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Guest rival11

What's better for core Ab Wheel or L-sit?

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Guest rival11

Now when I say ab-wheel, I mean full, standing ab-wheel rollouts (not on your knees).

 

I can do a full ab-wheel rollout with a slight bend in my arms but to me that doesn't count - I feel your arms need to be straight through the whole process (roll out, then roll in).

 

For L-sit, I don't really train it often but I can hold it for 10 seconds (using mini-paralettes).

 

Since most know more than me on this forum, what do you recommend, train full blown for a long L-sit hold or stick with the stand ab-wheel rollouts?

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Brian Li

I haven't really thoroughly compared the two, but I believe standing ab-wheel roll-outs hit the abs harder.

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Connor Davies

A standing ab wheel rollout will definitely hit your abs harder, but it's not as useful as an L sit. 

 

L sits tie together scapula muscle activation with core activation and compression, and are a great developing tool on your way to harder skills.  I believe in most gymnastics gyms a 60 second L sit is considered a standard part of the warmup.  If you want advanced GST, you need a good L sit.

 

Standing ab wheel rollouts, on the other hand, are pretty much only good for standing ab wheel rollouts.  Oh sure, you'll build up a lot of core strength, but it's not going to allow you to develop further.  So even if it may make you stronger in the short term, eventually it's going to stop providing benefit.  If you'd spent this time training L sits, you could simply advance to the next progression and keep getting stronger, but that's not really an option with ab wheels.

 

Remember, compression is very important and it's more than just strength.

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Guest rival11

Very informative (and it makes sense) bipocni - thanks a lot.

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Chris Hansen

Ab wheel rollouts can be progressed by adding a weight vest, facing downhill, pausing at the bottom, or working toward 1 arm rollouts.

 

As to which is more "functional", L sits if you're a gymnast. Each exercise seems to develop different qualities and both exercises work a lot more than just the abs.

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Brian Li

A standing ab wheel rollout will definitely hit your abs harder, but it's not as useful as an L sit. 

 

L sits tie together scapula muscle activation with core activation and compression, and are a great developing tool on your way to harder skills.  I believe in most gymnastics gyms a 60 second L sit is considered a standard part of the warmup.  If you want advanced GST, you need a good L sit.

 

Standing ab wheel rollouts, on the other hand, are pretty much only good for standing ab wheel rollouts.  Oh sure, you'll build up a lot of core strength, but it's not going to allow you to develop further.  So even if it may make you stronger in the short term, eventually it's going to stop providing benefit.  If you'd spent this time training L sits, you could simply advance to the next progression and keep getting stronger, but that's not really an option with ab wheels.

 

Remember, compression is very important and it's more than just strength.

The same could be said of spending too much time in a L-sit. You can simply move onto V-sits or manna work instead unless you consider those L-sit variations. I don't disagree that L-sits may be more useful than ab-wheel rollouts though. There are also many other good core exercises like body levers, Russian leg lifts, cranks, L-sit lift to manna, and back flips.

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Alan Tseng

DIfferent core exercises.

 

Ab wheel is more comparable to body levers than L-Sits.

 

The core has multiple different functions and comprises of multiple muscles

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Mikkel Ravn

^ This. What's better, left or right?

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Chris Hansen

Boxing coach Ross Enamait is a big fan of ab wheel roll outs. That guy is a beast. He also likes L sits.

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Redwan Haque

They are different. L Sits are for compression strength, I think of Ab Wheels as a progression for hollow body / lever strength. Work both if you can. 

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Frankincensed

Given your relative weakness in L-sit compared to Ab wheel, I'd say for you, the L-sit progression is a better exercise to focus on now.

 

Ross recommends dual double-wheeled ab wheels, so one can be gripped in each hand. Allows for more variations, including the single armed version, which I would call the OMG!

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Connor Davies

^ This. What's better, left or right?

