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Old 12-13-2007, 08:45 PM
Blaw1979 Blaw1979 is offline
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Default Sit-ups vs. Crunches

Are traditional Situps ok to do and if so what are the correct coaching cues for proper form? I'm talking about traditional military style sit-ups you would see at boot camp or for fit test for police academy etc. Basically feet anchored knees at 90 degrees and fingers interlocked behind the head.

I always thought traditional sit-ups were not good for you and could hurt your back. As a result, I thought that is why most fitness professionals nowadays prefer various types of crunches. I've always wondered why military and police still adhere to traditional sit-ups to gauge one's physical fitness if they are supposedly unhealthy.
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:02 AM
davejakes davejakes is offline
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I think sit ups fell out of favor when it became fashionable to use machines to isolate and train every muscle individually. Crunches are used on the theory that your stomach muscles and only move your core a few inches. After that, other muscles, eg. hip flexors take over when you are finishing a traditional sit up.

I think there is nothing wrong with regular sit ups, its just that it is really easy to start cheating and minimize ab involvement or crank on your neck to start the movement, especially when you are trying to see how many you can do or how fast you can do them.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:47 PM
cyberhit1 cyberhit1 is offline
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I stopped doing regular sit-ups a few years ago. I found that full-blown regular situps hurt my hips more than anything else. That's probably more related to my piss-poor joints than anything else.

As a measure of complete abdominal strength-endurance the situp may be the best during a "test." But I'm really not sure.

Maybe AP staff could clarify this for us?

Chris
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:43 AM
Halley Halley is offline
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Default Ab work without neck strain

My neck always hurts when I try to do any for of floor ab work (even tried Pilates and the same thing occurs).

I need to get serious ab strength quickly; what can I do to get there?

I need core strength as I will be working with adaptive skiers this January and I am far behind my fitness deadline.

But if I can get my core strength, strong glutes, I 'should' be alright to start.

Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:35 AM
cyberhit1 cyberhit1 is offline
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Halley:

There probably isn't a quick fix for this but using Core Performance principles and routines will get you as prepared as possible. Just pick a program and start doing it regularly.

Taking the neck strain out of ab/core exercises can be difficult for some people. I've found that "lengthening" my neck and keeping it in line with my shoulders helps reduce neck involvement.

AP staff could be of more assistance on your questions..

Good luck to you!

Chris
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2008, 04:15 PM
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NickW_AP NickW_AP is offline
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Not all exercises are created equal and the sit-up is definitely a controversial exercise. First, the primary difference between a crunch and a sit-up is the amount of hip flexion the person travels through. A crunch will minimize hip flexion and focus on pure trunk flexion, while the sit-up will be a crunch followed by hip flexion. The reason the sit-up has gotten a bad wrap is because it is shortening an area which is already very tight on most people due to habitual sitting in the work place. As an earlier post mentioned many people will compensate with their neck and hip flexors minimizing trunk flexion due to fatigue.

You should do sit-ups if they are part of a testing requirement or if you enjoy them and can perform without compensation. For everyone else it would be beneficial to spend more time with exercises that work on core stability (i.e. Pillar Bridges, Diagonal Arm Lift, etc.). Our athletes will probably spend twice the time on stability versus active trunk movement. If you do want to perform traditional abdominal exercises, then the crunch would be a better alternative. This will allow quality focus on the trunk flexors and there is less room for compensation.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:30 PM
Halley Halley is offline
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Tight hip flexors are a big problem. I did experience a health setback for awhile but have managed to find the energy to start up again.

Bridges are very difficult. I can't seem to get the trunk up before my neck and shoulders start 'burning'. Is there an intermediary exercise I can perform to help get me to the point where I can do bridges, etc successfully?

Thank you
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2008, 08:58 AM
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NickW_AP NickW_AP is offline
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Go from your knees.
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