Connect with us

Your diet has a lot to do with your ability to display a ripped abdominal wall. However, you must also kick up your cardio to eliminate fat stores in that area. And when it comes to training, select three good abdominal exercises; one that emphasizes your upper abdomen, one for the lower area of your abdominal wall and one that provides constant tension on both upper and lower regions and the sides of your abdomen. Seated knee-ins accomplish the last goal very nicely. To sharpen your abs, you need exercises that tighten and not stretch your entire abdominal wall. Many exercises will emphasize the superior (upper) or inferior (lower) parts of your abdominal wall, and a few target the lower areas of your abdomen, but few exercises provide the constant tension that activates both the superior and inferior parts of your abdominal musculature. Seated knee-ins activate the sides, upper and lower portions of your abdominal wall very effectively. If your body fat levels are not too high, seated knee-ins will chisel your abs to a razor sharp condition in a short time.

Structure and Function

The rectus abdominis is a long, strap-like muscle. It’s the primary vertical muscle of the anterior abdominal wall. It’s separated vertically in the middle by the linea alba, so the abdominal wall appears to have a left and right half. The linea alba is a tendinous sheet that’s about one-half an inch wide that stretches from the xiphoid process on the inferior border of the sternum (sternum = breast bone) to the pubic bone in the pelvis. The rectus abdominis begins on the pubic bone and pubic crest, which is the center of the pelvic bones of the hip girdle. This muscle inserts into the xiphoid process at the base of the sternum and some fibers terminate on the cartilages of the fifth to seventh ribs (near the sternum).

The rectus abdominis has tendinous intersections (connective tissue) that create the grooves when it’s tensed. Although there is some genetic variability in this “six-pack” look, usually there are three sets or rows of these tendinous intersections. The muscle fibers of the rectus are actually quite short compared to some muscles (like the biceps) and they run almost entirely vertical from one small tendinous line to the next. Therefore, when the rectus abdominis is tensed, the short fibers bulge between the tendinous grooves, almost like small ropes. The thicker the muscle fibers, the greater their rounded rope-like appearance in each block of tissue. When both right and left halves of this muscle contract simultaneously, the trunk is flexed forward so the head and chest move closer to the hips and legs (assuming a fixed pelvis).

The external oblique is the largest and most superficial of the three flat abdominal muscles. It begins along the lower half of the ribs by small bundles of muscle fibers. The muscle fibers run from lateral to medial, the same direction your fingers would point if you put your hands in your pockets. This muscle inserts into the pubic and iliac bones of the pelvis and also the linea alba. When both left and rights sides of the external oblique muscles contract, they flex the trunk so the head will move toward the feet. If only one side contracts, the trunk will flex toward the opposite side. For example, if only the right side contracts, the external oblique will twist the trunk and shoulders toward the left side of the body.

The internal oblique is deep to the external oblique muscle and it’s therefore not visible. It begins from 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 run at right angles to the external oblique muscle, fanning out from their origins and running toward the head (superiorly). The internal oblique inserts into the lowest three or four ribs, where they become continuous with the internal intercostal muscles (respiratory muscles of the rib cage). In contrast to the function of the external oblique, the internal oblique will twist the body toward the right if only the right side contracts, and toward the left if only the left side of this muscle 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 of the internal oblique contract together.

Seated Knee-Ins

This exercise should not be confused with straight leg raises, which primarily activate the lower regions of the abdomen. Seated knee-ins activate the upper regions and a pelvic lift ensures that the lower part of the abdomen is also activated effectively. Furthermore, muscle tension is maintained in both superior and inferior regions of the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles from the beginning to the end of each set in seated knee-ins.

1. Select a flat exercise bench. Turn you body sideways so that your legs are 90 degrees to the long axis of the bench on which you are seated. 

2. Grab the edge of the bench behind your back with both hands for support.

3. Lean back on the bench just slightly. Put both feet together and lift them from the floor. Raise your legs and thighs until they are parallel to the floor.

4. Bring your knees toward your chest. Tense your abdomen and exhale as your knees approach your chest. This is like a version of an abdominal crunch. Hold this position for a count of two. The upper part of the knee-ins will also induce a pelvic tilt that will ensure activation of your lower abdominals. If your knees can touch your chest, you can separate your legs on the way up toward your chest, so that each knee passes to either side of your rib cage.

