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Most people would love to have abs that are sharp enough to open a can of tuna, yet many trainers put their ab training on the back burner during this time of year. That’s too bad, because abdominal training doesn’t have to consist of complicated exercises on chrome machines. Although many machines are effective, simpler exercises can be just as effective. Fall and winter is the ideal time to really target your abdominal training so by the time beach weather hits, you’ll be hosting razor-sharp abdominals, provided your diet is clean. V sit-ups is an exercise that needs no fancy equipment, but it will activate the entire anterior abdominal wall and the lower and posterior abdominal muscles. V sit-ups can be an important part of kick-starting your abdominal program.

Overview of Muscle Structure and Function

The central muscle in the anterior abdominal wall is the rectus abdominis. This muscle is partitioned vertically in the middle by a tendon that’s about one-half to an inch wide, called the linea alba. This tendon stretches from the xiphoid process at the base of the sternum to the pubic bone of the pelvis. The rectus abdominis has a taper to it, so it’s three times as wide at the top (superiorly) as it is at the bottom (inferiorly). As a result, the upper portion of this muscle is stronger than the lower sections. The rectus abdominis is anchored centrally on the pubic bones of the pelvis and superiorly on the xiphoid process. Although there’s some genetic variability, usually there are three rows or blocks of tissue at the level of the xiphoid process below the sternum, the umbilicus (“belly button”) and about halfway between these two structures. When the rectus abdominis is tensed, the short fibers bulge between the tendinous grooves, giving the “six-pack” look.

Contracting only one side of the rectus abdominis (e.g., the right side) flexes the torso toward the same side that’s contracting (e.g., the right side). However, if both right and left halves of this muscle contract, the head and chest move closer to the hips and legs.

The external oblique is a large and superficial muscle. It begins on the fifth through twelfth ribs by small bundles of muscle fibers and ends on the linea alba and pubic and iliac bones of the pelvis. These bundles of fibers are intermingled with the serratus anterior muscle and the latissimus dorsi muscle. If your body fat is low enough, these digitations (particularly external oblique and serratus muscles) will give the impression that a large animal has left its claw marks across your side. When both left and right sides of the external oblique muscles work together, they flex the trunk so the head moves toward the feet. If only one side contracts, the trunk flexes toward the opposite side.

The internal oblique muscle lies just deep to the external oblique muscle. It begins on a thick connective tissue sheath located in the lower back, called the thoracolumbar fascia and also from the iliac bone of the hip. Its fibers fan out and run toward the head to attach on the lowest three or four ribs. In contrast to the external oblique, the internal oblique will twist the body toward the same side (i.e., toward the right if only the right side contracts). However, similar to the external oblique muscle, the internal oblique will flex the trunk at the waist and move the head toward the feet, if both left and right portions contract together.

The iliopsoas muscle is the most powerful flexor of the thigh at the hip joint and it’s strongly activated during the leg raise part of V sit-ups. The iliopsoas is a combination of iliacus and psoas muscles. The psoas major attaches along the sides of the lumbar vertebrae and the intervertebral discs in this region (the discs between each of the vertebrae) and it descends to the pelvis to attach to a small bump on the femur bone of the thigh called the lesser trochanter. The iliacus is a triangular muscle that lies along the inside of the iliac bone of the hip. Its fibers run inferiorly (toward the feet) and medially (toward the midline of the body) and attaches to the tendon of the psoas muscle. The iliopsoas bends the lumbar region anteriorly (forward flexion) such as when sitting up from a supine position or if you’re raising your legs up toward your torso.

V Sit-ups

This exercise is a combination of a partial sit-up (like a modified crunch) and leg raises. It activates your anterior and lateral abdominal wall (rectus abdominis, internal oblique and external oblique muscles) and the leg raise part activates the lower part of the rectus abdominis and the iliopsoas.

1. Lie on the floor with your legs straight and your arms over your head.

2. Raise your upper back from the floor and at the same time begin to lift both legs from the floor.

3. Continue to lift your upper body and your legs with the object of trying to touch your fingers to your toes so your thighs come as close to your torso as possible. The top position of the exercise will form a “V” position between your torso and your legs.

4. Hold this “V” for a count of one (you can work up to a count of two over a few weeks) and then return to the floor.

5. Without pausing on the floor continue into the next repetition. Try to begin with 20 reps on each set for three to four sets. Work up to at least 50 reps.

The idea isn’t to throw your arms up to meet your feet. If you’re using momentum and not abdominal effort, you’ll be wasting your time. You must do the exercise in a pendulum motion that’s continuous, but controlled. You should feel your abs cramping with each repetition if you’re doing it correctly. To increase the effectiveness of the movement, try to isometrically squeeze the abdomen when you’re in the V position at the top. This will add to the fire that should be burning across your rectus fibers and help to etch in the grooves between each block of rectus abdominis. If you would like to increase the work to the internal and the external oblique muscles, try twisting as you come up, so you touch your hands to the right foot on one repetition and your left foot on the next repetition.

