs, but want eating and drinking without any restrictions more! Even the best killer abs are invisible if we hide them under a good layer of fat. But that’s nothing new.

    One last point. I do more for my rectus abdominal muscle then I do for my oblique’s. As a woman I find good equilibrium by still exercising them, but focusing more on the rectus abdominal, it gives me that ’flat looking belly look’. Too stronger oblique mucles gives me the slim stomach but with less curve on the sides. Maybe this is not true for all women, but for me personally it is, I have noticed that. Of course this is not a problem if heavily overweight. It’s one of the fine- tune things for already lean women. For men, I like the shape they get from exercising both muscle groups equally! Very nice!

    Sorry if this is a really long post. But even if it ’spices up’ the workout of one single GB reader, then that’s fine..Dana, this is all nothing new, I know. But I hope it gives you some input to enjoy your abs workout that I guess, you are already enjoying, even more. Or to bring more awareness to it, which is also a good thing..

    Note: while doing a crunch, I would hold my lower back on the bench all the time. (Sit ups are different). Crunches are gentler for the back, but both are very valid exercises, depends for whom.

    Breathing: I did not say that breathing is not important, of course it is! But I have seen that beginners are usually better of if they just breathe in a natural way. Too much confusion complicates a simple thing! Clarification for experts that want to complicate things in a reasonable way (that still makes sense to me): do the crunch ’up-phase’, then do an additional ’little-more-contraction’ to make sure you have max contraction (usually we CAN do more!) and NOW exhale while still being up (you make a stop there, right? it is during this stop that you put!! out all the air and contract that way the muscles transverses), done that, you turn slowly, in an ACTIV way, down. But remember: the most important thing is to bring sternum and pubic bone as close together as possible. That’s more important to really focus on than any breathing, in my experience. That is why I said, that this, let’s call it ’transverses-breathing’ is an optional. The bench on the picture is a normal declined bench.




  • 8 minute abs on youtube is good too. Pick the clip that has 2 men and 1 woman in a park on grass. There are also 8 minute arms, butt and legs with that team.

  • Tank you very much.

    Whether you believe you can't or you can, you are absolutely right! 

  • This is a great re-post. Thanks so much for including it on the new forum.


    Winners never quit, and quitters never win

  • thanks for taking the time to post this!

  • Bump! If you had seen this girl's Abb's you'd be wanting to do what she did!