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  • hard time improving sit-ups.

    i've been at a plateau with my situps for months. Its beyond frustrated, its the only part of my body that doesn't seem to progress no matter what I do/change. I usually do 3 sets of my max bent knee situps 3 times a week. I've tried hanging leg raises, weighted crunches...and nothing! On a side note: I used to weigh 300lbs, size 48 waist, at only 5' 9". 5 years later, I weigh 195 size 34. I'm proud that ive done it all on my own no surgery, but I do have some excess skinage in my abdominal area. It not much, but I feel as if its something that might be getting in my way? Unless it my poor excuse for not training my core body enough. I see fat guys go into boot camp that end up passing the PFT 3 months later...

    So, any ideas of a regimine/frequency for me to improve these situps? thanks all..

  • #2
    Impressive job with the weight loss!

    I'm not an expert, in fact I know very little about your problem. However, there are other factors that might help. If your test is anything like Illinois', you might be running, pushups/bench press, sit ups...and that's it.

    Ab (core) strength will increase through lots of exercises. I don't want to discredit weighted sit ups, leg raises, etc., but other exercises do wonders for your core. Squats, rows, deadlifts, etc. Make sure to incorporate those into your workouts.

    I have problems with my quads getting tired before my abs while doing situps. That might just be me...but exercises like squats help remedy that problem also.

    Try doing them while somebody holds your feet. That also helps me a lot. When someone's holding my feet I can spend all my energy lifting my torso, not trying to keep my feet down. I can also get a lot of momentum going and bounce off the matt, taking half the work out of it.

    I'm just curious, what's your number, and what are you going for? In IL the 20-29 age bracket we have to do 37 (Fingers touching behind the head, touch elbows to knees, shoulder blades touch the ground on the way down) in 1 minute.

    Lastly, check your diet. It's a lot harder to do situps after a day of pop tarts, whoppers, and coke than a healthy day.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Item9 View Post
      Impressive job with the weight loss!

      I'm not an expert, in fact I know very little about your problem. However, there are other factors that might help. If your test is anything like Illinois', you might be running, pushups/bench press, sit ups...and that's it.

      Ab (core) strength will increase through lots of exercises. I don't want to discredit weighted sit ups, leg raises, etc., but other exercises do wonders for your core. Squats, rows, deadlifts, etc. Make sure to incorporate those into your workouts.

      I have problems with my quads getting tired before my abs while doing situps. That might just be me...but exercises like squats help remedy that problem also.

      Try doing them while somebody holds your feet. That also helps me a lot. When someone's holding my feet I can spend all my energy lifting my torso, not trying to keep my feet down. I can also get a lot of momentum going and bounce off the matt, taking half the work out of it.

      I'm just curious, what's your number, and what are you going for? In IL the 20-29 age bracket we have to do 37 (Fingers touching behind the head, touch elbows to knees, shoulder blades touch the ground on the way down) in 1 minute.

      Lastly, check your diet. It's a lot harder to do situps after a day of pop tarts, whoppers, and coke than a healthy day.
      I do full body workouts 3x a week. Its not a new principle but, I've adapted techniques from Chad Waterbury. Cleans, squats, deadlifts, I pretty much do them all week. He seems to have a good rep...but in all honesty I feel stronger and stronger every time I hit the gym.

      The police agency Im going requires 38 situps in under 1 minute, with elbows passing knees.

      you're right about the diet. I've stopped with the PWO drinks and have switched to just a PBJ sandwich before I go. I dont eat any junk food, but im not eating as clean anymore either. When I ate cleaner eg: brown rice, lean chicken, avocados, almonds etc...I found that my energy and strength gains werent as good as now that I eat some more high-glycemic carbs and red meat.

      Maybe its the fact that the situps are the very last thing I do?

      Thanks for the input!

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      • #4
        Work on your hip flexor strength. Sit ups as done as described by you inolve the hip flexors far more than your abdominals. Sad fact of the matter is, you can't be concerned about strict form when doing timed situps, momentum is key but if you're running alot, your involving the hip flexors and fatiguing them and so that might be interfering with your ability to complete the sit ups.
        Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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        • #5
          If you want to build your core or shock it out of a platue this is a way that worked for me.

          using this machine.


