Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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Ombrax
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Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

Post by Ombrax » May 17th, 2017, 3:02 am

On the theory that it's good to "balance" your exercises, and since rowing has the "backwards torso effort" covered, a while back I added sit-ups to my routine to do the "forwards effort." I'm not doing (can't do, is more like it) a large amount, but I've been building up slowly and can tell that they're getting easier. Shortly after I added the sit-ups I felt a very slight ab strain that was gone in a few days, and I continued on with the sit-ups.

Fast-forward to tonight, and at the end of my second set I felt a slight twinge at the same location in my abs. I continued on with the rest of my workout (which included my last rowing piece on the erg) then at the start of my third set of sit-ups I immediately felt a sharp pain at the same spot in my left lower abs. I bailed on the rest of the 3rd set.

Some internet research later, some of which turned up a few folks saying that sit-ups aren't that good, mostly because of potential harm to your lower back, I'm now wondering if I should continue with them (after backing off until the current issue is resolved) or is there something else that can provide an equally beneficial effect of balancing the rowing motion? (Assuming that's a good thing, which intuitively seems reasonable to me.)

TIA
Last edited by Ombrax on May 17th, 2017, 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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hjs
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Re: Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

Post by hjs » May 17th, 2017, 3:10 am

Flexion of the back is best avoided, use other ab work. Sit ups also mostly work the front abs, for stability the whole core should be trained.
Do agree rowing is very one sided and work to compensate for that is usefull.
An exercise should never feel "wrong" muscle should work, joints should not ache.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

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Anth_F
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Re: Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

Post by Anth_F » May 17th, 2017, 9:39 am

I stopped doing situps and do various other ab training instead... such as leg raises and ab rollouts etc. I found situps get boring fast. There are many other more interesting ways to train the abs. And get better results for it too!!!

Aside from interesting ways, i should add " and enjoyable ways" if it's also enjoyable you stick to it when it doesn't feel like such a chore.
41yo male 5'10 76kg (Rowing since june 9th 2016) PB's 5k 19:22

My goals are simply to keep fit/get fitter and continue to enjoy rowing on the C2 :)

Ripples
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Re: Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

Post by Ripples » May 17th, 2017, 3:28 pm

Planks are much better for your core.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-h ... he-sit-ups

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Ombrax
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Re: Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

Post by Ombrax » May 17th, 2017, 4:38 pm

OK folks, you've convinced me - I'll drop the sit-ups.

In addition to erging, I've been doing vertical knee raises, seated chest presses ("pushes" to balance the rowing "pulling") and sit-ups.

I'll drop the sit-ups and do planks instead. (I know there are a bunch of different types of plank positions, so if things get boring I may play around with that for variety.)

Thanks for the help.

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Anth_F
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Re: Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

Post by Anth_F » May 17th, 2017, 4:50 pm

Planks can get boring fast as well. Not all that effective either tbh... being very static is not all that beneficial for the muscles.

You want to be doing something with good movements to get the muscles on fire :idea:

If you must do planks, i recommend doing some with constant movements so you really engage the muscles for a good burn. Superman style planks etc for example.
41yo male 5'10 76kg (Rowing since june 9th 2016) PB's 5k 19:22

My goals are simply to keep fit/get fitter and continue to enjoy rowing on the C2 :)

PaulG
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Re: Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

Post by PaulG » May 18th, 2017, 12:21 pm

Try the "Dead bug" core exercise. Look it up, videos are available.

Paul

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Parky
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Re: Sit-ups - good or bad for you?

Post by Parky » May 19th, 2017, 11:04 am

Hwt M - 71yrs - 17st 8lbs

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