Hey! I’m Shana Alverson, Keelo Coach. Today, I want to talk about sit-ups. I prefer to use a sit-up wedge. This is an older wedge that’s gotten too smushy and doesn’t offer much support. This one is newer and it’s nice and firm so it can give me support when I lean on it. You could also take a yoga mat and fold it up and put it underneath your lumbar. The idea is we want to work rectus abdominus, the “six-pack” muscles along the front of your body and the function of those muscles is to flex and help extend the spine So, when I do a sit-up, I want to stretch out rectus abdominus then as I come up, I’m going to flex the spine and finish the movement. Somewhere around this position is where the hip flexors finish closing the angle. That will get my shoulders all the way to my knees. If I don’t have a support to lean against what happens is – there’s nothing to support the lumbar – As I got to crunch rectus, the lumbar flattens into the ground and I can’t get myself up using my lower abs so from this point – this would just be a crunch – but if I’m trying to complete a sit-up, the hip flexors have to take over and kind of pull me the rest of the way up your hip flexors are attached to your low spine so if you’re doing full range of motion sit-ups without a back support that’s when you hear “sit-ups are bad for your back,” right? because those muscles are just cranking on your lumbar to pull you up so we use the wedge to support the low back this one’s firm and it will give me some leverage so I’ll crunch the ribs down then I’m going to push my low back into the mat and that will help me use my low abs to finish the sit-up and you can see there was no stall point anywhere it was nice and smooth from fully extended here … I’ve stretched out my belly… I’m pushing the lumbar into the mat all the way – got lots of control. If I take the old wedge which doesn’t really have any support left and I try to press the lumbar into it – I’m going to crunch the ribs now there’s nothing to push against so I’ll be cranking the rest of the way up using the hip flexors again Okay, rectus – I want to make it as long as possible and to do that I need to leave my hips touching the ground so my butt cheeks are going to stay in contact with the floor I’m going to stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch … I like to have you touch the back of your head to the floor- gently, of course, don’t slam. You can use your arms all you want, that will give you a little more stretch To initiate the sit-up, the ribs are going to crunch first… …then I’ll finish by pressing the lumbar into the mat, go all the way and reach forward I like to have my athletes touch the ground in front of the toes If you touch just the heels, there’s still a lot of sit-up left so make it a better sit-up, get that full range of motion! What happens for many people is, when they go back, they either don’t feel strong enough or they don’t have enough back support so they feel like they need to start out with a little momentum so they lift up the hips – I call this the “kipping sit-up” – when the hips lift the tailbone tucks under and they flick themselves forward Here again this will almost purely a hip flexor sit-up that has the abs working statically instead of dynamically Additionally, when I lift the hips to do the flicking motion, I’m exposing my tailbone to the ground and if I do this enough times, I’m creating a ton of friction by grinding my tailbone against the ground and that’s what causes that big blister – if you’ve ever gotten a blister on your tailbone from sit-ups it’s because you’re not letting yourself stretch all the way out initiate by crunching the ribs down and then finishing the sit-up so make sure that when you go back you don’t let your hips come off of the ground you want to stretch your torso out instead, almost think of relaxing the hips down then when you sit-up, you KEEP them in contact with the ground and use your ABS to sit you up, not your hip flexors.