5. Extend your knees and straighten your legs to full extension as you inhale. Stop only momentarily, then flex your knees again and bring them toward your chest.

6. Try to complete five sets of 50 repetitions before ending the set. Rest for 45 seconds, then start your next set. You should be able to work up to five sets. When five sets becomes too easy, strap on some medium weight ankle weights to add resistance for additional sets.

Training Tips

Since you don’t need any special equipment, you can do a few sets of these just about anywhere, even in your bedroom before turning in for the night.

There are several technique errors you should avoid. First, it’s important not to lower your legs below parallel to the floor. Likewise, if your legs are lifted more than five degrees above parallel to the floor, the resistance will be easier, but the activation of the lower abdominals will be reduced significantly. Also, lowering too far will stretch the rectus abdominis and enlarge this muscle, and who wants to have a bigger and thicker abdomen? If the fibers of the abdomen are stretched excessively, the stomach will take on a rounded and almost bloated, protruding look when relaxed. Thirdly, if you lift your legs with your knees locked out straight (a seated leg raise), this will strongly activate your iliopsoas muscle and this will reduce the activation of the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles. This is because the iliopsoas, a deep abdominal muscle, is one of the strongest flexors of the lumbar region.

If you want to increase activation of your oblique muscles, twist your legs to the left (twist slightly from your hips) on one repetition and to the right on the next repetition when you’re bringing your knees toward your chest. It’s a good idea to eliminate holding your breath at any point during the exercise, since this increases the intra-abdominal pressure and prevents the abdominal fibers from shortening as much. Rather, exhale as your knees are coming toward your chest, and inhale as your legs are extended.

Few abdominal exercises allow such a constant tension throughout your entire abdominal wall as does seated knee-ins. You should achieve a very intense continual muscle burn throughout much of the exercise, but you must persist through the burn to achieve ultimate abdominal success. This selective fiber activation and shortening will be the keys to producing razor-sharp abs.


Andersson EA, Ma Z and Thorstensson A. Relative EMG levels in training exercises for abdominal and hip flexor muscles. Scand J Rehabil Med, 30: 175-183, 1998.

Borodulin K, Laatikainen T, Lahti-Koski M, Lakka TA, Laukkanen R, Sarna S and Jousilahti P. Associations between estimated aerobic fitness and cardiovascular risk factors in adults with different levels of abdominal obesity. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil, 12: 126-131, 2005.

Drysdale CL, Earl JE and Hertel J. Surface Electromyographic Activity of the Abdominal Muscles During Pelvic-Tilt and Abdominal-Hollowing Exercises. J Athl Train, 39: 32-36, 2004.

Hildenbrand K and Noble L. Abdominal Muscle Activity While Performing Trunk-Flexion Exercises Using the Ab Roller, ABslide, FitBall, and Conventionally Performed Trunk Curls. J Athl Train, 39: 37-43, 2004.

Lehman, G. J., McGill, S. M. (2001) Quantification of the differences in electromyographic activity magnitude between the upper and lower portions of the rectus abdominis muscle during selected trunk exercises. Phys Ther, 81, 1096-1101

Moore KL, and Daley AF. Cinically Oriented Anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Williams, Baltimore, 4th Edition pp. 1999. 178-187.

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.

The post Get Six-Pack Abs With Seated Knee-Ins appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

Read More


By: Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM
Title: Get Six-Pack Abs With Seated Knee-Ins
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 18:22:52 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

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.


Instagram @aaronsingerman

Instagram @redcon1

The post Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

Read More


By: Team FitRx
Title: Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2023 18:53:06 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading

Mens Health

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.

556494762 fullsizerender 4


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

Instagram @tigerfitness

Instagram @marclobliner

The post Negativity Is a Losing Mindset appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

Read More


By: Team FitRx
Title: Negativity Is a Losing Mindset
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2023 19:37:20 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading

Mens Health


Panatta Super Rowing Page 1

The post PANATTA SUPER ROWING MACHINE appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

Read More


By: Team FitRx
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2023 18:57:30 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading