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7 Weeks to Sit-Ups. Strengthen and Sculpt Your Abs, Back, Core and Obliques by Training to Do Consecutive Sit-Ups. by Brett Stewart. ebook. 7 Weeks to Sit-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Abs, Back, Core and Obliques by Training to Do Consecutive Sit-Ups [Brett Stewart] on site. com. This books (7 Weeks to Sit-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Abs Do Consecutive Sit-Ups [FULL] PDF files, Read Online 7 Weeks to.
Sit and reach resulted in improved flexibility in the TG but decreased in the CG. Yang et al. These results agree with the outcome of this study. Thus, it is deemed that the stretching before and after the circuit weight training helped with flexibility increases. The sargent-jumps improved in the TG but decreased in the CG. Balance and cardiorespiratory endurance also improved in the TG but decreased in the CG. These results demonstrate that the TG benefitted by circuit training exercises such as jump with arms and legs outstretched, the squat, and skip.
This also means that circuit weight training and jogging had a very positive effect on the improvement of cardiorespiratory endurance. Studies by Lee et al. A study by Kang et al.
These results suggest that those who are obese but have a high level of cardiorespiratory fitness can prevent death caused by cardiovascular diseases or other diseases. Hence, physical activity is needed to prevent lifestyle-related diseases. Because physical activity has an effect on the occurrence of obesity and changes in physical fitness, college students should engage in regular exercise.
As such, the extent of the arterial stiffness can be predicted. So, in order to measure the extent of atherosclerosis, a method of measuring the elasticity of blood vessels using the pulse wave velocity has been recently designed. In addition, pulse wave velocity has been used a lot as an index of the extent of sclerosis of an arterial vessel Woodman and Watts Looking at preceding studies on exercise therapies and elasticity of blood vessels, Beak at al.
Additionally, Cheon reported that a week exercise program for middle-aged women showed an increase in pulse wave velocity and reduction of the thickness of the carotid artery, meaning that exercise had a positive effect on the elasticity of the blood vessels. Blood vessels repeatedly contract and relax, transporting nutrients to every part of human body.
The elasticity of vessels reduces as we age. If the blood volume increases and blood pressure rises while the vessels do not experience a corresponding expansion, the result can be cardiovascular disease and arteriosclerosis Cheon Actions Shares.
Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Book details Author: Brett Stewart Pages: Ulysses Press Language: English ISBN If you want to download this book, click link in the last page 5. Download Free 7 Weeks to Sit-Ups: You just clipped your first slide!
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later. Now customize the name of a clipboard to store your clips. Visibility Others can see my Clipboard. Cancel Save. Sit-ups are a great way to strengthen and tone your core, and they're a familiar exercise that most of us have performed in the past; the descriptions and photos are provided here to help you perfect the form. Add in plus other core-strengthening exercises, and you have a well-rounded program to develop a strong, stable and flexible core and enhance your athletic ability!
That familiarity means it's a movement most people will feel comfortable executing — once they develop the proper form. The sit-up is one of the core exercises used to grade acceptance and graduation from basic training and continues to be a staple in Special Forces exams as well.
In combat or protecting our streets, each of those people in uniform has passed PFTs that included — you guessed it— sit-ups.
When you pick up this book you should have a good idea what to expect! Most women following this program will advance to the extreme hand position before the men do!
Sit-ups are a key exercise to boost athletic performance in men and women because the muscles of the trunk stabilize the spine and pelvis, which in turn allow for powerful movements of an athlete's extremities. To put it another way, all athletic movements originate from the center of the body and radiate out to the arms and legs. A strong and stable core is the foundation for any rapid or powerful movement of the body. So, what if I told you that sit-ups can actually reduce back pain?
Really, no joke. Strengthening your core improves sitting and walking posture, and helps to prevent injuries from squatting, sitting, twisting, jumping, walking OK, you get the picture. Sit-Ups in the Military All branches of the military use sit-ups or crunches to gauge a cadet's physical fitness. There are compelling reasons for this. First, sit-ups are one of the best ways of assessing core strength while they're also one of the best ways to develop that strength.
