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Double Cable Rotations For Superior Abs
Prone Swiss Ball Rolls For Developing Strong Core Muscles
5 Sandbag Exercises For Rock Hard Abs
Trunk Twists With A Twist - Tighten Your Love Handles Now!
Bench Press Leg Raise Crunches For Lower Abs
Crunch Pulldowns For a Great Six-Pack
Two Exercises With a Twist For Rock-Hard Obliques and Explosive Core Power
Seated Les Raises - A New Approach To An Old Favorite
2 Dumbbell Swings For a "Steel Corset" Core
The Best Ab Exercise You Never Heard Of

Ab & Core Workouts
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Build 3-Dimensional Abs In 2010
The Effectiveness Of Sand Bag Training For Abdominals
How To Get 6 Pack Abs & Lose Stomach Fat
Workout Complexes For Hardness & Conditioning
Old School Workouts To Develop Granite Hard Abdominals
The 3 Best Abdominal Exercises that Are Not Abdominal Exercises!
2 Challenging Exercises For Powerful Rock Hard Abs
How To Get Six Pack Abs Using Neglected Cable Exercises
Attack Your Abs With These Underground Power Moves
Killer Abs At Home In 12 Minutes

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Punch Proof Abdominals: How To Get Abs Like A Pro Boxer
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Core Training For Martial Arts: Abs Like Bruce Lee!

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Ask the Ab Guru
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Expansion Sit-Backs For Amazing Abs
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The Truth About Ab Machines
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Expansion Sit-Backs – Another Amazingly Effective Abdominal Exercise You’Ve Probably Never Done Before (Video Article)
By David Grisaffi

There are literally hundreds of abdominal exercise you can choose from. Not only that, most ab exercises have multiple variations which allow for progression through increasing levels of difficulty. With such a wide range of exercise to choose from it’s a shame that so many people keep repeating the same boring workouts over and over again.

If you're not changing your exercises regularly (continually challenging yourself with more advanced movements as your strength increases), then you’re on your way to staleness, boredom and progress plateaus. If you want to keep improving your abs, week after week, then here is another new abdominal exercise to add to your repertoire: Expansion Sit Backs.


I have had advised against over-dependence on the traditional sit up for many years. Regular sit ups put too much pressure on your low back by using your hip flexors and hamstrings to perform almost 2/3 of the work.

This over-tightens these muscles, pulling your pelvis forward and eventually leading to low back pain.

If you want a six pack, take a pass on the standard sit up, if for no other reason, than because there are better choices.

If you could swap out your old sit ups with a new exercise that could minimize hip flexor and hamstring involvement, maximize abdominal contraction and develop better abs without low back pain, would you do it? Of course you would. And I have just the exercise for this - the Expansion Sit Back. This exercise is not only a favorite of mine, it’s also backed up by many EMG studies that compare hip flexor and abdominal activation. The latest study coming out of Canada indicated that this exercise produced the greatest abdominal activation while minimizing flexor activation.

Just one last bit of background before I show you how it’s done. I first learned of the Expansion Sit Back when I was wrestling in college. I was fanatic about finding exercise programs that would improve my wrestling strength and ability. One day while browsing through the college library, I found a book titled Maximum Performance by Lawrence Moorhouse, the famed exercise kinesiologist from UCLA. This book was a gold mine of information and ahead of its time. Back then there weren’t many conditioning books, tapes or DVD’s, there was no Internet and Jane Fonda was the rage. I read this book one night and came up with my own wrestling conditioning program. A part of this program was the Expansion Sit Back. This is over 25 years ago and I still consider it a good as gold exercise to this day.

An Expansion Sit Back when performed correctly will strengthen the entire abdominal wall, not just your rectus abdominis (the six pack abs muscles). It also minimizes hip flexor action. You will find this exercise challenging and worthwhile as your abdominal core becomes toned and sharp. Please do not over do it. Take your time - that’s how it works best.

How to perform the Expansion Sit Back and its 4 progressive variations.

Starting Position: Sit comfortably on the floor with your knees bent, feet and back on the floor. Keep this neutral posture position during the exercise. Gently place your tongue on the roof of your mouth (this stabilizes your cervical spine) and tilt your chin toward your chest a small amount.

Do not hook your heels or feet under any piece of furniture or have them held down. Doing feet-anchored under is a common practice for standard sit ups, but you are going to do just the opposite.

We are going to eliminate the hip flexor activation by hooking your heels behind an immovable object. Octagon dumbbells that do not roll work, well and power blocks also work great. If you have a partner, have them kneel in front of you and grasp the back of your low leg (Achilles tendon area) and have you pull into the grasp. Do the same with any object. Hook and pull your heels toward your glutes. This is what eliminates the hip flexor from helping. It is called the Law of Reciprocal Inhibition.

Movement: Hook your heels as directed; slowly use your arms to walk your chest to your knees. Place your hands next to your belly button so you can palpate or feel you abdominal wall. Maintain good posture and slowly lean back away from your knees to a position your fell comfortable. As you move away you will notice your abdominals begin to tighten down. Some of you will only be able to go back a few inches before your feel uncomfortable. That is OK…

Now from that position hold it for 15-20 seconds and you will notice your abdominals start to quiver. At this time relax and lay back on the floor, release your heels and rest for 30-45 seconds. Repeat this exercise 3-5 times per session.

After each workout you will be able to lean back farther and hold the position for 20 seconds before your abs start shaking. When you can slowly lean back and hold your body about 2 inches off the ground and stay there for 20 seconds 3-5 reps with 30-45 seconds rest intervals, you are ready to progress.

Level II Expansion Sit Back

Level II assumes the basic level I positions the only difference is your bring your arms up and across your chest. Perform the exercise and exercise progression the exactly the same as level I

Level III Expansion Sit Back

To carry out level III just move your arms up and out 90 degrees from your body and follow all level I’s requirements.

Level IV Expansion Sit Back

To accomplish level IV, move your arms out to the side and place your finger tips on your cheekbones. NOTE: Do not put your hands behind your head. Repeat level I’s progression

Level V Expansion Sit Back

To finish off the expansion sit back mover your arms over your head as is you where signaling a touchdown in football. NOTE: Do not swing your arms. Repeat level 1’s progression

This exercise and its advanced progressions will strengthen your abdominal wall, help you develop a 6 pack and also minimize low back pain. It has worked wonders for many of my clients, especially wrestlers and boxers. This is a challenging one, so not all of them “like” it, but do them faithfully because they know it works. Whether you’re an athlete or you just want to look like one, give Expansion sit backs a try – they will work wonders for you too.

Coach David Grisaffi.
Tacoma Washington

David Grisaffi has been a sports enthusiast his entire life. He participated in football, basketball, wrestling, swimming, tennis, and baseball, and excelled at wrestling. His love for sports led him into a career in sports conditioning and fitness training. David majored in physical education and holds multiple certifications including three from the prestigious CHEK Institute: Level II high Performance Exercise Kinesiologist, Golf Biomechanic, and health and lifestyle counselor. He also holds certifications from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a personal trainer and specialist in performance nutrition.

David Grissafi, Flatten Your Abs

David has been a high school wrestling and baseball coach and is currently an independent trainer and strength coach. He has been sought after by some of the top athletes in professional sports including world champion boxer Greg Haugen and professional golfer Michael Putnam. David’s ebook, Firm And Flatten Your Abs is an online best seller which teaches you how to lose body fat, develop “six pack abs’ while improving strength, function and athletic power at the same time. You can contact David or learn more about his programs at

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