MAIN MUSCLES: rectus abdominis
SECONDARY MUSCLES: external and internal oblique muscles, transverse abdominal
ANTAGONISTS: spinal erectors, longissimus dorsi and other muscles along the spinal column, and lower back muscles
Execution Stand in front of a high cable (preferably the one used for Cable Pull- downs) holding the bar behind your head with an underhand grip (without pressing on your neck). Hold your arms steady so that the bar does not change position and contract your abdomen to bring your ribs down toward your pelvis, using the whole of your back. You should feel like you are “rolling up” your torso, not flexing it. Keep your hips still. Breathe in as you raise your torso and out as you lower it. Comments The exercise allows you to use considerable weight with little risk. If you prefer, you can use a rope rather than a bar. The variant in which you stand or kneel with your back to the cable is not recommended and does not provide any significant advantage. Common mistakes: flexing the torso using primarily the iliopsoas and flexors rather than the abdominal muscles, doing the movement too fast or making it too short and raising the pelvis rather than bringing the ribs down.