Sit-ups require you to lift about 50 percent of your bodyweight, utilizing a complete network of muscles and stabilizers working together throughout your abdomen, lower back, hips and legs. Core strength is vital to all athletic movements, especially the demanding requirements of boot camp and active duty of all branches of the military. Armed forces around the world include sit-ups as one of the core exercises on their physical fitness tests.
In the U. The minimum number of sit-ups to become a Marine is 40, but 50 repetitions are recommended to achieve a score high enough to pass in "Class 3. Points are awarded for each category, with a minimum passing score based on the following age groups.
Marine Corps: BB BS Can I just do crunches instead of sit-ups? Sure, it doesn't have to be one or the other. This program has plenty of sit-up and crunch variations and over 30 additional moves to strengthen and tone your core. From planks to leg lifts, supermans to hip raises, we cover dozens of different exercises to target your core from multiple different angles and to keep your workouts constantly changing and challenging.
Are sit-ups bad for my back? Let me answer this question again and put it to rest once and for all: Your weak back, poor posture or improper sit-up form are the problems, not the sit-ups. This program features more than two dozen different exercises performed in conjunction with sit-ups to strengthen your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips, glutes, quads and hamstrings.
Sit-up form is often misunderstood, and this confusion can lead to bad habits that can put undue emphasis on your hips, which in turn causes stress on the lower back.
By themselves, sit-ups are no more dangerous for your back than any other bodyweight exercise done with improper form; some of these common culprits for lower back pain and injury are squats, deadlifts and good mornings. Can I develop six-pack abs doing sit-ups? In a word, no.
Sit-ups are a beneficial exercise for strengthening and defining the rectus abdominis muscles as part of an exercise routine, but they're not the be-all and end-all for total core strength. That's why this program has over 30 exercises to strengthen your core. Developing a "six- pack," or extreme definition of your rectus abdominis muscles, requires a lean physique with a low body fat percentage and hypertrophic growth of lean muscle, and sit-ups are just one of many exercises to help get you there.
Building the core of your dreams is absolutely possible — I've personally done it — and it requires balanced nutrition and an exercise routine with multiple strength, conditioning and cardiovascular components. Luckily, you're holding just such an exercise program in your hands.
For more on developing a six-pack, see "Setting Your Goals" on page How many days a week should I do sit-ups? There's a long-standing myth that your core can be worked every day. Let's take a moment and address that. When you place any muscle under repeated stress from lifting weights time under tension or repeated movement, microtears begin to form.
These extremely small tears in the muscle fibers are actually a positive benefit of working out; when they heal, your muscles grow bigger and stronger. In order for muscles to properly recover, heal and grow, you should wait 48 hours before working out that same muscle group again. Now, I ask you, what is your core made up of? Your rectus abdominis, erector spinae, obliques, hip flexors, quads, glutes and hamstrings are all muscles and need to rest, recover and grow.
I recommend a program of no more than four core workouts a week for advanced athletes, and three days a week for beginners. How does this routine fit in with my regular workouts? That depends on your goals. If you're an athlete that requires sports-specific training, 7 Weeks to Sit-Ups is an extremely effective program for strengthening your core and supplementing your sport's workout regimen. If you're a beginner and looking to improve your posture, lose weight and tone your abdomen while strengthening your core, then the program in this book should be combined with heart-rate-raising cardio exercises per week such as a brisk walk, bike ride, jogging or swimming for 20 minutes for maximal results.
For those of us who fall between these two extremes, this program is the core component pun intended of a full-body workout plan. See "Setting Your Goals" on page I recommend completing this exercise program near the end of your workout after lifting weights or bodyweight exercises and before doing cardio or cool-down. As a woman, I'm afraid sit-ups will make my abdomen too big or ripped.
