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    I think the biggest issue with sit-ups, crunches and the like is the directionality. If we look at the (main) muscles of the core, there is only one (and most superficial), the rectus abdominis, that runs on the front of the body from the pubis up to the sternum and ribs and is most engaged in any exercise that involves spinal flexion in the saggital plane. But there are the other three powerful muscles (external and internal obliques in pairs, transversus abdominis) which don't get to work as much during sit-ups and similar "straight" movements. Plank works them all (+ back) because they have to fight gravity, but I like to add movements in other planes, especially twists (standing, supine or sitting) and lateral flexion. Stuff like cross punches (w or w/dumbbells), knee to elbow (standing or sitting), work with diagonally placed resistance bands, hanging knee/leg raises w/twist, hip twists, leg circles etc.

    There is more and more (conflicting) research coming out about the causes and treatments of back pain and weak core is not always the answer (but it could be). I find this article quite good (pasting main points here for brevity).

    1. The body is strong and resilient.
    2. There is potential to improve.
    3. Fear of movement and the impression that the body is weak is associated with persistent / chronic pain.
    4. Abnormalities found on X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans may or may not be associated with pain.
    5. There isn’t a β€œbest” way to improve, we must create our own journey.


    While believing that just the thought of your body as strong and resiliant will help may sound a bit new-agey, it did indeed help me get over the worst of it. When I started to move again without fear, saw the PT, did the exercises etc., my back pain started to improve. Hope you can find your own way.

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      Thanks daejamurrachan HellYeah80 Ann-Core
      I am also adding some additional lower back work (more carefully, as abusing that daily seems a bad idea). I am just such a klutz, any movement where I need to coordinate the halves of my body is subject to possible flailing, so I feel like I need extra bracing capabilities to counteract that. And hanging work is in the cards, as soon as arms/grip is strong enough that doing that doesn't count as my upper body work for the week as well.

      Recovery day
      abs torture trifecta
      1:10 plank
      35 sec hollow hold (my hollow holds are still in the modified/working on it phase)
      260 crunches - 60, 70,70,60
      ​

      299 dares, 236 w ec. 595 day streak

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        Deads and farmers carries will help the grip. Just hold the deads for a few seconds at the top. Since incorporating more deads/rack pulls I have noticed much improved grip.

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          Felt like shit this morning so slept in in leiu of gym. Headache from hell.

          abs torture trifecta
          thank god only 100 crunches and some supermans today

          morning yoga

          work is going to be "fun"


          299 dares, 236 w ec. 596 day streak

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            Sending some 'Get Better Vibes'

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                  Thanks sleep_twitch HellYeah80 daejamurrachan I should of stayed home yesterday, going to work in a less tgan effective state cost me $$! /sigh. Now I know.

                  abs torture trifecta
                  plank was sposed to be 1:30. Failed. Will go back to yesterday's supermans tomorrow then try again.
                  hollow hold 40 sec.
                  300 crunches 5x60

                  morning yoga

                  also, cat is 100% better bc she is back to trying to use yoga mat as scratching rug.

                  299 dares, 236 w ec. 597 day streak

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                    Coming back about crunches, I found useful to do planks in between. I know that it's out your plan, but for example, maybe would make easier something like (40 crunches, 15sec planking) x-times

                    A few time ago, I merged a couple of challenges, and this worked.

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                      I may try that Cabriel ....at least on days I "fail" at my plank in one go, I will put the time that is left between my crunches >.>

                      As for weekly digest... shit week. Next week will be better if only bc I think that my shitty habbits this week contributed to feeling sickly and therefore fucking up my paycheck.

                      3/4
                      45 grml (altho this was due to rain...but also slackness, rain has not stopped me in the past)
                      2350 a bit less bad. Prolly actually maintence. But a lot of just junk. This is what I need to cut back out.
                      3 lifting days, 1 other day w some time under tension. Kept up w my abs torture schedule.

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                        I hope you're feeling better. I am glad kitty is better.

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                          I am CODawn, thanks. Think thechange in weather got me

                          Yesterday-
                          forgot to do check in but definitely exercised. Walked 6 miles in drizzle to trainer's new gym. 1 hr w her - abs torture, standing on one leg to do stuff w cables, dumbell chest press w back on yoga ball, fkn burpees, and some quality time w my friend the sled (last time I got 240 lbs 10 steps, 10, 8; this time I topped out at 250, 25 steps then 30). I need to put 1 legged bridges back in my life, they used to be dooable and now they are somehow torture wtf.

                          Then I stayed for 45 min group class bc it was small group/ppl I like AND it was really raining so I could catch a ride home bc 2 of the ladies live near me >.>

                          Lots of dumbell work, a bit more abs, plenty of stretching.

                          Today-
                          revised abs torture- dropping crunches, with the other 2 these are leaving me sore on the daily and hollow hold/plank work is more in line w my goals.
                          plank - retreat to supermans
                          hollow hold 45 sec
                          dare, situps, ec
                          morning yoga
                          ​​​​
                          ​​​​​

                          ​​​​
                          ​​​​​​


                          300 dares, 237 w ec. 599 day streak

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                            Your dares are SPAAARTAAAA!

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                              Lollolol SPPPAAARRRTTTAAAAA

                              I am having a crisis atm. I really thought that by this point in my fittness journey (2 years) I would be content enough with my body to just, like, go to the gym 2-3 times a week or maybe take some yoga classes like a normal person. Instead, I have made myself sore basically every day of my life for 2 years (maybe 10 unsore days whole time, not exaggerating), injured myself even a few times...and am still weak and fluffy and entirety unhappy with both my fittness level and how I look. How much torture is it going to take to get to a reasonable level of strength, maybe be able to run a 5k for fun, and not absolutely loathe what I see in the mirror? It is not that I am unwilling to put in the work. But I would like to have some inkling that maybe, even if it takes another fucking year or 2, I will actually get some real results. I even scaled back/added more active rest days and STILL sore always and no results. ((And I am not starvjng and definitely get enough protein.))


                              That said, this morning I was too sore to do what I wanted (legs) (prolly bc of sled lol) so I did a light bit of everything.

                              3x5 scapula pulls
                              3x5 supported on forearms knee raises

                              Upperbodybuilder w 7.5. Normal curls, added elbow clicks to shoulder press and tricep kickbacks to bent rows.

                              Ironbar

                              Abs - hollow hold 45 sec superman. Plank fail fail fail, going back to 45 sec tomorrow. Also did 45 sec of side to side ball bounces w 10lb ball.

                              Dare, back kicks, ec


                              301 dares, 238 w ec. 600! day streak

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                                next time you are too sore for the workout you want to do, jump on the treadmill and walk uphill (really up hill crank up the incline) and put on a good book. i love audio books. a few i would recommend: Secrets of a Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Ecker and You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay. these would even be great on your way to work.

                                i love steady state cardio. not everybody does. it's a default behavior. i had an elliptical in my apartment before i actually understood what it really took to be healthy - i still don't know but i'm still working at it or maybe working to make it work while i keep learning what works.

                                even if being a millionaire isn't part of your game plan, both books will help you see yourself with a little more compassion and love.

                                i'm currently "reading" Own the Day Own Your Life by Marcus Aubrey. he says we only get one "car" in this life. we can either care for it and maintain it so that it runs like a HellCat (husband's dream car at the moment) or treat it like a hooptie. you're driving a Bugatti but when you look in the mirror, you are seeing a Pinto.

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