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Old 05-29-2013, 09:29 AM   #1
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Default Situps - good or not so good?

While I'm in question mode anyway, here's another one.


I've heard a lot of negative opinions on situps. Even some on crunches as well. Is there much (or any!) genuine and relevant evidence to support said opinions? If so, what?

I was thinking of throwing in some weighted decline bench situps again, as another option for ab work (as part of my doing abs directly twice a week, currently). Good or bad choice, do you think?
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:40 AM   #2
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I think they are a great choice and they were a go-to exercise of old time lifters before they were "bad for you", kind of like squats and deadlifts.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:07 AM   #3
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When I do them on a hard surface they can get pretty rough on the lower back, but they're great on the decline. I feel they work my hips more than my abs, though. Do them if you like them, but I prefer ab wheel roll-outs and hanging leg raises.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
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Not a fan, although the decline version with weights is the best kind. Tnation just had a pretty good article on core training that's worth a read. Normal situps and crunches just don't do a very good job of loading the abs. Abs and calves are primarily slow twitch muscles, so to really hit them well you need high resistance and lower reps, which is the opposite of what most do.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dray View Post


I've heard a lot of negative opinions on situps. Even some on crunches as well. Is there much (or any!) genuine and relevant evidence to support said opinions? If so, what?
I've seen intelligent discussions showing that nearly all exercises are in some way injurious and should be approached with caution. I certainly don't want to just offhandedly dismiss everything, but I think the key will always revert back to common sense.

As long as you're not doing 500 a day then give them a run. I use weighted bench sit ups. I like them.

I have found a little bit of core strengthening goes a long way, so I would recommend quality work over quantity work.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:09 AM   #6
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I like doing sit ups on my GHR (Glute Ham Raise) Bench. I really feel a great contraction. I can also do them weighted on the GHR. I try to do ab work weighted whenerver possible. I have even bought 20 lbs ankle weights for leg raises. I also like standing cable crunches.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:01 PM   #7
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Never really liked them much but still did them. I do them still just to work my core in a different aspect, aside from other stuff that I am doing.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dray View Post
While I'm in question mode anyway, here's another one.


I've heard a lot of negative opinions on situps. Even some on crunches as well. Is there much (or any!) genuine and relevant evidence to support said opinions? If so, what?

I was thinking of throwing in some weighted decline bench situps again, as another option for ab work (as part of my doing abs directly twice a week, currently). Good or bad choice, do you think?
I think, somewhere along the line, everything we've ever done has been considered to be bad, in some degree or other, now. Press-ups, headstands, cobra pose etc...the works. As stated, anything can be bad, depending on how it's done or even if someone's body can't tolerate said movement, which is then blamed on to the movement not the person's body, with slipped discs, for example, which may have already been present but just aggravated further.

There's nothing inherently wrong with either sit-ups or curls, we have to do one or the other when getting out of bed, everyday of our lives, but we don't suffer as a result.

There are even studies (?) or quack ideas (more to the point) that suggest the spine can only flex so many number of times (an exact number, they give, strangely) before the spinal disc is damaged...not that anybody could have ever even tracked that, accurately, it's impossible...but, they still state it...in fact, I sat and worked it out, and with exercise alone, they would have had a person going into the slipped disc danger area where reps were concerned (even doing a minimum of 10 sit-ups per day) and that's excluding the amount of times a person would have got out of bed, bent down, or even got up off the floor, during their lifetime...it's just nuts. When I say they, I mean the people that stated the fact...I have it in a book somewhere but can't recall the exact data, it's unimportant anyway, though someone may take it seriously without thinking it through.



It's a case of being smart and not overdoing it with the core as with other areas of the body, but flexing and extending the spinal column pushes fresh nutrients into the discs, so it's a good thing.

The trunk is meant to flex and extend, so we should flex and extend it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:20 AM   #9
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I've heard that one too (some odd number, drawn from a hat, or an asshat as the case may be ).

Makes sense, that flexion and extension both should be done, really. Regularly, and more or less evenly (I guess). Except to fix a postural issue, or whatever, perhaps.

Thanks Five Kay, and everyone else, for posting your thoughts and experiences, re: situps.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:37 AM   #10
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i don't think the body is that fragile where we can only move a limb so many times or it will break i have knowing people to do hundreds of sit ups a day specially from the Martial arts and boxing world and have know issues, i personly choose to do a fewer weighted sit ups then a ton of them but each to there own.
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