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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - No More Sit-ups? - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

No More Sit-ups?

  • Kol Drake
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Kol Drake created the topic: No More Sit-ups?

Sit-ups -- I could do them but I hate them.
I did them when I was in high school as part of our 'warm up' for running. I did tons of them in military basic training and beyond. After college, I did some just to try to keep in shape.

BUT... now that I am 40+ years beyond that kind of flexibility, I was looking for alternatives.
AND, I noted that there are several articles saying even the military is looking at alternatives due to the undue stress on the back and spine from sit-ups.

So far, the one that is least 'injury prone' and does as much or more for the core, etc. seems to be 'the plank'... basic or it's variations (leg lifted, side plank, etc.)

I'm wondering if any of you training wonderkin have looked into this at all?
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Jax replied the topic: No More Sit-ups?

I have heard this before. Honestly, I've never known someone to be injured by situps, but it must be an issue. I do know that planks are way harder, but they are also a more functional form of strengthening since that's the whole core.
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David (Phoenix) replied the topic: No More Sit-ups?

I've also heard this and I am not the biggest fan. Like we were saying in my fitness journal, I'm not really noticing any results with them.

When I worked for a Chiropractor, he used to really be against sit ups. He'd recommend the plank or using two walking sticks and balancing yourself on a balance board (he had varying degrees of difficulty). The problem with sit ups, from what I understand, is that you are only strengthening the rectus abdominis, or the front of the stomach. This leaves your obliques (the sides of your stomach) to be less strong and can cause you to have back pain (because they are too weak for back support). Doing variations of sit ups (like the cycling one) to work these muscles can cause more issues if not done properly.

Bottom line, I'm a bigger fan of Yoga. It focuses on flexibility, strengthening and core work depending on the routine. Working with an instructor can helping with proper alignment and making sure you are doing the exercises properly. Not to mention, they have a bag full of variations to fit your fitness level.
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Tsjêbbe replied the topic: No More Sit-ups?

Yes indeed, a plank is better, yoga possible better. Balancing your body in certain ways asks a huge amount of core stability so that will train it possible. Also: a tip I got from a friend is to just train big muscle groups in a time. Exercises like, squating, dipping, push ups, swimming and all the compound lifts train your abs more than enough. Look at some of the stroingest men of the world, the have HUGE 1-packs :p and don't do any core workouts. It just comes with everything else.

"Little decisions over time make a big impact on our lives.” - Eric Samuel Timm
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Atticus replied the topic: No More Sit-ups?

Second everything above. Plus, as Tsjebbe said, a lot of resistance work in a standing or unsupported-sitting position will force you to engage your core. I would also add vacuums (there's a yoga bandha that's virtually identical, but I don't know what it's called), where you pull your abdominal wall back toward your spine and hold, for strengthening and conditioning your core. I do woodchoppers and similar resistance exercises to engage the obliques, which is important for preventing injury, and there are yoga poses that will accomplish that too.

"Right speech is about establishing productive and honest communication that is beneficial to both the speaker and the hearer. . . . Right speech requires the use of truthful, loving words intended to inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope in others." -- The Dharma of Star Wars
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  • Dogan Nar II
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Dogan Nar II replied the topic: No More Sit-ups?

Plank, leg-ups/flutter kicks. If you're a member of a gym or there's a rec center around, a lot of time there will be various ab machines that you can use. As far as the abdominal region, the most important part is diet. You can do crunches non-stop but have a crappy diet and not make much in the way of gains. So the most important part of abs (and fitness in general) is regulating your diet and eating as well as you can.

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