Sit ups with weights

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iroZn
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Sit ups with weights

Postby iroZn » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:43 am UTC

So I've been doing this exercise at the gym where I lay on a bench with a slight incline (my head is lower than my feet) and my legs are locked in to foam holders. Then I do sit ups with about 15 kilos of weight on my chest.

A few of us were trying to decide whether this is a good exercise or if it could be bad for your back. Personally I always enjoyed it and it doesn't hurt my back, I reckon my friend is doing it wrong. What do you guys think?
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Evengeduld
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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby Evengeduld » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:27 am UTC

As long as you don't curve your back during the exercise and don't feel pain you are doing it good.

you can achieve that by pulling your bellybutton up and thigtning your deeper core muscles by doing this you should feel your back being pushed against the board and not be able to put your hand under it.
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Victoria Maddison
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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby Victoria Maddison » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:59 am UTC

Weighted situps are a good exercise. They should be performed with a rounded back, i.e. the opposite to what you would do for a squat/deadlift, and the weight should be held behind your head not at the chest.

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nightbird
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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby nightbird » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:23 pm UTC

If I were you, I'd rather try leg raises, dragon flags and barbell rollouts. Weighted spinal flexion can lead to serious health problems in the long run.
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savanik
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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby savanik » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

The way the reflexive parroting of 'Oh me yarm situps bad!' has sprung up recently all over the place has left me suspicious. So I dug up the original journal paper.

McGill, S.M. (1995). The mechanics of torso flexion. Clin. Biomech., 10(4): 184-192.

RELEVANCE: The safety of situps as both a therapeutic modality and training exercise has been questioned for years but evaluation has suffered from a lack of knowledge of tissue loading. The load predictions in this study suggest that performing situps (both dynamic and quasi-static) imposes high levels of compressive loading (> 3000 N) on the low back. The issue of using straight legs or bent knees is probably not as important as the issue of whether or not to prescribe situps at all.


However, this article from 1995 has only 1 citation in another paper. It appears to be just models and predictions of loading without conclusive testing in real environments. I don't doubt this man's credentials, but I am uncertain of the quality of this report that popular body fitness has fixated upon. More research is needed.

In my personal experience (sample size = 1), crunches are more effective at building basic muscle tone than situps. If you anchor your feet you should be able to do weighted crunches as well.

I've had a lot of people recommend Pushups or Side Planks to build muscle tone in my core lately. YMMV.
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Solt
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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby Solt » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:09 am UTC

Full situps engage the extensors in your leg for most of the second half of the motion. Probably not what you care about. Crunches are the part of the situp that use your abs.

As far as extra weight is concerned, ab muscles grow just like any muscle- by lifting heavier weights. If doing a shit-ton of half-body-weight reps could give you bigger muscles, all anyone would ever need to look like arnold is a pullup bar and a floor to do pushups on.

tl;dr: if you want bigger abs, do weighted crunches.
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Visceroid
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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby Visceroid » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:55 am UTC

I agree with Solt, in my experience I do sit ups or crunches with a medicine ball behind my head and this has worked well.

I focus on technique and I do not have my feet fixed to anything to try and minimise use of my hip flexors by making sure they stay on the ground.

Crunch up making sure the ball is behind my head, and control the ball back down to touch the ground lightly. When I fatigue I can pump out a few extra reps by cheating and bring the ball forward.

When I first started this I had to use a 4kg medicine ball to make sure that my feet didn't come off the ground. Once I nailed the technique I was up to 8kg with the med ball. I have now started using a 10 kg plate and this works well too.

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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby Breezybree » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:09 pm UTC

I have noticed alot of people tend to over extend and therefore causing your back to get sore ....you really only need to crunch/extend a small portion of the way to get max effect .

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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby emceng » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:41 pm UTC

Ok, dumb question that I didn't think deserved a new thread. What's the deal with crunches? You just kind of hover half way up for a situp? Or more like 3/4s of the way? I just never really understood them, despite supposedly being better than situps. I do 120 situps when I work out(60 oblique, 60 normal). I gave up on crunches, as they seemed to not be doing much.
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Re: Sit ups with weights

Postby philsov » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:13 pm UTC

Ideally, they're supposed to work the abs just as hard, but without the strain on your lumbar region. Your lower back barely moves. In a situp, from about 30 degrees and more upward, it's mostly the hip flexors doing all the work while your abs just sit there.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Rec ... runch.html
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Rec ... runch.html

vs

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Rec ... SitUp.html
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Rec ... SitUp.html
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