Can I use the program to tone my core without all the bulk? Thanks for the long question! This program uses over 30 different moves to strengthen and tone your core from multiple angles; the focus is on all-over core strength and toning. Women have less of a propensity to build bulky muscles due to less naturally occurring testosterone in their bodies, so as long as you aren't supplementing and working out to the extreme, you shouldn't worry. However, as we cover in "Setting Your Goals" on page 29, it's important to understand that if you focus solely on sit-ups and push yourself to hit or reps, you'll experience hypertrophy strengthening and building up muscles in your abdomen.
If you're focused on toning, make sure to follow the program and work your entire core. Should I be sore after every workout? Soreness may be normal if you're a beginner, have recently changed up your routine or are trying a new activity. The initial soreness should lessen overtime; it's not normal to be sore after every workout.
If you continue to be sore, you may need to take more days off between workouts. How should I breathe for each movement? For most exercises we'll cover when to breathe in and out, but overall it's a good idea to breathe out when you're exerting the most force pushing, pulling, etc.
Breathing properly is a big part of being able to perform some of the main exercises we'll be covering in this book, so make sure to focus on breathing rhythmically and never holding your breath during sets.
Will this workout be an effective way to lose weight? Any exercise above what you're currently doing aids in the goal of losing weight and getting into shape. The programs in this book utilize the fat- burning benefits of circuit training and high-intensity interval training HUT to help you lose weight and get into fantastic shape while developing total core strength.
When paired with balanced nutrition, you'll be firing up your metabolism to burn excess fat and shred your physique. What's the best time of day to do the workouts? That's totally up to you and your daily schedule. My personal preference is to perform this program in the morning before I eat and maximize the fat-burning effect of training while my body is burning about 60 percent fat as fuel, which happens during sleep and when you first wake before eating.
What days work best for following this program? Again, this is up to you, but I've found over the years that the success rate goes up exponentially if you pick three days during the week to perform a structured program like the one featured in this book.
In order to get the optimal rest of 48 hours between working the same muscle group again, I recommend scheduling your workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. What's the single best tip you can give to someone about to start this program? Create realistic goals ahead of time and stick with the program until you meet them. Whether it's 20 or sit-ups, losing 5 pounds or 50, or building the strength in your core to help eliminate lower back pain and straighten out your posture, commitment, focus and follow-through are the most effective methods to reach your goals.
No one expects you to be a pro at every movement. Some exercises may come naturally while others feel completely foreign. I personally have fought with proper V-sit form and the extreme move of hanging windshield wipers. All you can do is keep working on perfecting the form and get stronger along the way. Don't give up and sit out an exercise if you can't do it — make the investment in yourself and learn the proper form for each move. You'll only reap the benefits.
Before You Begin Before you start any exercise regimen, it's important that you see your doctor and get their clearance to perform any physical activity.
Really, I'm not just putting this here because I have to — it's important and sound advice from a certified personal trainer. OK, as a CPT, it's required that I ask all my clients to get permission from a doctor before getting started. Please make an appointment, show up and explain the challenge you're about to embark on. Tell 'em Brett sent you. Once you begin the 7 Weeks to Sit-Ups program, perform it at your own pace and within your personal level of fitness.
If you feel extremely fatigued or have an uncomfortable level of pain and soreness, take two to three days off from the workout. If the discomfort or pain persists, you should see a health care professional.
The 7 Weeks to Sit-Ups program should take you less than 20 minutes to complete. When working out for less than 45 minutes you shouldn't need the additional calories or salts from sports drinks. The multiple movements throughout the program will have you on your back, butt, hands and knees, and belly, and the padding really helps to make it a far more pleasurable experience!
TOWEL While it's nice to wipe your brow in between sets, it's even more important to dry your hands of sweat before doing any exercise like mountain climbers or bird dog that requires you to brace your bodyweight with your hands. If you have a smartphone, there are many apps that fit the bill. The 7 Weeks to Sit-Ups iPhone app just happens to feature a convenient timer as well.
