So you want a set of six-pack abs? Or at least a strong core, which is probably more meaningful for ice climbing and hauling around an 85 lb pack while dragging a 45 lb sled (standard fare in Alaska). I really like this exercise – the inverted situp.
I do it a few different ways, but one of the easiest for me is on the Glute Ham Raise bench. If you go to a gym, there is probably some type of bench designed for inverted situps, or something you could improvise. At home you might be able to figure out how to use a deck or staircase, but don’t blame me if something goes horribly wrong…
Lock in your feet with the back of your knees up on the pad, and drop back down slowly and carefully. Use your core muscles to thrust/pull yourself up quickly, pause, and drop back down slowly to repeat for sets of 10 to 25 reps. This can be pretty intense for some people, and there might be minor risk of back and joint pain, so be careful and check with your health provider if you have any questions.
A couple of notes. I have a jacket under my knees so I can slide around a bit without sticking to the vinyl. At the bottom I almost touch the floor, so I hold my fingers out as feelers so I know how close I get without bonking my head. Don’t crank on your neck with your hands, in fact, don’t use them at all for any normal ab curl/crunch/situp motion. Especially be careful with your back in the extreme forward position like when I’m starting and stopping to free my feet (barely visible at the very beginning and end of the clip).