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Training Tech: 6 steps to the perfect situp

It’s Tuesday. Let’s hustle.

‘ACCURACY’ HAS BECOME one of the most common words uttered by Irish athletes in search of greatness in recent years.

It relates, not just to hitting the target with a ball or putting your feet in the right place during competition; it encompasses everything within the daily grind of trying to become fitter, faster, stronger, better.

So, every Tuesday we’ll aim to bring you the best technical advice on an individual exercise that can make all the difference to both your physique and performance. This week, the situp.

NJ State Police Recruiting New Jersey police instructors look on as applicants take on the situp portion of the test. Source: AP/Press Association Images

First, we’ll differentiate between a situp and a crunch. Both definitely have their place in exercising abdominal muscles, but as they have a similar movement we will group them together here.

The full situp will work the entire ab area from stomach to pelvis, while the crunch will simply work the top end of your abdominals.

If you’re just starting out, then stick to crunches for now. When you’re confident in your form move on to steps four, five and six to take on the full situp.

1. Settle down

Lie down on a firm surface and bend your knees. Your feet, back, shoulders and head should all be on the floor before your start.

You can choose wherever is most comfortable to place your arms: Crossing them (with fingertips touching your shoulders) or placing them behind your head are helpful ways to keep you centred, but the latter can offer too much temptation to pull your head forward by force.

India Cricket WCup England You can try crunches with your feet off the ground like KP. Or keep yourself grounded. Source: AP/Press Association Images

2. Mind that spine

Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but keeping your back straight is vital in every exercise.

This is not how you do anything.

wrong sit up Source: Physical Therapy Video

Instead, let your abs do the work. Keep your lower back on the floor and fix your eyes on a point in the ceiling rather than trying to see where you’re going. That makes it easier to keep your neck and back straight as you lift your shoulders and chest off the floor at a 30 degree angle.

3. Let yourself down easy

Take it slow, there are no short-cuts in fitness. So embrace that pain in your abs and challenge yourself to control the descent as much as the rise.

crunch 1 Source: Brad Weston/YouTube

Ready for a full situp?

All of the above points still apply, except now when you’re rising there are much greater demands on your core to pull you up.

4. Keep your feet pressed down

We’re easy-going about whether your feet on the ground in a crunch, but in a situp you should get a person/weights/couch to keep you grounded.

5. Straight back

In a crunch your lower back never moves from the deck. Now though, you’ll be bringing your whole torso up towards your knees.

hands Source: Brad Weston/YouTube

Again, make sure you are not pulling your neck with your hands. If the temptation is too much, place them in front of you and they can perform an extra function – when your elbow meets your knee you’ve come up far enough.

6. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead, your neck will follow

In a crunch we said to look at the ceiling, but in a situp it will move out of view. So just stare straight ahead thinking about how all of this is so worth it.

how sit up Source: Howcast

If you do have concerns about your back in exercises like this >>>  6 steps to the perfect plank

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TheScore Team

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