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Thread: Are basic sit ups worth anything?

  1. #1

    Are basic sit ups worth anything?

    I always thought trying to sit up would help me but some people say situps don't do much. With my feet on the floor and pillow behind my back lying back on the bed I can sit up maybe 3 sets of between 5 and 12 reps. And eventually I can't so I think the muscles are working and tired out. I'm sure some of the situps are momentum and tone but I know some is my stomach working. I haven't stuck with this exercise because I'm never sure if it's a key exercise. Can someone tell me if this exercise consistantly will result in progress / function? Thank you

  2. #2
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    I'm not sure but I am a C4-C5 complete Quad and I started 30 years ago with what we called back then a modified situp. My father built me a back board that we were able to change the angle on like a patio lounge chair. I started with light weights on my wrist (I think they were 2lbs), with estim on my stomach, sitting up on my mat table with the back board just slightly reclined. I would stretch out to loosen up then recline and throw my arms forward and struggle to do a situp. Eventually I was able to recline more and more but was never able to do a complete situp from flat without some kind of incline or momentum.

    Fast forward to the past 10 years and I have been using theraband tied into loops. I attach to of them to a metal climbers ring and that to a metal post in my garage. Every day I head out there, slip my arms into the loops and wiggle them up to my shoulders. I pull my power chair forward to stretch the theraband and put tension on them and I start doing a modified crunch which I now do 1000 a day.

    To answer your question no I cannot do a complete situp from flat. Yes I do feel some tension in my midsection. Also my back muscles and balance have improved. I do not have a 6 pack. I do not use the estim any more. I do get out of breath and do sets of 250 at a time then rest for 1 minute. I am in a power chair so I can move forward to increase the tension when it gets too easy. It's a lot of work and a lot of reps.

    I believe the biggest bonus to what I do is after 34 years of being a complete quad I really hove no quad belly!

    Give it a shot maybe something like this to start out might help you.

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    ^^(A)^^

  3. #3
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    I would say yes. Along with spinal cord and back I ended up with stomach reconstruction. Muscles supposedly removed. Even had shit bag and surgery to undo that. I lay on floor or even on bedside with legs hanging down to floor. Lay down on bed. Keep feet on floor and attempt sit up. A hell of a lot of muscles go crazy, I know are weak. Now work on them.

  4. #4
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    While laying on my back in bed I also try to suck in my stomach and hold it in for a count of 10 or 15 seconds and release.
    ^^(A)^^

  5. #5
    Thanks guys, I appreciate the info and encouragement. I know I need to keep trying, I'm just trying to learn which muscles / motions are most important to focus on. Darty do you take rest days? That picture looks good but I wonder if it would slip. With abs should there be a rest day?

  6. #6
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    I believe in the beginning the estim really helped, I would lay flat on my back with the pads on my stomach being held down firm with 2lb wrist weights and do 20 minutes of estim. I don't estim any more because I just don't have the time to fit it in my schedule.

    The picture I attached of the incline back is similar to what I used, my Father made mine out of wood in 1980 so it was heavier but to stop it from moving we would use 10 lb sand bags to weight it down and it stayed in place. If you have a hospital bed or some other type that sits up you could start with that. A word of caution to watch your tailbone for redness.

    I used to read Muscle and Fitness magazine and they always said you could and should work abs every day to exhaustion. I'm not sure if that is still true or not but I do them 5 days a week and again diet is very important. I got my routine down to just over an hour a day. I could do more but I run through it with very little rest in between exercises to keep my heart rate up and burn some calories.

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    ^^(A)^^

  7. #7
    All movement is worth it. If you have it, use it. Rest days are important too though, it is good to have at LEAST one rest day per week.

  8. #8
    My PT at Shepherd used to say, "Anything physical is therapy."

  9. #9
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    Yep! Just like all of you are saying, "anything is worth it." Even if it has nothing to do with your injury. You do not want other parts of body to degrade simply fro not using them even if you can. There is countless things go into making this work. Keep as many working you can even if you think are not directly associated with injury. This probably will help you feel mentally better. You are accomplishing.

  10. #10
    I think you really need to evaluate your issue, My PT and docs were horrified when I mentioned them recently. you know I'm a walker but baclofen can screw enough with tone that you get a similar gut.

    Net they said no way Jose, live with the gut. been tring to do just the squeeze for zero back involvement but no change at all, also a baclofen thing from what my physiatrist said.

    just' sayin

    ket

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