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Old 04-08-2009, 09:48 AM   #21
Jeff S Johnson
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

Our box is a few days behind the mainsite, so we did GHD/BE's on Monday. First time I had done GHD's all the way through, though a few weeks ago I did four of five rounds.

Anyway, a little sore yesterday morning. About doubled in intensity between 4 pm and 8. Has stayed the same since. Really wondering if I currently have enough mid-line stabilization capacity to do Nancy tonight.

Don't have any worries about Rhabdo or permanent injury...just really frackin' sore right now. Like always, it's worst at the attachment points along the ribcage. Can't say I didn't know it was coming, though.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:17 PM   #22
Jeff S Johnson
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

An update:

1 week after the fact and I'm still sore. Tuesday through Friday, it was pretty intense. I thought I had shed the last remaining bits of soreness over the weekend, but got down on the floor to play a game with my son last night and realized there's still some remaining.

Last week I did do Nancy the night of my previous post. Warmed up and didn't feel too terribly sore. Turned in a good, but not great time. Took Thursday off completely, then did the hang power clean & jerk max effort WOD on Friday night. Didn't feel great still, but managed to equal the best clean I've ever gotten. The previous best was a squat clean rather than HPC, so I was pleased overall. Saturday and Sunday were off-days.

There's also apparently some localized swelling in my abs and obliques. I say this because my weight is down, belly flab is looking noticeably smaller, yet all of my waist measurements are up nearly 1/2 inch over 10 days ago. At the height of my post-GHD soreness, it was nearly an inch!

Went in for my CFSB workout this morning. Couldn't do a single unassisted AbMat situp. Did set a new 5RM PR in back squat, with what was my previous 1RM six weeks ago.

Moral to the story? Be careful. Thanks to all of the rhabdo-related info on the forum, I knew what to watch for beyond the extreme soreness and fortunately did not have discolored urine or flu-like symptoms. The post from bingo that Steven Low linked pretty accurately describes what I've dealt with the last week. Moving forward, I'm avoiding all ab work for a few more days, then inserting GHD situps into my warmup regularly.

Last edited by Jeff S Johnson : 04-13-2009 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:36 PM   #23
Rayna McGinnis
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

is everything still okay. the pain, weakness of abs and swelling can all be signed of rhabdo.

I'd recommend major hydration and rest just in case.

when I had rhabdo I had much more noticeable swelling but no flu like symptoms and my urine was always clear.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:05 PM   #24
Jeff S Johnson
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Rayna McGinnis View Post
is everything still okay. the pain, weakness of abs and swelling can all be signed of rhabdo.

I'd recommend major hydration and rest just in case.

when I had rhabdo I had much more noticeable swelling but no flu like symptoms and my urine was always clear.
Thanks for asking Rayna. But yeah, everything is a-ok. Could do situps on Tuesday, but just did a couple to make sure I could. Set a new 5RM DL PR and did a Tabata kb swing session (110 in 4 min) this morning and then set a 5k PR this afternoon.

The very noticeable swelling was gone by last Friday. My midsection just started to look normal in the mirror this morning. I was "puffy" in areas where I normally have some definition until today. Tomorrow's a rest day. I'll throw the normal 3x10 abmat situps into Friday's warmup and see how it goes.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:58 AM   #25
Shawn Michels
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Jeff S Johnson View Post
Thanks for asking Rayna. But yeah, everything is a-ok. Could do situps on Tuesday, but just did a couple to make sure I could. Set a new 5RM DL PR and did a Tabata kb swing session (110 in 4 min) this morning and then set a 5k PR this afternoon.

The very noticeable swelling was gone by last Friday. My midsection just started to look normal in the mirror this morning. I was "puffy" in areas where I normally have some definition until today. Tomorrow's a rest day. I'll throw the normal 3x10 abmat situps into Friday's warmup and see how it goes.

Glad to hear you are doing better and sorry you had to go through all that
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #26
Brian Lawyer
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Shawn Michels View Post
Given the risk...I guess my question is... what's the point? Why do GH Sit-ups in the first place? Are GH sit ups so much more effective than regular sit-ups that it offsets the risk involved?
I have tried GHD situps a few times and I get an unusual clicking in my low back/hip area. I believe I only noticed this when I hyperextended. So I pretty much just leave them out of my routine or do the kind that don't require hyper extension. GH situps are just an assistance exercise, which I think there is plenty of subs available, so no point in taking any risks.

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Originally Posted by Rayna McGinnis View Post
Bert- I actually HAD rhabdo from GHD sit ups after scaling the work out based on what I thought I could handle. I had been doing backsquats/front squat/over head squats for a little over a year prior to this and doing 15-20 GHD sit ups in my regular warm up prior to each work out....GHD sit ups are in fact dangerous, especially to anyone new to CrossFit. and they can in fact cause MORE damage than you can imagine.
First, I thought rhabdo was a myth. Sorry you had that happen. Second, your comment supports what I said above. It's just a silly assistance exercise. Give them up if you have any uncomfortableness about it. It's not like you are giving up a core exercise such as Back squats or deadlifts.

