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Thread: Sore legs from Situps?!!?

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    !!! TTT's Avatar
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    Sore legs from Situps?!!?

    I don't know whether any of you have experienced this, my quads are sore 2 days after doing situps on one of those decline benches with the leg holder bits (four little pegs) at the top. Also my whole legs feel pretty tired. Am I doing it right?
    My abs are also pretty sore, but it's the first time I've done those for ages so I'm guessing I targeted them pretty well.

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    permanently bulking Titanium_Jim's Avatar
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    There's a leg muscle up above your quads that assists in ab contraction. if you do good crunches, bicycles, captain's chair, any of the better ab exercises, you'll target that leg muscle along with your abs. I don't know what it's called, but it's the muscle that pulls your thighs upward.

    *Edit: If you concentrate hard enough on an exercise where you have to stabilize your body through every rep, you'll work out most of your body; for that type of situp full leg soreness is common.
    Last edited by Titanium_Jim; 10-30-2004 at 12:47 AM.
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    !!! TTT's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks. I was doing them with what I thought was proper form, (keeping my back straight, which is pretty hard with my fairly long torso) and going down right to just clear of the bench, which was probably at about a 30-40 degree angle.

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    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Yes, your hip flexors are doing a lot of work in those situps. Try Janda situps to eliminate this. There are bunch of other ab exercise that won't work the flexors.

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    Ok, I read on ExRx though that if you do the type of situps I was doing, where you activate your hip flexors, then it should also stimulate your obliques more. I definitely want to be building my obliques too....

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    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    I could be wrong but I think you either work hip flexors OR abs.
    If your hip flexors are overly sore then you might want to rethink the movement and do something more ab specific

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    probably the intitial 1/3 of the movement you will be utilizing your abdominals then the rest is hip flexors imo.

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    permanently bulking Titanium_Jim's Avatar
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    With that in mind, maybe do just the first half of the situp, and do other ab exercises with it. It should still be enough of an ab exercise that it won't matter that you worked your hip flexor too. Add bicycles, and if they have a captain's chair at your gym, use it.
    "I would have had sex with a pornstar, slapped a bitch and stole someone's dog." - deeder
    "Ever heard the term "screwing like rabbits? There's a reason it came about, and it has nothing to do with putting up drywall." - mrelwooddowd
    "If you are looking for a workout that will make you sore, you need to reassess your priorities, and perhaps look for an S&M club in your area." - Paul Stagg
    "I do encourage that people laugh at the fact I've put ass creme on my face." - Rock Steady
    "I look like a condom full of walnuts." - Risk10k
    "...the mothers would hang out of the window to get a piece of my little peanut ass and my bronzelike skin." - Rock

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    Yep. Thanks for all the replies. My abs are STILL sore (I did these situps on Thursday, it's now Sunday) so I'm guessing I definitely worked them out a fair bit, in addition to the flexors. My hip flexors aren't really sore though, it was more my lower quads.

    Also, it seems to have done a good job on some of my lower ribs, I can feel it there too. Not an injury or anything, just soreness. Damn good workout. Hopefully next time I do them it won't get that sore.

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    Sorry, I got that bit yesterday a bit wrong. Here is what ExRx ACTUALLY says:

    "Rectus Abdominis and Obliques dynamically contract only if actual waist flexion occurs. With no waist flexion, Rectus Abdominis and External Oblique will only isometrically contract to stabilize the pelvis and waist during hip flexion."

    Therefore, I guess you want some waist flexion, because you definitely want dynamic contraction rather than isometric if you're trying to build muscle right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium_Jim
    With that in mind, maybe do just the first half of the situp, and do other ab exercises with it. It should still be enough of an ab exercise that it won't matter that you worked your hip flexor too. Add bicycles, and if they have a captain's chair at your gym, use it.
    that would be called a crunch

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    Wannabe a Beast BigNic's Avatar
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    crunch is a funny word. Say it out loud. CRUNCH
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    you're funny

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    permanently bulking Titanium_Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryuage
    that would be called a crunch
    Is it a crunch if your legs are restrained?
    "I would have had sex with a pornstar, slapped a bitch and stole someone's dog." - deeder
    "Ever heard the term "screwing like rabbits? There's a reason it came about, and it has nothing to do with putting up drywall." - mrelwooddowd
    "If you are looking for a workout that will make you sore, you need to reassess your priorities, and perhaps look for an S&M club in your area." - Paul Stagg
    "I do encourage that people laugh at the fact I've put ass creme on my face." - Rock Steady
    "I look like a condom full of walnuts." - Risk10k
    "...the mothers would hang out of the window to get a piece of my little peanut ass and my bronzelike skin." - Rock

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    Strength & Protection Kiaran's Avatar
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    According to "Strength Training Anatomy" - you worked the Rectus Amdominis, Obliquus, Quads (rectus femoris), Tensors (front hips), and a whole bunch of other leg muscles to a lesser degree...go figure
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    Strength & Protection Kiaran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium_Jim
    Is it a crunch if your legs are restrained?
    It can be. All a crunch really involves is a shortening of your torso without lifting your back off the ground. Some people like to lift their legs off the ground, others restrain them, etc.
    32 yo - 5'6" - 170 lbs
    USAPL Meet PRs (Raw @154 lbs): 347 SQ, 242 BP, 507 DL, 1096 TOTAL
    Gym PRs: 370 SQ, 270 BP, 510 DL

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    it happen to me all the time , guess its normal

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    You probably arent doing your situps right and you wouldnt be working your stomache as much if you are feeling it in your legs. Do your best to use your legs when doing situps the least you can.