SPACE Your workout area should be well-ventilated and free from obstructions so you can complete all movements freely without hitting anything. You'll use it for a bunch of exercises throughout the book. I've seen exotic models with multiple bands where you can adjust the tension, and I've personally used a rubber jump-rope in a pinch. For the movements in the programs that call for exercise bands, I recommend one that you can easily attach to a fixed object and that has a strength such that you would be able to stretch it about 24 inches.
It may require a few trips to the sporting goods store to pick up the perfect one, so feel free to experiment.
Please remember, safety first. Just starting? Pick up a 4 or 6 pounder. Setting Your Goals Yes, the title of this book is 7 Weeks to Sit-Ups, and no, that doesn't necessarily mean that reps is the goal of everyone who picks up this book — especially you.
The programs and exercises are far more expansive than just repetitive sit-ups to hit a specific number. Each move was carefully chosen and designed to strengthen and build your core for many wide-ranging benefits, from sports-specific agility to weight loss to improving your posture.
Set your goal and use this program and the exercises to nail it. How to reach it: Start with Day 1, Week 1 of the Prep level and slowly build your core strength and flexibility Add minutes of light cardio days a week first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast. Walk for 5 minutes to warm up and then perform some jumping jacks or marching twists to get the blood pumping. Jog for 30 seconds, walk for 30 seconds.
Repeat for 10 minutes and then cool down and walk for 5 minutes. Combining the Sit-Ups program with cardio and calisthenics will help you lose weight, tone your core and look — and feel — great.
Even though you aren't focusing on the repetition count of , or , taking the max sit-up tests at the ends of the Level I, Level II and Prep- level programs is a great way to quantify your progress since you began. Learn the moves, strengthen your core and follow the program. Each century mark of reps is a challenge in itself; success begins with performing just 1 more good-form sit-up than you did last workout. Allow yourself to progress slowly from workout to workout and build your core strength to be able to perform the max sit-up tests.
Balanced nutrition, interval training and the core-strengthening and -shredding exercises found in the program. Without proper nutrition, the programs in this book will get you toned, but to truly be ripped, you need to fuel yourself right. There are numerous different nutrition plans you can follow to lose weight and balance your diet, so this will be a really high-level overview: Eat healthy, lean meats, fresh fruit, vegetables and limit processed foods and sugars. Follow the Institute of Medicine's recommendation and get up to 35 percent of your daily calories from lean proteins, 45 percent from high-quality carbs and 20 percent from healthy fats.
It's really not hard to follow, and the results will be noticeable. Many diets will suggest as much as a calorie reduction from your daily caloric intake, and I don't recommend any more than that — your body needs fuel for your daily workouts. Distribute your nutrition into 6 small meals by eating every 2 hours throughout the day. This will keep your metabolism constantly fired up — but don't fall into the trap of packing in additional calories!
If you want to perform an extreme number of sit-ups, then you need to make sure to strengthen your lower back and hips just as much as your abdominal muscles. Don't skimp on the back or hip exercises during the program; they're essential to building the foundation — your solid core — to allow you to do high reps of sit-ups.
For interval training be sure to "wake up to cardio" to maximize fat burn, and ratchet up your workout a notch or two with interval sprints. Warm up by jogging for 5 minutes, and then perform intervals of running at 80 percent of your maximum for 30 seconds and then walking for 30 seconds. Repeat for 10 repetitions, then jog for 5 minutes to cool down.
Do this workout 3 days a week and, as you progress, extend the running intervals and breaks to 1 minute each, up to 20 minutes total cardio. Please note that warming up and stretching are two completely different things: A warm-up routine should be done before stretching so that your muscles are more pliable and able to be stretched efficiently. You should not "warm up" by stretching; you simply don't want to push, pull or stretch cold muscles.
Prior to warming up, your muscles are significantly less flexible. Think of pulling a rubber band out of a freezer: If you stretch it forcefully before it has a chance to warm up, you'll likely tear it. Stretching cold muscles can cause a significantly higher rate of muscle strains and even injuries to joints that rely on those muscles for alignment.
