Workout: To do at home, in the gym or on the go

Sports By Ricky Ali Personal Trainer Shula’s Athletic Club Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Straight Leg Situp

Ah, the situp. Just saying the word brings back memories of gym class drills that required us to perform dozens of sit-ups in a minute.
This version is a bit easier on the back of your upper thighs, because you don’t have to fall all the way forward and touch your elbows to your knees.
Though it isn’t easy, it can strengthen the entire abdominal complex (think of your six pack!) as well as your legs (hip flexors and front thigh muscles) and back muscles (external obliques, latissimus dorsi and upper trapezius).
Your newly-strong trunk will thank you when you do dead lifts, pullups, squats or lunges.

1. Lie flat on your back with legs straight, ankles flexed and arms raised toward the ceiling.
2. Contract your abdominal muscles, breathe-in and then gradually exhale as you lift your torso. Your body will be at a 90 degree angle. Continue reaching your arms toward the ceiling.
3. Avoid rounding your spine and upper back. Don’t let your head and neck protrude forward, and don’t bend your knees as you lift your upper body.
4. If you find you have to compensate during the calisthenic, you can bend your knees slightly.
5. Fall back to the start position and repeat as many sit-ups as you can.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your healthcare professional.

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