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Thursday, December 30, 2010

How To Do Sit Up?



Doing sit-ups is a quick way to get stronger abdominal muscles. However, they must be done properly to avoid any possibility of injury to your spine and the neck and head muscles. In addition, sit-ups are about using the abdominal region (the abs). Therefore, close attention must be paid to ensuring that you are not compensating by using other parts of your body to perform as sit-up, as this will diminish the effectiveness of the sit-up and may cause injury to your body. It is not as harsh as it sounds - always, always focus on the abs and you are most of the way there.

Steps

1.Lie down on the floor. Have your knees bent and the balls of your feet and heels placed flat on the ground.

2. Place your hands on opposing shoulders, so that your arms are crossed over your chest. This allows you a central rising point.

3. Tighten your abdominal muscles gently by drawing in your belly button to your spine.

4. Keeping your heels on the ground and your toes flat to the ground, slowly and gently lift your head first, followed by your shoulder blades. Focus your eyes on your bent knees, all the while gently contracting the abdominal muscles. Pull up from the floor about half way.

5. Hold the position for a second. Slowly bring the torso back to the floor but try to keep it slightly elevated off the ground. This means not to place your back flat to the ground but to keep a slight, yet relaxed, arch.

6. Repeat steps 3-5 for the remainder of the exercise. Only do two to three if you are a beginner and slowly build up the amount over time, as your strength increases.

Tips

1. If you're having a hard time keeping the balls of your feet or heels on the ground keep at it, try asking a friend to keep them down.

2. Moderation is the key to any abdominal exercise since the abs are literally the center of the body. If you think about it, in everything you do in daily life (walk, run, sit, stand, reach up for something, etc.) you have movement at or through your abs. With that in mind, be aware that if you overdo the sit-ups (or any ab exercise) you run the risk of ruining your next day with pain in the abs region. If you are a beginner, start out slowly and gradually do more. If you do overdo it, the pain will wear off.

3. As you get stronger, try a Pilates variation to this exercise: Instead of holding your hands behind your head, keep your hands straight next to your torso and as you rise into the sit-up, glide the arms forward and then raise the arms at the same time as your torso and stretch them forwards. Keep the shoulders relaxed and do not nod your head forward too far. As you relax back down, slowly float the arms down into a relaxed position back on the ground, next to your torso. Repeat for each sit-up.

Warnings

1. Keep in mind that the only way to build muscle is to push the muscle beyond its endurance limits. But if you do so many sit-ups to the point that you start to feel a stinging sensation on your abs, you have done too much. Your form will start to deteriorate and you won't be performing a proper sit-up.

2. Always stretch out your stomach muscles by
i) lying down on your back with your elbows bent and hands under your shoulders.
ii) Keeping your legs and feet on the floor, straighten your arms so your back is arched.
iii) Look up at the ceiling and hold for a count of 10. 4) Release.

3.Do not commit the common mistakes of sit-ups:
i. If you choose to get your hands out of the way by putting them behind your head, make sure you don't push your head forward while lifting your torso. There is a natural tendency to do this since it helps you lift up and the tendency will increase as your abs get tired. However, the push on your head will strain the muscles in the neck. If you deal with your arms in another way, still try to keep your head out of the exercise.

ii. Don't try to put your forehead on your knees. The higher you come off the ground the better, but only to a certain extent. If your back is starting to curl (namely, you could be considered as being in a humpback position if you were standing), you will be placing too much strain on your lower back.

iii. If you can't keep your feet on the ground and haven't secured them properly, you will be spending extra effort to do so during the sit-up. Unfortunately, this effort will originate in the thighs, which isn't the target of a sit-up. In some people the thighs might give up before the abs, rendering the whole exercise completely useless.

4. Avoid doing sit-ups if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Bending your spine in the sit-up position places increased stress on your bones and can put you at risk for a stress fracture.


Source : Wikihow

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