Don't Anchor Your Feet When Doing Sit-Ups

You Asked: Anchor Feet?

You're asking and I'm answering . . .


"Fit, my boyfriend and I do sit-ups together and we take turns holding each other's feet. Someone recently told me we should stop doing that but this is how I learned to do sit-ups in school. What do you think?"
- Sitting Up Sara

Funny, that is how I was told to do sit-ups in school too. Unfortunately, and fortunately for those of us with bad memories, not everything you learned in elementary school still holds true. Here is the problem: anchoring (or locking) your feet under something heavy (such as a your boyfriend or a couch) while doing sit-ups puts most of the work on the hips rather than the abs, so it becomes a less effective ab exercise. What's more? You could hurt your lower back by anchoring your feet because this tends to make us arch our backs, which may create overextension and strain. So instead of sitting on each other's feet, watch each other's form and think about adding something fun into the exercise, such as a medicine ball. My husband and I love to do medicine ball sit-ups together. To learn how to do them, read more.

Medicine Ball Sit-Ups for Two: Sit with knees bent, facing one another, about 4 to 6 feet apart. The person with the ball lies back with ball overhead. Bring the ball overhead and throw the ball and contract your abs as you sit up. Aim for just above your partner’s head. As the ball is caught, the partner lowers back to the ground. Now continue to throw back and forth 10-15 times. Be sure to use your abs (not your arms) as you rise up. Repeat the set once more.

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