It's crucial to raise your body temperature prior to beginning a workout. In order to prevent injury, such as a muscle strain, you want to loosen up your muscles and joints before you begin the actual exercise movement. A good warm-up before your workout should slowly raise your core body temperature, heart rate and breathing. Before jumping into the workout, you must increase blood flow to all working areas of the body.
This augmented blood flow will transport more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles being worked.
The warm-up will also increase the range of motion of your joints. Burn more fat when you wake up to cardio: Prior to eating in the morning, your body is in prime fat-burning mode from fasting all night. As soon as you eat anything with carbs, your body releases insulin into the blood stream and you begin to burn glycogen as your primary fuel source. Once that happens, your fat-burning advantage is gone.
A warm-up should consist of light physical activity such as walking, jogging, stationary biking, jumping jacks, etc. Your individual fitness level and the activity determine how hard and how long you should go but, generally speaking, the average person should build up to a light sweat during warm-ups.
You want to prepare your body for activity, not fatigue it. A warm-up should be done in these stages: Easy movements that get your joints moving freely, like standing arm raises, arm and shoulder circles, neck rotations, and trunk twists.
Gentle, progressive, aerobic activity that starts the process of raising your heart rate, like jumping jacks, skipping rope, and running in place. This begins working the joints and muscles that will be used during the activity. Perform dynamic movements to prepare your core for the upcoming sit-up workout. These movements are done more rapidly than the gentle mobility movements — envision a swimmer before a race or a weightlifter before a big lift.
Dynamic movements should raise the heart rate, loosen specific joints and muscles, and get you motivated for your workout. Stretching should generally be done after a workout. It'll help you reduce soreness from the workout, increase range of motion and flexibility within a joint or muscle, and prepare your body for any future workouts.
Stretching immediately post-exercise while your muscles are still warm allows your muscles to return to their full range of motion which gives you more flexibility gains and reduces the chance of injury or fatigue in the hours or days after an intense workout.
It's important to remember that even when you're warm and loose, you should never "bounce" during stretching. Keep your movements slow and controlled. To recap, you should warm up for 0 minutes, stretch lightly for minutes, perform your workout, and then stretch for 0 minutes. We've included some warm-up exercises and stretches that specifically target the muscles used in the program see page Avoiding Injuries Sit-ups are an efficient way to build strength and lean muscle when done correctly by healthy fit individuals, but, let's face it, none of us is perfect.
Due to years of improper posture, sports injuries or even weak musculature, we all have imbalances that can affect proper sit-up form and even put us on the fast track to injury. In addition, any pre-existing injury in the back or core can be exacerbated by jumping into sit-ups too quickly or doing them with improper technique. It's very important that you focus on proper form and perform the core movements in a slow, controlled manner. If you have a pre-existing condition like lower back soreness, poor posture or a muscular imbalance, take your time and work your way up slowly while focusing on training with good form.
If pain or soreness persists, please see a medical professional. Listen to your body. You should be able to tell when you're ready to begin a strength and conditioning program like this one by tuning in to your body. Take it easy and be smart about determining what's normal soreness from a workout and what's a nagging injury that you're aggravating.
If you think it's the latter, take a few extra days off and see if the soreness passes. If it doesn't, you should see a medical professional. Throughout the routine, you should expect to experience mild soreness and fatigue, especially when you' re just getting started. The feeling of your muscles being "pumped" and the fatigue of an exhausting workout should be expected.
These are positive feelings. On the other hand, any sharp pain, muscle spasm or numbness is a warning sign that you need to stop and not push yourself any harder. Some small muscle groups may fatigue faster because they're often overlooked in other workouts.
With restrained-leg sit-ups, your hip flexors and quads are doing a good amount of work, and for some individuals these areas can tire out before the abdominal muscles when performing max-rep tests. It's important to slowly and steadily build up the strength of your entire core — not just your abs — in order to perform an extreme number of sit-up repetitions. Here are a couple other symptoms to watch for: There are several factors that can contribute to lower back pain, and it's important that you know your limits and seek the advice of a doctor if pain persists or gets worse.
