Photo Report: Don't forget the abs

As any strength coach worth his salt knows, strong abdominal muscles are the foundation of a powerful athlete. <br><br>Several of Coach Pollard's exercises were painful just to watch.

(Above left) Senior receiver Dre Fulgham performs V-Ups. Already one of the strongest receivers in the South, Fulgham is working to get into peak condition for his final season at Alabama.

In a modified sit-up position, Mark Anderson does leg raises. Since changing positions from linebacker in the spring, Anderson has made as much progress in the weight room as anyone. He'll need the added bulk and strength to compete at defensive end. That's fellow defensive end Leslie Williams to the left.

Walk-on fullback Nathan Cox and the Tide squad strengthen their side abdominal muscles. By the time Head Strength Coach Ben Pollard finished, every abdominal muscle grouping had been worked. Fellow walk-on Josh Smith is behind Cox.

Called appropriately "mule kicks," the movement especially strengthens lower abdominal muscles. That's senior offensive lineman Atlas Herrion in the headband. Partially hidden behind him in the black shorts is true freshman Dominic Lee.

It's a deceptively easy looking exercise, but "holding the world" can be excruciatingly painful as the athletes wait for the whistle, signaling time to relax. According to Tide coaches, strong safety Roman Harper (pictured) has the physical talent to develop into an all-star.

Saving the tougest for last, Coach Pollard calls for "superman." Junior defensive end Jonathan Brunson balances on his abs while extending arms and legs straight out. "Up, down. Up, down..." is called out repeatedly, until on the 10th repetition the athletes must hold the pose for what seems to them an eternity, before Pollard's whistle finally ends their agony. By the way, here's a team trivia question for you. With the departure of Boone Stutz, who would be the second-string deep snapper? Answer: Jon Brunson.

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