First up in this week of core movements is the Roman Chair Crunch. I have a Back Hyperextension/Roman Chair combination bench.
Hop up to sit on the large front pads with the large fleshy part of your hamstrings, and hook your ankles under the round foot pads.
Lean back carefully. If you’ve never done this before, or your abs are particularly weak, you should be very careful. You don’t need to go all the way back or down, just to level or parallel to the floor is fine. From there do a crunching motion. Bring your chest up toward your knees and lower back. With a good range of motion this would be like curling your spine into a c-shape and then flat again. In this little video clip I go a little below parallel, but not too much. Your own levels might be different from mine, either less or more as the case may be.[weaver_youtube OtzmaaxUXeg]
If you’re doing good at this, you might do sets of 15-25. If that doesn’t give you a burn in the abs, I wouldn’t recommend that you add weight, since your spine is hanging out there. Maybe a 10 pound plate held outward in your hands would be okay. Just be careful. Otherwise, slow down, concentrate on your core, find the burn there by contracting and pausing at the top and bottom.
Do be careful not to hang onto your neck and crank on it. Notice that my “cue” is my hands out in front of and barely touching my face. If your back or knees hurt or are noisy at all, this might not be a good option for you.