The reason situps are hard is because you're lifting your upper body using your gut muscles to pull it up against gravity. If you stand and bend over, you're using your back muscles to pull your upper body up against gravity, not your gut muscles.
Never do situps!! :)
Situps are VERY hard on your back and on every fitness expert's "don't do this" list nowadays. You should never do them.
Crunches are the lighter version, where you only come up a couple of inches off the floor, but even those are being phased out really.
The problem with both is that is ONLY works those gut muscles, and not those back ones that would be worked by standing and bending.
So, to get balance and work both sides, in a MUCH more effective workout anyway, do planks instead. Planks is where you take an almost push-up position on your toes and forearms, and simply hold it. You need to have your back "stiff as a board", no bend, no bum high in the air (get someone else to watch you). Just see how long you can hold it.
These are much easier to perform for someone who can't do situps, and also a much safer and much more effective exercise. And they work both the front and the back, stabilising you and holding you in position.
Deb, in New Zealand
Fitness Minutes: (150)
9/23/12 3:09 P
thank you so much for your answer. I really appreciate you answering me and your input. I may need you to get me off the floor when I'm done though. haahaa
Fitness Minutes: (76,061)
9/23/12 2:41 P
I am by no means an expert, and I hope one of the coaches answers your question, but I would suggest that you still try to do sit-ups, but don't push yourself. Have your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and just raise your head and shoulders as far as you can, hands reaching out toward, but not touching, your knees. Go back down slowly. Start with only 1 set of 10, increase slowly as you can. This will work your abdominal muscles. Another way would be to clasp your hands behind your head, but if you do this, don't use your hands to pull up your head.
Hope this helps. Main thing is don't push yourself too hard, and like all strength training exercises, do it only every second day.
Eastern Time Zone
Fitness Minutes: (150)
9/23/12 1:49 P
I am a very short and very large woman who is not able to do sit ups. My question is: Instead of having to lay down to do the sit ups, can't you stand and bend over multiple times doing a "standing sit up?" I know I won't get as much resistance because I am not pulling myself off the floor, but I'm trying to find a way to start exercising that is not going to kill me, and I am not able to do much at this point.
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