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Old 01-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
HardwoodLegend
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Default doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

I've never been able to do full sit-ups without having something to weigh my feet down to the ground, yet I see others doing them without the support all the time.

Why is it that I can't? Is it because my upper body is disproportionately heavy which causes the legs to rise? Or am I missing some type of muscle strength somewhere?
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Bend you knees and raise them above you. It doesn't make crunches much easier. I know what you mean though, my feet have never stayed planted either and it might be from having a heavier upper body I guess.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwoodLegend
I've never been able to do full sit-ups without having something to weigh my feet down to the ground, yet I see others doing them without the support all the time.

Why is it that I can't? Is it because my upper body is disproportionately heavy which causes the legs to rise? Or am I missing some type of muscle strength somewhere?

get a ball son.

-Smak
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

bend your knees more and bring them closer to your butt when your doing situps should help. If that doesn't perhaps your going to far up on the situp?
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

This isn't going to lend itself to high volume which is what you guys usually do for core movements, but flexing your glutes and pushing down on the floor with your feet should help. There is stability in tension. If it helps but you still inch off the floor a bit, you could add keeping a basketball in between your feet and butt. I haven't tried it but it sounds like it could work.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

situps are pretty hard on the back from what i understand and IME. although you may have to be a little bit older before you notice any actual discomfort.

a replacement ab-cruncher is to stay in that same position on your back and just lift your legs (fully extended) from the floor, straight up, making an L shape. then bring them down again. do it all smoothly and not too fast. it may not be as intense as situps, but it will save your lower back, like i say. you could probably also add leg-weights or something to make the abs work harder.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwoodLegend
I've never been able to do full sit-ups without having something to weigh my feet down to the ground, yet I see others doing them without the support all the time.

Why is it that I can't? Is it because my upper body is disproportionately heavy which causes the legs to rise? Or am I missing some type of muscle strength somewhere?
you got weak abs man. if you cant do it without someone holding your feet, try doing it with your legs crossed, even harder. just keep at it though
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rezznor
you got weak abs man.
this
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwoodLegend
I've never been able to do full sit-ups without having something to weigh my feet down to the ground, yet I see others doing them without the support all the time.

Why is it that I can't? Is it because my upper body is disproportionately heavy which causes the legs to rise? Or am I missing some type of muscle strength somewhere?

You probably need to engage your legs more. However, I would look up alternatives to crunches.

Here's a video of me that might help
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w-uD-uPCBQ
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigantes
situps are pretty hard on the back from what i understand and IME. although you may have to be a little bit older before you notice any actual discomfort.

a replacement ab-cruncher is to stay in that same position on your back and just lift your legs (fully extended) from the floor, straight up, making an L shape. then bring them down again. do it all smoothly and not too fast. it may not be as intense as situps, but it will save your lower back, like i say. you could probably also add leg-weights or something to make the abs work harder.

It's only hard on the back if the back is weak and in need of strengthening, right?

The fact that sit-ups recruit more muscles in the core is what makes me like them. The more you do them when you have a healthy back, won't that just further strengthen your back?
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rezznor
you got weak abs man. if you cant do it without someone holding your feet, try doing it with your legs crossed, even harder. just keep at it though

Yeah, they are a bit lagging in strength. Which is strange because I have such good definition in my abs. I've done a variety of different ab exercises that has chiseled them out but never really focused on building more and more core strength.

All cosmetic, almost no function lol
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

It's because you have a heavy upper body. I have the same problem. When your back comes off the floor there's a moment where you are basically see-sawing on your butt. If you are carrying any appreciable amount of muscle your torso is going to weigh more than your legs and you'll fall back.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmulls
It's because you have a heavy upper body. I have the same problem. When your back comes off the floor there's a moment where you are basically see-sawing on your butt. If you are carrying any appreciable amount of muscle your torso is going to weigh more than your legs and you'll fall back.

That has to have something to do with it besides my somewhat weak abs.

Because I've seen fat out-of-shape women with thunder thighs doing unassisted situps, and I doubt it's because they have strong abs. Their lower body weight helps them stay grounded.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

@hardwoodlegend,
good questions.... good questions. i was a little bit addicted to situps i my early 20's. they just felt so RIGHT, and they didn't give me any trouble at the time.
Quote:
“We stopped teaching people to do crunches a long, long time ago,” says Dr. Richard Guyer, president of the Texas Back Institute. That’s because the “full flex” movement—the actual “crunch” part of crunches – puts an unhealthy strain on your back at its weakest point. The section with the most nerves (and most potential for nerve damage) is in the back of the spine, which is the very part that bends and strains during a sit-up.

“There are only so many bends or a ‘fatigue life’,” in your spinal disks,” says Stuart M. McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo. Inside each disk is a mucus-like nucleus, he says, and “if you keep flexing your spine and bending the disk over and over again, that nucleus slowly breaches the layers and causes a disk bulge, or a disk herniation.” A herniated disk won’t show through your swimsuit, but it’s no fun, and can cause persistent back and leg pain, weakness, and tingling.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...on-t-work.html
anyway, there's a crapload of articles like that published all over the place. for what that's all worth! i would just recommend caution and good sense, is all. i'm not a health professional.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: doing sit-ups without feet stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwoodLegend
It's only hard on the back if the back is weak and in need of strengthening, right?

No. Because they will weaken the back over time and could lead to disk issues.

Lots of folks are saying planks are better core exercises.

If you like crunches get an exercise ball because when you do crunches on an exercise ball you're working the back in two directions.

You should google better than crunches and you'll find lots of suggested exercises.
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