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    Ok. But as I said, I could definitely feel it in my abs. In fact, I can still (faintly) feel it, and it's Tuesday today. Keep in mind I did these last Thursday....

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    permanently bulking Titanium_Jim's Avatar
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    To take your legs completely out of the picture, you could do situps the way I do. lay on the edge of a bench, or even a mat on the floor, leave your legs up in the air the entire exercise, and when your torso comes up, bring your legs up with it until they are at a 90 degree angle, then let your upper body down (and legs down at the same time but not to the floor), but just before you touch the floor behind you stop yourself, and come up for another situp, making each set one long situp. This kills your abs. For me doing this every 3 or 4 days it took me about 3 weeks before I saw results.
    "I would have had sex with a pornstar, slapped a bitch and stole someone's dog." - deeder
    "Ever heard the term "screwing like rabbits? There's a reason it came about, and it has nothing to do with putting up drywall." - mrelwooddowd
    "If you are looking for a workout that will make you sore, you need to reassess your priorities, and perhaps look for an S&M club in your area." - Paul Stagg
    "I do encourage that people laugh at the fact I've put ass creme on my face." - Rock Steady
    "I look like a condom full of walnuts." - Risk10k
    "...the mothers would hang out of the window to get a piece of my little peanut ass and my bronzelike skin." - Rock

  21. #21
    Senior Member HighSchoolGuy's Avatar
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    I like crunches better than situps.

  22. #22
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    Fair enough. I think I will try those ones again though once the soreness leaves, because I think they actually did work. I might try mixing in some of eveyone's suggestions too

  23. #23
    Wannabebig Member tyciol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium_Jim View Post
    There's a leg muscle up above your quads that assists in ab contraction. if you do good crunches, bicycles, captain's chair, any of the better ab exercises, you'll target that leg muscle along with your abs. I don't know what it's called, but it's the muscle that pulls your thighs upward.
    Various muscles that pull up the thigh are called hip flexors. Not sure if 'assists ab contraction' would be right, but bilateral contraction of the psoas majors in addition to their primary function as hip flexors, also assist in lower spinal flexion.

    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash View Post
    Yes, your hip flexors are doing a lot of work in those situps. Try Janda situps to eliminate this. There are bunch of other ab exercise that won't work the flexors.
    Considering that some of the hip flexors are also spinal flexors, this is doubtful. However, approaches like Janda's do help to diminish their activity through recipricol inhibition so they are a good approach, along with exercises like crunches. Janda situps should be called crunches though, if the lower back stays on the ground. If the lower back is raised, then hip flexion is occuring (which is how we define a sit up) and since the abs do not perform hip flexion, they are not being isolated.

    Quote Originally Posted by TTT View Post
    I read on ExRx though that if you do the type of situps I was doing, where you activate your hip flexors, then it should also stimulate your obliques more. I definitely want to be building my obliques too....
    This is an interesting concept, but not one I have heard of. Is there some little known neutral link between these muscles? The psoas muscles, which are hip flexors, can work to laterally bend the trunk, so strengthening hip flexion can strengthen people's side-bending strength, but not via strengthening the obliques.

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffgarcia View Post
    I could be wrong but I think you either work hip flexors OR abs.
    If your hip flexors are overly sore then you might want to rethink the movement and do something more ab specific
    They usually get worked in tandem, but that's true, if someone is trying to work abs and is feeling hip flexor, working something more ab specific is the correct approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryuage View Post
    probably the intitial 1/3 of the movement you will be utilizing your abdominals then the rest is hip flexors imo.
    This is correct if speaking about dynamic contraction, since people often perform a crunch before anterior pelvic tilting to complete a situp movement. People also frequently straighten out their spine at this point. Psoas hip flexor helps bend the trunk and continues working to flex the hips (though if you allow your spine to uncurl at the top, I am unsure if it would grow longer or shorten). Abs would still work isometrically (or possibly even eccentrically) during the sitting-up portion defined by a shifting of weight onto the glute/hamstring region.

    Quote Originally Posted by TTT View Post
    Therefore, I guess you want some waist flexion, because you definitely want dynamic contraction rather than isometric if you're trying to build muscle right?
    Muscle can be built with isometrics, but dynamic (isotonic) exercise is good since you hit different fibre emphasis throughout different degrees of length in the muscle. The concentric (contracting while shortening) portion helps in generating power, and the eccentric portion helps in learning to absorb it.

  24. #24
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKROWDY View Post
    You probably arent doing your situps right and you wouldnt be working your stomache as much if you are feeling it in your legs. Do your best to use your legs when doing situps the least you can.
    ????

    This is odd ~ as most people in this forum like the squat, deadlift, and bench because of all the additional muscle recruitment from those exercises.

    In my opinion, a situp that is recruiting abs and hip flexors/ quads is a very good situp. By telling him not to use his legs, you're telling him to do the situp equivelant of tricep kickbacks...... His legs are sore, and his abs are sore. What's not to love?
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    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    So tycoil and Iplan, why are you responding to a 6 year old thread?


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