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Question
Posted by: Nick | 2006/07/19

Multiple questions

Hi Doc
I read somewhere that a person can exercise your abs everyday. Why is this? Is it because it recuperates faster or because it develops slower? Do you need to do back everytime you do abs or not? I also read that you need to do your ab exercises slow? Why is this and is it wrong to do it faster (movements)?

Why is it that some people hurt their backs when they do crunches and what can be done to correct it?

When I do lat pull downs or cable rows I usually feel my biceps work harder than my lats or trapezius. What am I doing wrong and what alternative exercises can I do to work my upper back?

Lastly; when I do tricep pushdowns I feel my abs working as well. What am I doing wrong?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Nick

I think that the abs are a very specific type of muscle for a very specific purpose. That is, they provide stability to the core and trunk and the spine and so they are the type of muscle is that is not really required to do very fast powerful contractions, but rather to do more steady and sustained work. that is why you can train them everyday, and why there are some who recommend donig the exercise slowly - it is teaching the control, not the power and speed of contraction that is important, if that makes sense?

As for the back issue, I do think that it is important that you do not neglect the back - of course, this does not mean you HAVE to do them everytime, but you do need to develop a strong back if you are trying to become all round developed.

As for the lat pull downs, try different positions when you do the movement - for example, you might be in a position where your arm is internally rotated which means that you can get power using the biceps, which you do. By rotating externally, you may prevent this and force the lats more into action. It's hard to say without seeing though, sorry...

Good luck

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