As a word of caution, if you have previously injured your lower back you may want to do a single leg raise V sit-up. In this version you’ll lift your upper body and both hands up to meet one foot while the other foot remains on the floor (with the knee bent). On the next set you would switch to the opposite leg. The one leg version is easier and less stressful to the lumbar discs, but if you still have lower back pain, discontinue the exercise.

Holding your breath increases intra-abdominal pressure and prevents the abdominal fibers from shortening as much as they should. It’s good to either exhale as you’re coming up or even better, exhale before you do the contraction, then concentrate on achieving a maximal shortening of the fibers during the exercise.

Although it’s simple in one sense, it’s a rather tough exercise to do correctly. Often people will raise their legs before the torso or sometimes the reverse, but you must raise them at the same time. Once you get it down, you’ll begin to feel your entire abdominal wall go into a serious meltdown. Nevertheless, V sit-ups alone won’t fix a weak waist if you have a sloppy high-fat and calorie-excessive diet. In addition to tightening your diet, you should begin with 20 minutes of cardio three times a week to reduce your body fat. You don’t have to go crazy with the cardio workouts, because there’s still time before summer hits, but you do need to get it rolling now. With your improved diet and ramped-up cardio, V sit-ups will add an important dimension to getting your abs in better shape than you’ve every had. While great abdominals don’t evolve overnight, if you carefully set high standards and realistic goals and deadlines to achieve these successes, then nothing should stop you from meeting those goals. The payoff is your abdominals can turn from a rounded, soft pillow into razor-sharp, diamond-cutter-hard muscle bundles.


1. Avedisian L, Kowalsky DS, Albro RC, Goldner D and Gill RC. Abdominal strengthening using the AbVice machine as measured by surface electromyographic activation levels. J Strength Cond Res, 19: 709-712, 2005.

2. Basmajian, J.V. and C.E. Slonecker. Grant’s Method of Anatomy. A Clinical Problem Solving Approach. 11th edition. William and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1989, pp.441-542.

3. Krause DA, Youdas JW, Hollman JH and Smith J. Abdominal muscle performance as measured by the double leg-lowering test. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 86: 1345-1348, 2005.

4. Norris CM. Abdominal muscle training in sport. Br J Sports Med, 27: 19-27, 1993.

5. Soderberg GL and Cook TM. An electromyographic analysis of quadriceps femoris muscle setting and straight leg raising. Phys Ther, 63: 1434-1438, 1983.

6. Sternlicht E, Rugg SG, Bernstein MD and Armstrong SD. Electromyographical analysis and comparison of selected abdominal training devices with a traditional crunch. J Strength Cond Res, 19: 157-162, 2005.

7. Urquhart DM, Hodges PW, Allen TJ and Story IH. Abdominal muscle recruitment during a range of voluntary exercises. Man Ther, 10: 144-153, 2005.

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By: Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM
Title: Get Razor-Sharp Abs With V Sit-ups
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Published Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2021 14:46:51 +0000

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Mens Health

Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success

Equally significant is the need for businesses to remain vigilant about broader shifts in both domestic and global markets. Macro factors, whether they’re economic trends, geopolitical events, or emerging global challenges, can have profound ripple effects, impacting even the most niche industries. By staying abreast of these larger market dynamics, businesses can better anticipate risks, adapt to challenges, and capitalize on new opportunities. In an ever-globalizing world, the ability to navigate both the nuances of one’s immediate market and the broader global shifts is what separates thriving enterprises from those that falter.

TACTICAL Takeaway: Stay sharp and monitor your industry’s trends. When things shift, being ahead in understanding consumer habits offers you the flexibility to adjust and succeed. Things can change rapidly and the sooner you have insight into consumer behavior changes, the more opportunities you have to pivot.


Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The sports nutrition industry is an interesting, fast-paced vertical where what’s old can quickly become new again but also what worked yesterday likely won’t work tomorrow.

It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s spot-on. Take creatine as an example. It hit the shelves in the early 1990s and quickly became a hit. Yet, a decade later, its demand had waned. Jump another decade to today, and it’s back more popular than ever.

TACTICAL Takeaway: The key for businesses is knowing when to go all-in on a product and when to ease off, as it’s the ever-changing consumer market that truly drives demand.

Never Rest On Your Laurels

Just because something “has always worked” doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to work (or continue to work as efficiently).

In the dynamic world of business, the saying “never rest on your laurels” holds more truth than ever. What propelled a company to success yesterday might not necessarily be the formula for its tomorrow’s success. Market demands, technological innovations, and consumer preferences are in a perpetual state of evolution. While a particular strategy or product might have been a game-changer at one point, there’s no guarantee that it will remain relevant or effective in the future. This inherent unpredictability underscores the need for adaptability and forward-thinking in any business endeavor.

This reality pushes companies to be proactive, always forecasting and adjusting to the next potential shift. Relying solely on past successes can lull businesses into complacency, risking obsolescence in the face of changing tides.

TACTICAL Takeaway: To remain competitive and relevant, businesses need to cultivate a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and agility. In essence, the past can inform and guide, but it’s the vision and readiness for the future that will determine enduring success.

Embracing The Journey

To any entrepreneur reading this: the road to success is rarely a straight one. At times, it may seem like every decision leads to a dead end. But remember, every misstep is an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot.

The trials you face in business are not meant to discourage you. Instead, they are meant to shape you, refine your vision, and improve your strategy. As the age-old adage goes, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It’s the challenges that will arm you with the experience and resilience necessary for long-term success.

So, the next time you face a setback, remember that your next big success could be just around the corner. Embrace failure as a part of the process, learn from your mistakes, and continue pushing forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. With so much time spent working and navigating challenges, it’s essential to find joy and have fun along the way.


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Negativity Is a Losing Mindset

By Marc Lobliner


‘A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.’

I coach my son’s U11 football team. I am just the line coach, but the dudes who coach with me are also in the same mindset as I am.

Positivity wins.

Let’s start off with last weekend’s game.

It’s 0-0, the opening kickoff is a short one and we fall on it.

You can hear our coaches getting our kids fired up and getting the offense ready for play. POSITIVE statements. A lot of “Let’s Go!” and energy.

On the other sideline, you hear the coaches angrily yelling at their players for the execution of the kick.

First play from scrimmage, our line makes every block and opens the outside for our running back to score.

You hear their coaches furiously yelling as we celebrate.

We celebrated and our fullback punched in the extra point.

After the kickoff, our defense held them to four and out. We got the ball again, touchdown. Extra point good.

14-0 in two offensive plays.s

Their coaches were still mad. Angry. Yelling.

We smiled, encouraged our kids, and ended up with a 42-0 mercy-rule win.

Our players are awesome, but not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest.

It’s all about culture and what you’re playing for.

We demand a lot of our athletes. Learn your plays, DO YOUR JOB, and we will win.

Every Tuesday after we win, I buy my linemen doughnuts and give them to everyone, telling them that a random lineman (changes weekly) said everyone deserves doughnuts. We don’t punish every mistake with extra running and up-downs. We focus on what we do RIGHT, and not what we do wrong.

The other game one of my linemen got called for a hold. He came off the field expecting to be scolded. I put my arm around him and said, “What happened?” He explained it and then I said, “You’re better than that guy, you don’t need to hold. Show the world how dominant you are!” He didn’t get one call the rest of the game and crushed it.

This is also my management style at work. Managers are usually garbage. You can do 1,000 things right and you mess up once and your manager attacks you.

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Employees typically respond better to positivity, and numerous studies have found that positive reinforcement and a positive work environment can significantly improve employee motivation, performance, and well-being. Here are some reasons why, supported by various studies:

Increased Productivity: According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive. The research shows that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity.

Better Decision-Making Abilities: Research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center found that individuals who were induced to feel positive emotions were better at problem-solving and making decisions than those in a neutral state.

Boosts Creativity: Positive emotions widen attention and allow people to think more broadly and openly. This is discussed in the “broaden-and-build theory” by Barbara Fredrickson, which suggests that positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoires.

Enhanced Team Collaboration: A study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that teams that communicate effectively, with members actively reaching out and connecting with all other team members, were more successful. Positive interactions contribute to this dynamic.

Reduced Employee Turnover: According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a positive work environment and culture encourages employees to stay longer in their jobs, thus reducing turnover rates. This is KEY at where our staff has mostly been there for 5+ years!

Better Health & Well-being: A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that positive work environments and low job stress are linked to better health outcomes for employees, which in turn can lead to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.

Increased Engagement: According to Gallup, workers who are engaged and have high well-being are more likely to be attached to their organizations and are more productive.

Enhanced Learning & Flexibility: Research in the field of positive psychology has shown that positive emotions can facilitate adaptive thinking and flexibility in cognitive processing. This helps employees adapt to new situations and learn more effectively.

Higher Levels of Satisfaction: A study by BrightHR found that happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction. Happy employees are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs than those who report low levels of happiness.

Creates a Positive Feedback Loop: A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that experiencing positive emotions leads to higher levels of resilience, which in turn leads to increased positive emotions. This positive feedback loop has a myriad of beneficial effects in the workplace.

How about parenting?

Same thing. PRAISE YOUR CHILD! Make sure they know you love them. While bad behavior should be addressed, be sure to also reward good behavior. Kid had a good day at school? Get him ice cream! Tell him you love him. Say you’re proud of him.

As my mother said, “You catch more flies with honey than with crap.”

And one can’t deny the lifelong impact of a good coach. As the sign in the office says, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”

Be positive and be a winner!

556494785 img 1682 2

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Instagram @marclobliner

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Panatta Super Rowing Page 1

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