Okay i'm a little confused i've had a really sore and slightly painful lower back since i worked out the other day. I was doing situps laying flat on the floor, with my knees bent and my feet under a desk. I ketp my arms folded across my chest and my hands holding my shoulders.
When i got to the last few sets the initial coming UP off the floor hurt until i was slightly bent and then the ab burn kicked in. the first part of the movement coming up off the floor seemed to strain my lower back right above my butt.
How can i have hurt my back doing situps ? LOL my abs aren't even sore after 5 sets of 12 (all i could take, i just started getting serious about the Abs)
Is proper form with your back slanted slightly or flat on the floor. I refuse to put my arms behind my head because i heard that was wrong form.
i've only been lifting weights since february and i had no idea how great it could be. i think i'm addicted to it now LOL i feel like if i don't workout on the days i;m supposed to , something is missing. i love both the highs i get first the adrenaline one like the runners high and then after the workout that mellow, someone just slipped me a valium high LOL
Last edited by serialnovelist; 05-19-2004 at 04:49 PM.
I suspect you were trying to lift your back off the floor in a straight line without 'curling' it. When doing a sit up, my understanding is that your shoulders should come off the floor as opposed to your whole upper back. The aim is to have your abs pulling the rib cage towards your legs and your spine should bend/flex rather than stay stiff.
I think that wedging your feet under a door or piece of furniture can detract from good form - or make the exercise a back exercise rather than an ab exercise. I prefer to do them with my feet simply resting on a chair or box, this way if you do them incorrectly your feet tend to lift up rather than your shoulders.
Your neck should stay in a straight line to support your head, which is why placing your arms behind your head can be beneficial. All it does is support the weight of the head rather than pulling it up or straining muscles in the neck. As long as your neck and head stay in a straight line this is not cheating, it is simply preventing neck injury.
People don't realise how much of a buzz you can get from a great workout and I feel like I have been deprived of something if I miss one.
I started lifting for strength/bodyfat loss over a year and a half ago. Love the feeling it gave after a good workout. Felt more energized and alert. Took a college women's strength class and ran with the premise. After a year of lifting three days a week (90 minutes), I went from 245 to 185. I work out at home now and dropped more bodyfat in last few months. Built some muscle too (hate that buzzword "toning").
You lie on your back on the floor with your feet about shoulder width apart and knees bent. Keep your chin tucked into your chest. Lift your upper body, bending at the waist until you are sitting up vertically. Keep your arms at your sides crossed in front of you or behind the head. Smoothly lower your body back but not quite to the floor and repeat.
You want to hold your body where it is tense to work the abs. You can also do this holding a barbell plate in your crossed arms for added weight.
Another one is the "Tuck Crunch".
You lie on the floor, hands crossed over your chest or behind head. Bend your knees and hips to form right angles. Keep your lower legs parallel to the floor and your feet crossed. Lift your shoulder blades a few inches off the floor by curling up. Slowly return to the starting position after squeezing your abs.
There are a whole bunch of alternative ab exercises you can do (i.e. Leg raises) Just remember to keep proper form to prevent your back from hurting.
The only way I got an ab "burn" was using the old seated Nautilus ab machine in my college gym as you can set the resistance weight up. I have some arthritis in my lower back and could not do standard ab crunches without becoming real sore the next day when first starting the class. Only after a few weeks doing other exercises and the ab machine, could I attempt doing standard ab crunches on the floor or bench without the soreness. By this time the supporting back muscles had become stronger. Reverse crunches were the worse and still have soreness problems when attempting them on occasion.