2

votes

Best position for sit-ups + other abdominal exercises

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 28, 2012 at 1:58 AM

Hey guys,

I'm just wondering what is the best position to be in for the perfect sit up? (apart from lying on the floor)

Is it best to have something under your back (I used to use a half ball thingy at the gym) or would it be better to use one of those blow up ball things for it.

I have a lot of fat around my mid section that I'm hoping to get rid of as quickly as possible so any other exercises that people could recommend would be fantastic

(NOTE - I already own 2x10k hand weights)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 29, 2012
at 06:25 AM

I was expecting your next reply to be about how she could get "cannonball delts", "Blitz" her biceps or "Bomb" her quads. lol

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:51 AM

I've been eating like that for a month now and loving it :D

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:50 AM

My best friend sent the same thing to me :)

A837194a37de41e5217b7dc4274b342b

(10)

on May 28, 2012
at 06:55 PM

Love your answer!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 28, 2012
at 05:14 PM

oh. Haha. I just read the headline and some of the answers and thought I'd give me two cents. Didn't realize the OP was a girl. there should be a thread on here dedicated specifically to abdominal/core training, if there is not already.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 28, 2012
at 05:02 PM

"For deep cuts and insane definition in your abs..." Woah! I thought Julia was just looking to lose some fat off her waist, not compete in the Miss Olympia? lol

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 28, 2012
at 04:48 PM

I'm not a fan of crunches but I like everything else that you said.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:32 PM

+1 for identifying the hip flexor recruitment issue.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on May 28, 2012
at 01:52 PM

I want to add that the above are good ab exercises IF you are in the correct posture, and using your abdominal muscles correctly (i.e. bracing as if you were about to get punched in the stomach and not bearing down as if you are having a baby).

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 28, 2012
at 08:46 AM

There's no "toning", that's just a term women's magazines' euphemism for fuckarounditis. Lift heavy with the movements Scriv listed. I'd recommend looking at a program called "Starting Strength," it covers all the bases. And no, you won't wake up one morning looking like a bodybuilder by lifting heavy.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 28, 2012
at 08:44 AM

Spot reduction is a fallacy. Lifting heavy with free weights and compound movements (squat, deadlift, bench press) gives all the ab exercise you need. As important, you need to adjust your diet to be in a calorie deficit.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Thanks heaps for that. I have been following a paleo diet for about a month now and starting to lose some weight, just needed help the toning part and this has helped a lot

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:36 AM

You nailed everything I would have said. In terms of strengthening core, I find hollow rocks to be kind of awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wth1ZCm_gmM

  • 584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

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11 Answers

7
E4b14e23024642b553a224d284d11422

(153)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:27 AM

There's alot of other things that will help you decrease bodyfat overall. Situps and abdominal work don't actually reduce fat from your stomach (Spot Reduction doesn't really exist), they only strengthen and develop your core which isn't to be underestimated on a separate note.

I would suggest looking at a paleo diet, maybe even lowering the fruit a bit aswell if you're aim is fat loss but you probably know all this if you're posting here, so you're going in the right direction.

Then i would look at doing a full body routine with compound lifts (engaging more then one body part at a time), such as squats, bench press, shoulder press, rows, Lat pull down, deadlifts 2-3x per week. eg;

Day1 - Squat, Bench, Row

Day2 - Squat, Shoulder Press, Lat Pull Down, Deadlift

Combine this with some HIIT to increase your metabolism further and the fat will be falling off you. You would most likely need some adjustable dumbells to complete this routine at home or take a look at TRX if you don't have access to a gym with the above equipment for these exercises (squat rack, bench, barbell, weight is all you really need).

Hope this helps a bit. And good luck cutting the stomach fat!

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:36 AM

You nailed everything I would have said. In terms of strengthening core, I find hollow rocks to be kind of awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wth1ZCm_gmM

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 28, 2012
at 08:46 AM

There's no "toning", that's just a term women's magazines' euphemism for fuckarounditis. Lift heavy with the movements Scriv listed. I'd recommend looking at a program called "Starting Strength," it covers all the bases. And no, you won't wake up one morning looking like a bodybuilder by lifting heavy.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Thanks heaps for that. I have been following a paleo diet for about a month now and starting to lose some weight, just needed help the toning part and this has helped a lot

4
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 28, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Hi. I don't do sit-ups because I find that my hip flexor does the brunt of the work, no matter how hard I concentrate on my abdominal contraction. However, weighted sit ups on a decline bench work the abs pretty nicely.

I stick obviously to the main core lifts (deadlifts, squats, etc), sprints, hanging leg raises (hundreds of them), and plenty of core work involving a bosu ball.

My advice would be to purchase a bosu ball and learn how to use to activate your core and stabilizer muscles. You can get a pull up bar at home or do hanging leg raises on just hanging from the door frame. Start by doing 5 sets AMRAP. Then once you can hit > 20 reps per set, pick a number and complete that many reps in as few sets as possible- last week I did a thousand.

Also, do not neglect your spinal erector muscles. You will not build the midsection of your dreams if you fail to work these. Reverse hyper extensions, deadlifts, and rowing (actually in a boat or on an erg) all get the job done.

