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Athletic Training

Are There Other Ways to do a Sit-Up?

01/31/2010

Question:

Whenever I do sit-ups I feel a strain on my neck. Could you recommend another way to do a sit-up?

Answer:

If you place your hands behind your neck and use them to "pull" your body into the sit-up position, then you may be placing unnecessary strain on your neck by over-flexing it and pushing your chin into your chest.

To avoid this, place your hands behind your head and allow your head to rest in your hands. Imagine that there is a softball or grapefruit sized ball between your chin and your chest to keep your head and neck aligned with your back. Focus on using your abdominal muscles to "pull" your torso into the sit-up position, and avoid using your arms to "pull" your body into position.

Keeping your head and neck in alignment with your back is an effective way to avoid over-straining your neck during a sit-up.

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Response by:

Kristen  Bretz, MS, ATC Kristen Bretz, MS, ATC
Physician Extender at The Sports Medicine Lewis Center
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University