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Fast Reps for Better Abs

If all you do for abs are slow and controlled reps, it's time to speed things up – and possibly speed up your results.

Fast Reps for Better Abs

“Slow and controlled reps” has always been the advice given for training abs – as if fast, explosive reps should be forbidden on exercises like crunches and leg raises.

But why? The abdominals and obliques are muscles just like the pecs, lats, quads, and biceps, all of which are known to respond well to explosive reps when properly programmed. No reason ab training should be any different. This isn’t just my opinion, either; research confirms it.

So, if all your sets and reps in ab workouts are “slow and controlled,” it’s time to add some speed to your routine. The benefit: better muscle fiber recruitment in the midsection (specifically in the obliques) for a better developed six-pack, a stronger core, and improved performance in the gym and on the athletic field.

The Research Behind Fast Reps for Abs

One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research had subjects perform crunches (termed “trunk curl-up” in the study) using four different rep cadences – 1 rep per 4...

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