In the last two years I have been following the Crossfit website (following the website not the program) I have noticed a reluctance for anyone related to crossfit to admit there is anything wrong with the program or exercises. I follow several other workout program websites and have noticed other coaches are continually refining programs and dropping exercises out of the routines. For example, one website used to do this "Scorpion" dynamic movement stretch but dropped it from their core routines. This was even after the coach had written a best selling book that included the Scorpion exercise in the Program. He admitted that this movement put the spine in a bad position which was potentially dangerous and dropped it from all of his warmup routines.

Something to me is appealing about a coach that can humbly admit he was wrong and refine his program accordingly. It appears to me Crossfit is continually refinining the program by addition but I haven't seen them do much subtraction over the years. For example, just dropping out some of the riskier exercises from the rotation. I don't know if this is because the girl and hero WOD's are etched in stone and they don't want to change or what. Again, I am not referring to any core or staple exercises, I am just thinking some of the one's that keep causing some controversy. For example, Sumo high DL pulls I recall reading some pitfalls of that exercise before.

Last edited by Brian Lawyer : 04-16-2009 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:22 PM   #27
Craig Fletcher
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

Geez... I got to reading this thread because I am interested in buying a GHD machine for my garage gym, thinking I need to have one to complete my garage gym. I don't want to be a worry-wart, but getting rhabdo is not on my agenda. Are GHD"s actually dangerous if you scale, start slow, just do some during warm-up, then build up a gradual tolerance until over time you become a GHD machine yourself? If you all think they are find when done this way, I will still want to get one. I have two buddies that have them and they've not reported crazy occurences like this.


EDIT - I just read the post by Bingo here http://www.board.crossfit.com/showpo...0&postcount=17. That sounds more rational to me.

I'm getting a GHD, and am just going to work my way up.

Last edited by Craig Fletcher : 04-16-2009 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:36 PM   #28
Marcel Zwinger
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

I started slowly, maybe 4 GHD Situps 5 Backextensions in my warm up
then did three rounds of that.
every now and then (maybe every week or so) I'd add 2 reps to each set and if GHD's were in the WOD I'd scale them back (still doing that)
atm I'm currently doing 3 rounds of 16 GHD 15 Back extensions asn part of my warmup.
well at least if there aren't any 1-1-1-1 DL's or excessiv situps in the WOD.
so, yes if you aren't too uncomfortable with them, increase the voulme but very slowly. this is not the time for your ego.

this always reminds me at how are ppl doing them.
I always get the feeling that in the videos shown, a lot of people use their hands for acceleration when coming back up (and I've tried that too).
yes, it increases power output but maybe completely misses the point of the exercise?
so for metcon: yes
for my warmup-ritual: no

any ideas/experiences?
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:12 AM   #29
Mike Onghena
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Marcel Zwinger View Post
...
this always reminds me at how are ppl doing them.
I always get the feeling that in the videos shown, a lot of people use their hands for acceleration when coming back up (and I've tried that too).
yes, it increases power output but maybe completely misses the point of the exercise?
...
I don't think the hands are really adding much. I've added GH situps to my warmup (15 reps), and do them in moderation when they show up in the WOD. The 'Glute-Ham Sit-up Elements Lecture Clip' demonstrates a trick of straightening the legs on the way up. This leg straightening results in tremendous shooting-up power in the situp. I don't think there is anything I can do with my arms to assist me through the move at anywhere near the level that the straightening leg does.

I'm in no great shape, not that strong, yet I can feel my roman chair lift from the ground slightly on one end if I really crank one using the straight-leg method.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:55 AM   #30
Michael Bell
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Brian Lawyer View Post
I have tried GHD situps a few times and I get an unusual clicking in my low back/hip area. I believe I only noticed this when I hyperextended. So I pretty much just leave them out of my routine or do the kind that don't require hyper extension. GH situps are just an assistance exercise, which I think there is plenty of subs available, so no point in taking any risks.

It appears to me CrossFit is continually refinining the program by addition but I haven't seen them do much subtraction over the years. For example, just dropping out some of the riskier exercises from the rotation.
I agree with the second part of this, Brian. From reading the journal I've noticed that certain rep schemes have fallen out of favor, but never exercises. I guess the the guys at HQ assume that the more exercises you are capable of doing safely at high intensity, the better the athlete you'll be, and any subtraction could be a slippery slope.

Just a point of clarification on the first part of your quote. GHD situps put your back into overextension, not hyperextension. Hyperextension means you injured something, while overextension just means you are increasing the range of motion for the situp. This is part of the reason why it's a very effective exercise - the greater range of motion means there's more force required for each rep.
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