Left.  Definitely left. :P

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Connor Davies

Boxing coach Ross Enamait is a big fan of ab wheel roll outs. That guy is a beast. He also likes L sits.

True, but the guy has no experience with press to handstands, straddle L, V sits, manna, ect....

 

He's a beast, but he doesn't care about advanced GST at all.  He thinks the learning curve is too steep, and he'd rather have his athletes focus on how to fight rather than how to handstand or pike or whatever.

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Chris Hansen

True, but the guy has no experience with press to handstands, straddle L, V sits, manna, ect....

 

He's a beast, but he doesn't care about advanced GST at all.  He thinks the learning curve is too steep, and he'd rather have his athletes focus on how to fight rather than how to handstand or pike or whatever.

Right, he's not concerned that an exercise looks a certain way, only that it delivers. And he recommends both ab wheel rollouts and L sits.

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ForzaCavaliere

Ab-wheel rollouts are a lot harder than L-Sit, but if you want to develop further in GST you should focus on the L-Sit and not really worry about the rollouts unless as a supplementary exercise.

 

Rollouts are pretty cool though, not so useful in terms of gymnastics conditioning but might be more useful in other fitness circles.

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Andrew Long

Nothing wrong with roll outs just keep your arms locked out and a nice hollow body. I'd say it has its place.

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Joshua Slocum

The question 'which bodyweight exercise is better' is fundamentally flawed. The key to bodyweight strength is building proficiency in a large repertoire of movements. It is not enough to simply develop powerful muscles - you need to learn to use those muscles effectively. It doesn't matter which exercise you choose: if you only ever work one movement, you will fail to develop a powerful core. 

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Guest rival11

I've decided to stick to the L-sit only, I really need to trim up my workout program.  My main goal is a straddle planche and I'm just doing too many other exercies and I'm burning myself out.

 

Yes, I feel like a rock now but I'm not focusing on the core planche movements enough - L-sit of course being one that will assist me in that department.

 

I didn't mention planche from the get go because in all honestly, the question was what it was....simply was trying to see what your thoughts were and I definitely got my answer.  Thanks again.

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Alessandro Mainente

manna is better!

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Scott Pelton-Stroud

How did so many decide that Ab Wheels are not helpful for GST? I'd really like to understand why that is true. As far as I can tell, the exercise is much akin to a front lever.

 

That said, with only a 10-second L-sit, I highly doubt that one would be physically prepared for consistent (proper) standing ab wheel training. 

 

Also Left > Right.

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ForzaCavaliere

How did so many decide that Ab Wheels are not helpful for GST? I'd really like to understand why that is true. As far as I can tell, the exercise is much akin to a front lever.

 

That said, with only a 10-second L-sit, I highly doubt that one would be physically prepared for consistent (proper) standing ab wheel training. 

 

Also Left > Right.

It's not that it's "worse", it's more like if a standing ab-wheel rollout is similar to a front lever, why not just train the front lever instead, which is an actual element in competitive gymnastics? 

If it suits your goals more, then that exercise is the one that is 'better' for you at that point in time. 

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Connor Davies

.....As far as I can tell, the exercise is much akin to a front lever.....

Except without all the lat engagement, right?

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Mikkel Ravn

Except without all the lat engagement, right?

There's lots of lat engagement, just occurs at a more open shoulder angle. Ab rollouts are pretty brutal, and is definitely a good exercise. I'm not doing them, because I've got plenty on my plate already, but it would be cool to master them one day, post-foundation.

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Christian Sørlie

I'd think once you can do most of the later iM's in H1 pluss finishing up F3 FL and MN, a rollout will be nothing.

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Jon Douglas

They're good things, but IMO front lever will give the better long term reward. Amongst other things, you can't readily further with ab wheels, whilst there are always tweaks to be made to FL to make it more difficult, whether it be increasing time or embedding a hold in other movements.

 

I've never tried it standing before, I'll give it a bash next time I visit a sports store :)

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