For deep cuts and insane definition in your abs, you will have to be doing weighted, heavy workouts alternated with bodyweight endurance workouts. Once your abs are built up though, you can put the weighted movements on hold and just use bodyweight from there on out without compromising much.

Eventually, once you've plateaued, you can recruit some friends who are either in MMA or something similar and start taking hits from them. It is brutal and they will leave you with battered up, but it is the best way to build up strength in your abdominal wall- planks can only get you so far. THis type of training has hands down been the most valuable asset in increasing my strength and endurance. Only begin this though once you've reached a plateau after intense core workouts that can last 30 consecutive minutes and beyond.

Diet is obviously an important aspect as well.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 28, 2012
at 05:02 PM

"For deep cuts and insane definition in your abs..." Woah! I thought Julia was just looking to lose some fat off her waist, not compete in the Miss Olympia? lol

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:32 PM

+1 for identifying the hip flexor recruitment issue.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 28, 2012
at 05:14 PM

oh. Haha. I just read the headline and some of the answers and thought I'd give me two cents. Didn't realize the OP was a girl. there should be a thread on here dedicated specifically to abdominal/core training, if there is not already.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 29, 2012
at 06:25 AM

I was expecting your next reply to be about how she could get "cannonball delts", "Blitz" her biceps or "Bomb" her quads. lol

3
Ab7246480d902e196dd29f74e828d0cf

on May 28, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Abs are made in the kitchen..!

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:50 AM

My best friend sent the same thing to me :)

A837194a37de41e5217b7dc4274b342b

(10)

on May 28, 2012
at 06:55 PM

Love your answer!

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on May 28, 2012
at 08:13 AM

Planks are a better core exercise than sit-ups.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 28, 2012
at 06:39 AM

A flat stomach is mostly about getting the bodyfat down to a healthy percentage through diet but can also be about posture. Some people are not as fat around the waist as the appear. If they stand properly, they can instantly lose several inches around the waist in a split second. There isn't a diet or workout in the world that can accomplish that, as quickly.
I havn't done any direct abdominal work in years but at age 51, I still have visible abs. Plenty of the bigger exercises where you are stood up, or when you finish the exercise stood up (e.g. deadlifts) will hit the abs indirectly.

1
Eb54f663195dc92f1dab4e0e7ef6b4d0

on May 28, 2012
at 02:27 AM

Curl your pelvis into a hollow position. Like they say in pilates " belly button to the spine". This helps keep your lower back in contact with the floor, and thus helps activate your hard to tone lower abs. After you get used to that, raise your legs in a pike and do crunches. Try lifting one leg straight up at a time and do crunches. This all hits different aspects of ab muscles. Keeping you pevis curled and lower back o the floor forces you to use abs, and prevents back strain.

0
71af3866ba45915e06061a627b40f31d

(235)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:16 AM

Like other people said, sit-ups/crunches are really not the best way of training the abs as they usually involve the more superficial muscles of the core.

As a personal trainer who works for a PT, I highly recommend not doing any exercises in spinal flexion (i.e. rounding the lower back). We see a fair amount of bulging disc problems from people who have done a lot of flexion (and even Pilates). Flexion + loading the core = bad idea for future disc health.

A far more efficient (and safer) way would be to practice bracing your core. Imagine that someone is trying to punch you in the stomach (or just have someone punch you in the stomach). That is bracing (which is different than hollowing or sucking in), and that recruits the deeper core muscles (transversus abdominis and obliques). Planks are also very good. Try plank on an unstable surface (forearm plank on a small stability ball).

0
Ad97e2a867932d9068c5eccf0d81b728

on May 28, 2012
at 12:37 PM

Working your core will help with making you more able to do a full range of exercises. Planks are my go to,and each training session I knock out 200 crunches. Try to do as others have said and keep your lower back on the floor.

If you really want to vut body fat learn to love natural foods. If its in a can avoid it, if it was made to be microwaved avoid it. Hit the produce dept, hit the butcher then hit the door. Once you free yourself of processed food addiction then your body will regulate itself. I'm 40, I starting eating wholesome food and dropped 90# since Nov '11, maintaining 190#through circuit training and when watching tv I pop down planks and pushups dyring commercials. Try to be active throughout the day in tiny bursts to keep your body working.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 28, 2012
at 04:48 PM

I'm not a fan of crunches but I like everything else that you said.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:51 AM

I've been eating like that for a month now and loving it :D

0
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on May 28, 2012
at 06:45 AM

Since I lost weight I need a cushion under my coccyx otherwise it hurts!

0
016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

on May 28, 2012
at 02:34 AM

What Scriv said. You need to lower your body fat. Try cutting out sugar. In the meantime, this page is super fun : http://www.iwantsixpackabs.com/bodyweight/core_exercises.html

0
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:31 AM

Spot reduction is a pretty dated myth. Situps won't help you lose belly fat. They probably won't help you accomplish much of anything.

If you insist on doing some sort of targetted abdominal exercise, I would recommend hanging leg raises, based solely on the faith I have in the writer of Convict Conditioning.

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