Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General Situps: form, appropriateness


Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #70401
      AvatarRoland Claes

      Hi everyone! I’d like to pick peoples’ brains regarding situps and ab training.

      First: proper form for a sit-up? The main issue in my mind is spinal positioning, for which there are two main choices: braced neutral or globally flexed. With experimentation, I prefer a flexed spine: it resists the pull of the psoas more effectively (preventing lumbar overextension), works the abs harder, and just feels better. I curl myself up at the bottom, then engage the hip flexors; coming down is the reverse (release hip flexors, then unwind). However, I’m still intuitively worried by anything done in a curled-up position. Am I slowly destroying myself here? Just to be clear, I’m thinking of bent-knee situps done at an incline of around 45 degrees on a bench. (Not GHD situps, which require a straight spine based on the upright start and complete lack of any backstop at the bottom position.)
      Second: are situps an exercise that the average person (i.e. not a competitive athlete or soldier) should be doing? It seems that even with optimal form there’s a lot of stress on the the back and potential for painful mistakes. They’re great for strength development (at least for me), but there are tons of other “core” strengthening activities (even deadlifting is a pretty intense ab workout) that might be safer.
      Thanks in advance!
    • #72588

      Yes, you can do sit ups and there are many other elements you can do that hit the abs.
      Hollow rocks are one.
      Come up to 90 degrees when doing sit ups
      Have you done anchored sit ups?
      Have you done sit ups with the bottoms of your feet touching each other?
      This takes the hip flexor out of the equation.
      Be smart about what you are doing and pay attention to your positioning throughout the movement and over whatever number of reps you are completing. Quality over quantity.

    • #72607
      AvatarRoland Claes

      Thanks for the response, Kaitlin. To answer your questions:

      1) I always do sit-ups while anchored (probably should have included this in my first post)…lets me engage the rectus femoris and feels more stable.
      2) “situps w/bottoms of feet touching”–yes, I think I called them “frog crunches” :). Good for abs, but I want to train my hip flexors too, generally.
Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.