Sit ups serve a very significant benefit for people. They are a great exercise for abdominal strength and they train your body through its full range of motion. Athletes in running, jumping and throwing sports, can improve their overall performance by including a sit ups routine in their workouts. Some people feel that sit ups are too hard on your lower back, buy they are wrong. The truth is that sit ups are not bad for your lower back. Previous Injury, bad flexibility, poor posture, weak back muscles, weak abdominal muscles, and poor exercise technique are bad for your back. So if you have a soar back or injured one then it is not safe. Just like every exercise that I recommend, we do them very focused and slow in order to work on correct form rather intensity.
What do sit ups do for you
Sit-ups work the rectus abdominis, obliques, rectus femoris, tensor fascia latae, chest, and neck muscles. These are the muscles that hold your spine and body straight, preventing collapsing or twisting of the spine, and helping in neck and hip movement. Sit-ups are different from crunches in the way they are performed and the muscles they activate. Crunches only work on the ab muscles. But sit-ups work on almost your entire body and are hence quite effective. And knowing the correct technique is the key.
Sit ups can do a lot for people. They hit your inner core so well that just doing a few sit ups every day will help you in digesting food, burning some calories and building some stronger abdominal muscles. They are probably the most important exercise that I do because the benefits are so great. I even feel better mentally knowing that I just finished my sit ups for the day. These small goals are so rewarding and definitely keep me on the right track.
How to do proper military sit ups
To pass the Army physical fitness test, men and women must be able to perform 53 sit ups; 72 to achieve an “excellent” rating. A sit up is disqualified if it’s not executed using the proper form. I usually do 4 sets of 25 reps on a good day. Sometimes when I am in a hurry for time, I do 3 sets of 10 reps. So I just make sure that I am doing my sit ups every day no matter how tired or pressed for time. Either way it is no problem to complete because I make it easy to do. I don’t stress on doing my sit ups because I can get them in anytime.
1. Lie with your back on the floor and your knees slightly bent. Get on a completely flat surface either on an exercise mat or outside on the grass. Your feet should be flat on the ground, separated by no more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) The heel is the only part of your foot that must maintain contact with the ground. You can raise up your toes if you want.
2. Cross your arms over your chest. Cross your arms over your chest, placing each hand on the opposite shoulder.
3. Raise your torso to a vertical position. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your body until the base of your neck is above the base of your spine. Stop when the bend in your hips is at a 90˚ angle.
4. Lower your back until your shoulder blades touch the ground.
How many sit ups should you do?
Most people will get good results from 10-25 repetitions of sit-ups, but it usually depends on your endurance level and physical strength. Sit-ups become a lot more difficult during the 3rd or 4th sets of the exercise, but you may have to continue until you notice a feeling of fatigue in your abdominal muscles.
You also need to pay attention to maintaining proper form while performing sit-ups. Make sure that your body is on a flat surface with feet flat on the ground and your knees at a 90-degree angle. Keep your hands near the ears or below the chin before you start your exercise.
Best way to perform sit ups
The best way to make sit-ups work for you is to perform three sets of 15-20 reps. The fact is that lots of crunches and sit-ups are not going to tone your flabby belly if you do not combine with other exercises and maintain a balanced diet. Doing too many sit-ups may even affect your progress negatively and make your tummy to bulge out after some time or lead to a potbelly.
Common mistakes when doing sit ups.
Mistake 1: You Sit All the Way Up.
Understand that both straight and bent-leg sit-ups put so much pressure on the spine. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, your lower back can take only 3,300 Newton’s of compression. Any pressure higher will result in higher rates of injuries, whereas bent-leg sit ups exert about 3,350 Newton and straight sit ups exert 3506 Newton.
Mistake 2: You Add a Twist at the Top.
Some people try this variation because they think it engages the side of their waists as well. Research shows that you are doing no good to the side of your waist through that “twist” because they are already in use. However, twisting movement can be harmful for the spine. Just be sure to stick to one plane movement without any twist.
Sit ups are important and effective.
Sit ups are definitely an exercise that can be a struggle to do daily. This is one of the reasons why I always try and get in first or at least I know that I am going to finish my work out with them. That is how important they are to your over all look. They engage your mid section and give you full motion of your body. Therefore, they are very effective in giving you the power you need from the inner core and outwards.