          Go from 100 lbs and do a half crunch (where your knees are touching your elbow and do mini/half crunches for there), from there you will attempt to do 10 half crunches. Drop to the next plate and repeat untill you get to thirty and for the crunches 30, 20, 10lbs. you'll take your legs off of the bottom arm and it will use your abs and core strength (while doing crunches as you were before.)

          Do as many as you can but remember its not just about how many pounds you can do. its about doing 6+ for each plate. It is pyramid and endurance (cardio) training.
          Last edited by abari; 09-28-2009, 09:13 PM.
          Certified FL LEO

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          • #6
            congo, first of all, congratulations on your weight loss! All of these tips are good. I'd like to add something else, you have to control your breathing and abs as you perform your situps. I loathe situps, but this technique does work.

            When you are going up, tighten your ab muscles and breathe out through your mouth. On the way back down, inhale through your nose and totally relax your abs. Most of all, take your time. The faster you go, the tighter your abs get and the faster you cramp causing fatigue. Whatever you do, don't bounce up because that is defeating the purpose. Good luck!
            sigpic

            " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

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            • #7
              Get a copy of P90X's Ab Ripper. Those 16 minutes are really going to make your abs sore. Its 11 exercises with 25 reps each. Some of the exercises may be a bit advanced but you do it 3 times a week you'll see more ab improvement.

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              • #8
                do 150 - 200 leg lifts a day (while lying on the floor). That should do it

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                • #9
                  You can increase your situps in a few different ways.

                  1) Increase your energy and muscular endurance, by just doing what you are doing and increasing the reps of situps or leg raises you do.

                  2) Increasing strength.

                  You are not increasing muscle by doing high reps, you are increasing muscular endurance, and energy, but creating little muscle at this point.

                  To create the muscle you will need to add resistance and keep it under, say.... 15 reps? Whatever feels right for you.

                  So hanging leg raises, instead of adding sets, and adding reps, or lowering rest times, Add weight.

                  As far as situps, do kneeling cable crunches, V ups, hold planks on just one forarm and one leg, do reverse crunches, do oblique twists.

                  You have to build muscle by adding resistance, and also work the muscles around, including your entire core. If you aren't working out your lower and mid back you are missing out. Planks and woodchoppers work the entire core, and you wouldn't be missing out if you decided to learn how to do a movement for the lower back either.

                  Also, shoulder, neck, upper back, and trunk, spinal, hip flexibility.

                  How often do you stretch?

                  As far as machines, they will take longer to get progress, but based on you, they might get you great results!

                  They are going to isolate muscles, which means it takes longer to get results than doing compound movements Hard, but as long as you are making progress, that is the main thing, based on your mentality, discipline, and motivation.

                  With my flexibility, I can do 1000 situps in about 20-30 minutes, straight. But, that's with poor technique and whiplashing my neck. However, I will say that I know something about what I speak of.

                  Since you have relatively high muscular endurance, you need to improve strength, so your question should be:

                  What are ways to increase resistance on my entire core region?

                  And when someone gives you an answer, ask which part of the core is being trained.

                  I bet you could easily Double your situps in a month based on your routine right now. Easily. Good luck.

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                  • #10
                    When I was in the Academy, ever morning I would do situps and push-ups, I did not count sets or reps, just went to faliure. I just read my body that morning and did whatever felt best. The key was I did something for my abs and chest almost ever morning. In addtion, I did full situps with my feet braced underneath my bed which helps strengthen the hip flexors as some have suggested.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Adam354 View Post
                      You can increase your situps in a few different ways.

                      1
                      With my flexibility, I can do 1000 situps in about 20-30 minutes, straight. But, that's with poor technique and whiplashing my neck. However, I will say that I know something about what I speak of.
                      Man thats hauling!!!! Great feat!!!!

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                      • #12
                        I appreciate all the incredible feedback! Ill update in a few weeks!

                        Comment

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