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Thread: Body shaking massively during ab exercises page

  1. #1
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    The shaking begins very soon after doing some particular exercises. For example when doing the bicycle or the plank exercise in less than 10s my body starts shaking pretty badly. For this reason I have been mainly been doing the ab-wheel because I can usually maintain my form better.


    So anyways is this shaking normal because of weak ab-muscles or something else? If so what would be the best way to strengthen them? Just keep doing the shaky exercises or try something else?


  2. #2
    BarbeyGirl's Avatar
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    The shaking isn't an unusual response to the effort of an isometric exercise like a plank. It happens because your tired muscles are "grabbing" as they try to fail and you demand that they keep working.


    It will take longer to start as you get stronger. In the meantime, keep focusing on good form, clench your abs and glutes, grit your teeth, and ... um ... enjoy. You don't need to quit the rep until you lose form (not necessarily when you start shaking).

    Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

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    Somehow I feel my ab muscles are particularly weak for some reason. For example it's impossible for me to do even one sit-up even though i'm pretty thin guy. Actually i start shaking immediately when going too far in the sit-up/crunch position.


    Is it normal that some just start with way weaker abs than others? Or could there be some other muscle imbalance going on?


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    BarbeyGirl's Avatar
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    Leanness doesn't equate to strength. I'll be interested in others' comments, but my guess is that you just need to put some time into ab work. A few minutes most days will get you well up the road in no time.


    Sit-ups aren't the best option, particularly if you have a weak core, because you're likely to involve your back too much.


    Planks are excellent and safe. Review your form, always.


    Hanging leg raises are one of my personal favorites. If you can't get your legs up into the L position at first, recruit a helper to lift them there, then slowly lower (same concept as doing pull-downs until you're able to do pull-ups).


    Also, other exercises like pushups, squats, overhead presses, etc will involve your abs and strengthen them. Just be sure not to load on too much weight until you have good, solid foundation -- failure to do so risks injury.


    ETA: I'm curious -- how is your posture throughout the day? Do you stand and sit up straight? If you've been flopping around in a perma-slouch, it is indeed likely that you're starting with unusually weak abs. But don't worry -- it's fixable.

    Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

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    I used to shake a lot when I did the plank, but now I am finding them much easier and shake less (but still a bit). I do different abs exercises each week so my body doesn't get too used to them.


  6. #6
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    BarbeyGirl is spot on with the comment on posture. If you have never forced you abs to support you, then they would just atrophy and weaken. That's an easy fix though; stand and sit up straight! Not only will it help you recruit your abdominal muscles, but it will also improve appearance. Here's a link I hope will help: http://artofmanliness.com/2009/06/21/30-days-to-a-better-man-day-22-improve-your-posture/


    For your abs, planks really do work wonders. An easier way to start is by putting your upper body on an elevated surface such as a bench.This is like when people are beginning to do pushups and they do them off a chair. It will take some of the weight off for you so that you can start training for more than a few reps or seconds. Another exercise I like is a static crunch. Feet flat on the floor, legs bent like you're going to do a regular situp. Instead of just flopping up and down, curl your upper body towards your legs using just your abs, and simultaneously curl your tailbone towards your upper body. Make it a slow steady movement, and once you reach the top of the movement, stop, and hold that position for as long as you can. Then when you can no longer hold the position, lower yourself as slowly as possible. You'll be shaking, but that will be because you're working hard. Just keep working at it, and the good thing is, abs are very responsive to training and become strong very quickly.


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    I see, I think the bad posture might be the key to my weak abs. I indeed have a pretty bad posture most of the day (ugh, even as im typing this message!) but i'm trying to work on it. Just sitting straight feels really akward and tiring for me. Doesn't help that i constantly feel like i need to raise my legs probably because of poor blood circulation.


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    BarbeyGirl's Avatar
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    Years ago, I decided to focus on good posture. I committed to it and consciously put a mental "check" in place. Every time I noticed that my posture had slouched away from perfect, I immediately straightened up. Over time, good posture became a habit. I rarely think about it anymore, but people sometimes comment on my "regal" carriage (both on foot and in the saddle) and they're almost always surprised to hear that I'm only 5'3", as I appear rather taller.


    It's just a matter of choosing to change, and acting on your choice.

    Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

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    Agree with Barbey - posture is awesome and you can definitely make a habit of it.


    When I walk, I hold my head high and proud. I also look everyone I meet in the eye (in, generally, a non-confrontational way and with a smile). Not only does this give you the physical benefits that come with having good posture, but I find that people tend to take you more seriously and that you can have quite a (as said, regal?) presence (which can be hard for me at 5'6" when most males are 3"+ taller)


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    Shaking or twitching appears to an instinctive response to muscles approaching fatigue. Fatigued muscles meant death to our ancestors that lived in the wild.


    I do disagree with Barbie regarding gritting your teeth to maintain posture. That could lead to holding your breath which promotes the constriction of the arteries that will lead to high blood pressure. Use short rapid breaths as fatigue (shaking) sets in.


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