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Improving situps


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  • Improving situps

    My department has us do as many situps as we can in 1 minute. My problem is that I can never knock out as many as I want. I can usually get about 1 situp for every one second. I'm shooting for about 70 or so. I'm in pretty decent shape 6'2 190lbs. I lift weights and run about twice a week, but for some reason situps are the one area I'm weak in. When I lift I usually do 50 or so situps on the decline bench at a high angle. Could this possibly be the reason for my lack of sit up preformance???
    "Long hours, hard work, but hey, at least the pay sucks."

  • #2
    Kevin - when I was 18 I could do 60 full sit-ups in a minute. By the time I was 28 I was down to 50 situps in a minute. Now I don't do full situps anymore - maybe it's just as well, 'cause I'd hate to find out what I'm down to NOW!!

    Many departments still use full situps as a measure of abdominal strength and endurance. Many more departments have moved on to ab crunches instead.

    The reason that full situps have fallen into disfavor is because they:

    1. Involve not only the abdominal muscles, but also the hip flexors
    2. Put a good deal of stress on the lower back
    3. Allow the participant to use momentum ie. to "bounce" off their shoulder blades and upper back in the "down" position, to help propel them back into the "up" position

    Therefore, since full situps incorporate primarily the abdominals, lower back and hip flexors - it makes sense that you will increase efficiency if you increase the strength and flexibility of these specific muscle groups (either through calisthenics or resistance training).

    If you are looking specifically to improve on your test performance you should try to replicate the test situation as closely as possible during training (so I would suggest doing your situps on a mat on the floor, as opposed to doing them on the decline bench).

    Two things to consider:

    1. 60 situps in 60 seconds by all generally accepted measures will put you into the 95th-100th percentile for any age group that you are currently in. My point is that you are considering situps a "weakness" of yours, when in reality they are not.

    2. If your goal is to reach the specific number of situps that you have in mind for yourself, then keep practicing. I just want to point out however, that if your goal is to maintain a high level of abdominal strength and endurance - then full situps (given that they incororate additional muscles aside from abs, and increase the risk for back injuries) may not necessarily be the most efficient choice of exercises.

    There may be "tricks of the trade" to up your number, that others on this forum can suggest to you. Good luck.


    • #3
      Nuthin to add after KRJ's explanation, but I can tell you your "problem". Your problem is that you're 6'-2"...and the longer you are in the torso the worse it is. It's tough to compete with someone much shorter with a stubby torso, because the arc your shoulders travel in each rep is so much longer than his. It's kinda like running the outtermost track lane against someone on the innermost lane. If anything, you're much better at them for training on the incline board, compared to doing them flat, too.
      Last edited by ProWriter; 01-19-2004, 08:20 PM.
      No longer ignoring anybody here, since that psycho known as "Josey Wales" finally got the boot after being outed as a LE imposter by B&G978. Nice job.


      • #4
        At the old age of 35 I can still get 65 sit ups in one minute. Our test is as many as you can in two minutes and my best is 98. Max is 100. I am 6'2 and weigh 230#.

        The way I train is to do weighted situps with a 25# plate and as many situps as I can in sets of 2:00 minutes, 1:30, 1:00, and :30 seconds. I also set a goal of 100 situps and do six sets of 50 situps. I'll also give myself a diagnostic test once a week to check my progress. I would also only work them M-W-F.

        I did this every week for about 10 weeks and saw dramatic results. Good Luck
        Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt


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