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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 07-20-2007, 08:59 AM   #11
Robert D Taylor Jr
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I can think of one solid reason to perform sit ups. Being adequate at them is a condition of my employment and specificity of training says I need to practice them. With that being said my numbers have gone up through doing Crossfit without a whole lot of increase in my "abs training,"
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:23 AM   #12
Kellee Rassau
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I hate standard sit-ups and only do them because they're part of the PT for my job, and the WOD calls for them sometimes. Otherwise, I used to do swiss ball crunches, bicycles, knees to elbows, L sits, leg raises, decline sit-ups, and all that worked very well to develop and maintain strong abs.
Also, my lower back aches if my abs are not squared away. Weak abs lead to misery as a goaltender and golfer. Solid core strength is the key in hockey, golf, and countless other pursuits. Goalies have been on that bandwagon for years.
Thus ends my Captain Obvious post for the week.
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:16 PM   #13
Wayne Nelson
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Good points, indeed. Unfortunately the requirements for military and etc have not kept up with current evidence. Necessity calls and requirements are such that they have to be met.

Alternatives are: side bridges and var; plank and variations; sit-down holds on GHD; rotational ball throws both forward and to the side; KB throws; Oly lifts; one handed pushups on floor or ball etc; Quick slams; D-ball slams; Single arm med-ball throws; C-2 Rows single handed, TGU, Single leg squats holding KB in hand of unsupported leg.....etc.

Changing exercises to single hand, single foot, most especially requiring rotational stabilization requirements, adding labile surfaces, ...etc. Variations are limited by imagination!

Maintain neutral spine and minimize (eliminate) trunk rotation for maximum training effects.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:11 PM   #14
Lincoln Brigham
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Lincoln: So, is there something I missed about the differences in disc anatomy and physiology between the sedentary worker and the CF athlete?

Trained people move differently than untrained people and have stronger support mechanisms (muscles, ligaments, tendons). Movements and loads that can won't phase a trained athlete can cause disasters in untrained individuals. For example, it's been said that loads handled by elite weightlifters day after day would instantaneously crush the spine of untrained individuals. This might be the source of McGill's comment, "those training for performance may get better results by judiciously incorporating them into their routine."

One of my big problems with exercise science is that the bulk of the literature is based on studies of untrained subjects. One of my big problems with medical science is that the bulk of the literature is based on the study of sick people. Thus I find the bias in "Scientific" training advice is based on evidence of what is best for poorly conditioned or injured individuals, which may or may not apply to healthy athletic populations.

I am aware that there is great controversy in whether of not flexing and extending the spine under load is appropriate or necessary for fitness, health and performance. Some say that since in real life the spine WILL flex and extend under load that therefore one should train for it. Others say there is too much risk, that the spinal loading in training should only performed in the neutral position. Performance coaches tend to fall into the former category, while physical therapists tend to take the latter position. One group accuse the other of creating "back mummies" incapable of safely handling normal activities, while the counter-claim of "injury waiting to happen" is thrown about.

I agree that there is more than one way to skin this cat. If a trainer does not feel comfortable with situps, I completely agree that there are a multitude of excellent alternatives.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:04 PM   #15
Wayne Nelson
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Lincoln, well said. Definitely a trained athlete has superior motor control than the average Joe on the street or in the office. Trained athletes have quicker neuromuscular responsiveness, hypertrophy of ligaments and tendons, and increased density of bones. I'm curious, would an ironworker who builds high rises be a trained or untrained individual?

The point I was arguing was not concerning motor control and all that trainable stuff that sets athletes apart from each other. The point of discussion was concerned with the disc, only. That fibrocartilage stuff between the vertebrae, especially in the lumbar spine.

A lot of the research published by NSCA in their Journal might surprise you in regard to the subjects they use for their controlled studies. In the medical literature it is common to evaluate the affect of an intervention on healthy subjects before evaluating its affect on "sick" subjects. This way they can validate the affect of the interventions before wasting their time producing flawed studies.

Neutral spine and minimizing spinal motion, is an integral part of proper olympic lifting technique. If it wasn't then more injuries would occur because loss of lumbar stabilization during the lift. CF has looked hard at OLs and their technique. OLs are a big part of CF. There is a problem, however, in what the athlete does with the spine after the lift, often forgetting neutral spine when dropping the load. This is a very critical time for injury prevention.

My intentions are to present current evidence so the members of this board can make a more educated decision when it comes to their work with CF and other exercises. Also many are interested in preventing or solving low back or other problems. I don't expect to make a whole lot of changes with CF except to introduce another prospective and the evidence that supports it. When it comes down to it, the individual makes their own decisions based on their experience and knowledge.
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:08 PM   #16
Jeff Chalfant
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Isn't sitting up from a lying position on the ground a function humans have been performing since the beginning. Isn't it a function we should be able to perform until we die (or end up incapable of such basic tasks)?
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Old 07-22-2007, 06:02 AM   #17
Peter Dell'Orto
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Jeff - you have a good point, although I noticed I don't actually sit up from a lying position anything like I sit up when I exercise. I actually do more of a "get up" - one leg at a time folded under and then I stand, or at least pick one hip up first and push off with a hand. I rarely, if ever, just curl up from the middle.

I started another thread about situp butt burn...I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't just replace WOD situps with bicycles (or whatever else you call knees-to-elbows crunches) or v-ups or another similar exercise. It's not like I actually use that motion to do anything except exercise. I'm not arguing either way about it's functionality or physical suitability, just noticing that for me it's a motion confined to when I exercise.
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Old 07-22-2007, 11:16 AM   #18
Barry Cooper
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You write really long, seemingly sensible posts.

I'm curious: have you ever done A situp on an Abmat?

If yes, what negative did you exerience?

If no, then I think you are posting on the wrong forum. Here, we try stuff, see what works, and discard what doesn't. In our usage, Science is how you explain successes, not how you predict failures.

Personally, I own an Abmat, and have done thousands of situps on it. Does your literature tell me when to start expecting problems?

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Old 07-22-2007, 02:58 PM   #19
Skip Chase
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I agree with Barry. You are posting on the wrong forum.
I began training with the AbMat 2 years before discovering CrossFit. I own them, have performed over 200,000 sit-ups with the AbMat and I am listed as an endorser of the AbMat. (non-paid)

According to your research, when should I expect to be dialing 911. I want to be sure I have my phone readily available.
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:27 PM   #20
Wayne Nelson
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200K sit-ups, eh, Skip? All those without any back problems? How long have you been doing them?

Hey, Barry, how many sit-ups have you done?

Anybody else want to give numbers of total sit-ups it would be nice to know? Just want to see if the research seems to make sense. Looks like you have passed up the threshold, Skip. Maybe some of the conclusions that have been drawn in the past need to be reassessed. Ah, the dynamic application of research to practice.

Don't do curl-ups/sit-ups. Sorry. What I do is more like a sit-down and hold (to a position where my body is straight) on the GHD maintaining neutral spine throughout the entire motion. Holds are 5-10 seconds per rep. Did you know that the core muscles become stronger the closer you get to centerline? Maybe there is reason for that!
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