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Old 05-05-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
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Default Sit-ups Question

This will prob sound strange, but is doing situps at a high weight still good for you? Someone once told me that the muscles will become hard, making it harder to lose weight. Almost like it will make my stomach stay the size it is bc the muscles will harden at this size. Tell me your thoughts....
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:39 PM   #2
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I did sit ups since day one of my journey. Day one. At 287 lbs. I figured it was exercise that I could do laying down and therefore it was something that just might be for me.

Ummm, all I can say is that I'm pretty certain it didn't make my losing weight any more difficult. And this I can tell you for sure - my stomach is NOT the same size it was when I started. Not even close. Not sure where your someone got his info from. But for me, nothing could be further from the truth.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:54 PM   #3
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Strengthening your core muscles with sit-ups (or Pilates or machines at the gym or whatever) is *good* for your weight loss because it helps stabilize your body while you do other exercises. Whoever told you that was mistaken; sit-ups are perfectly fine.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:56 PM   #4
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I don't think I could do a sit up. It is soooo difficult! My back arches off the floor too much and I have heard that is dangerous. I am an "apple" shape, I don't know if that makes it harder than for "pears". I try to focus more on crunches- little tiny movements. It feels safer anyway. I also try reverse crunches- lifting the knees toward chest, then tapping the floor with your feet. Pilates says small, isolated movements are very effective.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:17 PM   #5
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I do not do sit ups, but I have been doing crunches at the recomendation of my Physical Therapist.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:20 AM   #6
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Is there a "right" and "wrong" way to do crunches/sit-ups? I have been doing crunches on my bed because laying on the floor hurts my back.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:30 AM   #7
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From what I've read, full sit-ups are not generally recommended any more because of the strain on the back and neck. Crunches are more universally accepted, although the variety and range of abdominal exercises makes crunches a bit outdated - at least from what my strength training instructor says.

I'm guessing that the OP may have heard some discussion about spot reduction. Some exercise regimens promise to spot reduce the stomach by doing strength training exercise there, and this is not an effective strategy, as your body's weight distribution is determined by factors outside our control. Burning calories by doing abdominal strength training will cause you to lose fat from your entire body. However, it will also build the abdominal muscles. If you are losing fat from your hips but not much from your stomach, theoretically, enlarging abdominal muscles might make your stomach appear bigger until your fat loss catches up there, or so say those that say. I think, at least for women, this is hogwash. How many women do you know with bulging abdominal muscles? For the most fit women, they seem to be well-defined, but not bulging.

And Lynn - have you tried an exercise ball? I had a friend with a bad back who used his as an office desk chair, and he swore by it. Maybe you should ask your doctor if an exercise ball would be a good way to strengthen your core muscles without risking further injury.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:05 AM   #8
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Thanks, I've actually been thinking about an exercise ball. I will check into that!
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:24 AM   #9
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LaurieDawn said it best, there's hardly a chance that you will build bulging abdominal muscles - rather, if you start training your abs now, there will be a nice tight tummy waiting to emerge once the fat melts away from that area. At least that's what I'M telling myself as I reluctantly shlep myself through my ab exercises...

One piece of advice I keep hearing is to not overexercise the obliques (side abdominal muscles) as they might bulk up your waist, but I imagine that if that is the case it would take professional-grade effort to get to that point, so I'm really not worried about that... heh...

And oh, yeah: an enthusiastic Yay! for the exercise ball. I always had a hard time with crunches because my back and neck would hurt long before my ab muscles because my core was so weak. With the exercise ball I'm up to 100-150 now, both straight and to the side, and the only pain/burn I feel is where it should be - in my abs. The ball is so great for a lot of other exercises, too - I love doing other ab exercises and push-ups (another exercise I usually could do without) with it. Crunches will never be my favorite, and I don't ever do sit-ups, so I'm glad that there are a lot of good alternative moves out there. At the moment I'm working on holding a plank for more than 30 seconds...
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:49 AM   #10
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So love the yoga, Heffalump. My Achilles' heel is the side plank, though. Fortunately - my Warrior 3 rocks!
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:02 AM   #11
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Gah, don't get me started on side planks - for me it's not so much holding a position as shaking like a leaf after, what, four seconds? Also, is cursing under my breath while doing so considered pranayama?

I so rock the shoulder stand, though...
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:07 AM   #12
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Ha! You people are doing planks?? Wow! I saw them in my fitness books and thought, "yeah RIGHT, can you imagine?? Take that picture of me at 278 and tilt it sideways with one arm out... um, no, not going to happen." But maybe someday when I am all skinny and buff like you guys
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:23 AM   #13
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There are different versions of planks and I've done many different variants, from my highest weight on down. Side planks are killer but front planks (pushup position basically) aren't bad at all (until you try to hold them for a looong time).

As for situps, I've done crunches but never situps due to well I can't do them and because I've heard they are bad for your back.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:39 AM   #14
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Planks. *sigh* The whole shaking like a leaf thing after a few seconds? Yeah. That's me. I can hold a straight plank reasonably well but a side plank? *thud* I'm working on it.

As far as your muscles "hardening" because you're bigger ... I've never heard that before, but I gotta say whoever told you that is feeding you some line. Muscles don't "harden" from exercise. They become stronger, and more firm, but "hardening" in the sense of making you fat? Nope. Not gonna happen.

The more you develop your muscles - in any way - the more you boost your metabolism and the easier you make it to lose weight and keep it off. Crunches, planks, leg lifts, etc. are all good core exercises that will help strengthen your center and make you stronger.

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Old 05-06-2008, 03:34 PM   #15
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I asked this question back in early 2007 over in the exericse forum -

What's the best way to do a sit up?

This is the response I got from Meg and I've been doing it that way ever since:

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/show...11&postcount=2

Last edited by rockinrobin : 05-06-2008 at 03:50 PM.
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