Are sit ups bad for you?

Discussion in 'Training Methods and Diet Suggestions' started by A350-800, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. A350-800

    A350-800 Member

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    Hello :)

    This may seem like a strange question but I generally don't know the answer to it, I am just a bit inquisitive haha, I am not at all claiming to know better than any of the fitness instructors, but this issue was just bugging me as I work on my sit ups :)

    Obviously sit ups are a key part of the PRMC course and training and I am trying to increase the number I can do and focus on form, but I was just wondering if sit ups themselves actually have more negative implications for the body and was just speculating if in the distant future they will still be a part of the PRMC requirements or military fitness requirements in general. Sit ups do have the advantage of strengthening the abdominal muscles and i am certainly not an expert in this field but sit ups also appear to work a lot of muscles that in a lot of people really don't need activating any further, such as the tensor fascae latae, the pesky hip flexor muscle that can directly result in IT band syndrome and patella femoral pain when it is used more than the glutes and becomes overactive, as when it tightens it directly pulls on the IT band at the knee. Unfortunately strengthening the hip flexors can be pretty damaging biomechanically from what I gather, unless you are rehabbing a hip flexor tear or something like that. I am currently rehabbing an IT Band injury and most of the advice I get is to loosen the TFL muscle and try to avoid over activating it, yet this exercise does the exact opposite and i can't avoid it, because I will and have to do them to pass PRMC. They also appear to stress the back if your form is even slightly off, and again tighten some muscles there that can create poor posture. Obviously most people do sit ups without any issue and I am certainly not an expert in this field but was just wondering what the purpose of sit ups are and what they achieve that other core exercises, perhaps like planks or those funny pilates exercises, do not. there must be something I am clearly missing and the PTI videos on youtube of the sit-ups are extremely impressive, but I remember reading some article about the US military phasing sit ups out in favour of a more functional exercise that usefully strengthens more muscles you actually need as well as your abdominals and exercises that instead of sit ups result in a lower injury incidence and was just wondering if that will ever happen over here,

    Thanks, sorry for the somewhat hyperbolic title but i was just wondering haha :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  2. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando

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    Sorry to be negative to your post, but I do believe that you're overthinking things! Sit ups are an integral part of phys, both at CTC and then in a Unit. Forget what's happening in the US military, what they do is immaterial. Agreed you can get backache if your form is crap, so the answer is simple; adjust your form!

    As for all the other problems you mentioned, I got lost in the middle of it all and the only people that it would make sense to would be those in the medical profession. You will pick up injuries and niggles during training, particularly if you haven't done this type of workout before.

    So the advice is to keep it simple. Train for what you will be tested on. Sit ups, press ups and pull ups. Get plenty of miles in your legs and make sure that that you do endurance work. Follow the advice given by CTC and look at @arny01's plan. If you pick up a niggle, then rest and recover, then move on.

    Good luck

    Alan
     
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  3. Chelonian

    Chelonian Well-Known Member

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    Speculation on my part, but changes in the USA might be directed at making exercise more manageable for about 50% of their armed service personnel demographic. They'll never admit it though.

    Sit-ups and ab crunches done to exacting form can vastly improve many people's core strength in a short time. Done daily over a forty year period such ab exercises will also keep at bay the dreaded middle-age beer belly. :)
     
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  4. A350-800

    A350-800 Member

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    Thanks guys, yes I do think I was probably over thinking it, I was just wondering though haha :)
     
  5. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    You need strong hip flexors for a lot of things. Mainly rope climbs.


    Stop overthinking!
     
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  6. A350-800

    A350-800 Member

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    Thanks, I shall get on with them haha :)
     
  7. old-lynx-mech

    old-lynx-mech Active Member

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    @A350-800
    Old style straight leg sit ups were bad for the lower back, but they are generally done with bent knees nowadays, this protects the lower back. The other issue can be snatching with the arms in an attempt to throw the head up towards the knees. Bent knees and no snatching and it should be ok. As above, proper form is the key.
     
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  8. A350-800

    A350-800 Member

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    Thanks, good advice :) my back doesn't hurt but lots of people state they irritate their back from doing them and I was just wondering what the risks were, I will ask the PT at the gym to check my form :)
     
  9. john lewis

    john lewis Well-Known Member

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    An issue which may come from sit ups is if you don't strengthen your lower back, the same way if you so loads of press ups and no upper back work you can injure your shoulder
     
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