Hey, can any of you guys give me some advice on this. When I do decline sit-ups my thighs usually burn and give out long before my abs do. Is there something wrong with my form or are my abs just too weak to be doing this exercise?
Thanks in advance.
This happens to me too. I've tried some different things and I think it's pretty much unavoidable. On the bright side it probably gives your hip flexors a good workout Try finishing off with something else (leg raises, bicycle, etc.) when your flexors give out.
You should watch out that you dont overload your hip flexors too much, this can lead to back pain / problems. Try to concentrate on really contracting your abs. If your abs arent strong enought the hip flexors will come into play, thats what the burn at the top of your thigh is.
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doing full situps period will use a lot of your hip flexors.
somewhat what I eat...
how do you work out your hip flexors? its like my crotch area. when i do squats i dont feel any soreness the next day in that area.
hip flexors arent used in squatting to any great degree. Their job is to bring the thigh TO the chest area (or vica versa). Squatting has a 400lb weight to do that job for ya.
to work out the hip flexors (iliopsoas muscle) specifically...hang from a bar with weights on your feet and bring your knees from vertical to about paralell to the floor and then back down. any more and you will start to work abs. you aint gona see your hip flexors though, even if you develop them. they are buried deep under the abdominal muscles and are close in to the front of your spine. saying that, I think the sartorius muscle and rectus femoris (one of the quadricep muscles) are hip flexors too and they are more superficial.
another wasted anatomical journey
That depends. I use a wide stance, and believe me, my hip flex0rz come into play.Originally Posted by Augury
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Ya, I don't know where you pulled that one from.
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When i do decline sit ups I use a weight plate and do 8-10 "half" sit ups. I find the best way to avoid your hip flexors coming in to play is to slowly lift your back from the bench, without 'whiplashing' yourself up, to the half way mark, pause and slowly lower yourself backdown.
I happily bow to experience here, but I am seriously struggling to understand how hip flexors are employed at all (apart from posturally) in any form of squatting movement.Originally Posted by Saint Patrick
By defenition, they flex the hip. They are there to bring the bone of the upper leg towards the abdomen (or the abdomen to a fixed upper leg) forcefully when contracting. During a squat you are doing the complete opposite. You are controling the descent of the weight using the "paying out" of the hip flexor antagonisits (glutes) and at the knee joint, obviously the hamstring group is controling the descent. Hip flexion at this point would only speed up your descent which would be plain dangerous. Gravity is taking you down and you are controling descent with the hip flexor antagonists and knee flexors (knees flex opposite direction to hips).
On the way back up your hip flexors have to relax almost totally or you wouldnt be able to move your upper leg away from your abdomen. The contraction of the gluteal group to stand back up (extend hip) and the contraction of the quadriceps group to cause flexion (straigtening) of the knee joint are what bring you back up to standing. Hip flexion at this point is counterproductive and would bring you back down.
I agree wholeheartedly that the adductor groups (seperate group to hip flexors entirely) come into play with wide stance squats as some of the adductors even have "hamstring" heads to them. Wider the stance the more adductor help you recruit on the way back up. Again, similarly to hamstrings, they will be used on descent control. The action of standiong back up from a squat requires the hams and any adductors acting like hams to relax or you wouldnt be able to straighten your knee joint.
I am saying all this with the deepest respect, not to cause an argument. I know damn well how experienced you and Maki are in the field and if im just missing some silly "oh im an idiot" point here I would appreciate the correction or even just the fun of a debate.
Last edited by Augury; 07-01-2004 at 05:07 AM.
Last edited by Bruise Brubaker; 07-01-2004 at 11:19 AM.
Your hip flexors control the motion of squats even though they're not lifting the weight.
If you're trying not to work the quads too much on situps, try to keep youself up by squeezing the bench with your hamstrings instead of pushing with your shins against the pad in front of your legs. That way you avoid the leg extension type of motion and hopefully use your hip flexors a little less. They will still be used a lot but at least your quads won't be.
Last edited by Doobs; 07-01-2004 at 12:48 PM.