I absolutely hate doing any form of ab work. How anyone can crank out sets of high rep crunches or sit ups baffles me because I get out of my mind bored with just about any direct ab work. My solution: the glute-ham sit up.
This is a great abdominal exercise that is sure to leave your core sore with only a few sets.
To set up for the GH Sit Up, simply sit on the machine where your thighs would usually rest and put your feet into the holders. Begin with your body perpendicular to the ground and lower yourself until your body is parallel to the floor before returning to the upright position. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement to ensure abdominal activation. Otherwise, only your hip flexors will be working. You can progress the exercise by moving your arms to overhead or by holding a weight across your chest.
Important notes: This is not a beginner ab exercise. You must understand the need to maintain a neutral spine during the exercise for it to be an effect ab workout. Also, if you have back problems this is an exercise to avoid.
Here is a quick video demonstrating the glute-ham sit ups:
Stay tuned next week for a follow up video that shows some variations and progressions on the glute-ham sit up.