A stiff neck can result from straining your neck throughout the movement; try to keep your neck loose and flexible. Recurring pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong — be smart and listen!
There's no medal of honor for continuing to exercise through pain. Stop immediately and make sure to seek professional medical advice. Initial Test Let's start off with a test of three simple exercises that will help assess your core strength and overall fitness level: Why these exercises and why the order? The plank is a great test of core strength and stability because it's a static position and there's no added stress on your spine. This exercise is a good starting point to engage and begin working the core muscles in isolation.
Then it's time to rest: The programs in this book take advantage of the cardiovascular benefits of circuits of high-intensity interval training HUT to help you burn more calories, build your endurance and reshape your body, and these short, timed rest breaks are an important part of that. Keep that in mind when moving from one exercise to the next and pay attention to your rest timer.
A good workout partner should help push you to do your best and keep you on track with your workouts. Having a partner keep an eye on your form can be extremely helpful and the difference between hurting yourself by performing an exercise improperly and reaching your goals by getting the absolute most out of each set.
The leg lift exercise is performed from a stable position with your back and head on the floor and hands flat on the ground. The movement primarily works the rectus abdominis, but the motion also recruits the hip flexors to raise and lower each leg. After another 1 -minute rest, this progression from a static hold exercise with the plank to a controlled single-joint movement of the leg lift builds to performing sit-ups, which incorporate multiple muscles and stabilizers and a wider range of motion ROM.
Taking the Test Warmed up and ready? Before you begin, it's very important that you familiarize yourself with proper form for each exercise. Read each of the exercise descriptions, view the photos and slowly try each move a few times to make sure you understand exactly what you'll be doing once you get started.
Make sure you're hydrated and relaxed. Take slow, deep breaths to prepare. The test is important for setting a benchmark for how many repetitions you can complete, or how long you can hold a plank, and also for determining which program to start with: Be sure to write today's date and the amount of time or number of reps you complete for each of the three exercises so you can refer to your initial test throughout the program to check your progress.
Did you take a "before" picture? Most people resist taking one or simply forget and then regret it later when they've finished the program and want to compare their new physique to the old one. Go ahead, you don't have to share it with anyone — a before picture is a great motivator to keep you on track with your fitness! A partner will come in handy for holding your feet during sit-ups, starting and stopping the timer during timed tests, and watching your form to make sure you're performing the moves correctly.
Timed Plank 1: I recommend taking the initial test days before you plan on starting the program so your muscles have adequate recovery time before you begin the 7-week regimen. Most people find success with a Monday-Wednesday-Friday routine, so take the initial test on Friday or Saturday.
Plank This is a timed exercise, so place your timer where you can see it when you're in position. The plank is exactly like the top portion of a push-up. Once you get in the proper starting position, you're on the clock. Place your hands on the ground approximately shoulder-width apart, making sure your fingers point straight ahead and your arms are straight but your elbows not locked.
Step your feet back until your body forms a straight line from head to feet. Your feet should be about 6 inches apart with the weight in the balls of your feet. Engage your core to keep your spine from sagging; don't sink into your shoulders. Look at your timer and note the time. Remember to breathe and maintain the position for as long as you can. Be sure not to let your butt sag. If you have a partner or mirror, take a peek at your form. Once you can no longer keep your back flat, lower your torso to the floor and note the time.
Leg Lifts 1 Lie flat on your back with your legs extended along the floor and your arms along your sides, palms down. Contract your lower abdominal muscles and lift your feet 6 inches off the floor.
Hold for 3 seconds. This counts as 2 reps. Repeat for as many reps as you can complete with good form. Stop if your knees bend or you can't hold each leg in a raised position for 3 seconds. Take a break for 1 minute, sip some water and breathe in and out slowly to lower your heart rate. You can also do this portion of the test with crunches; just be sure to follow proper the proper crunch form on page 1 6.
Set your timer for 2 minutes. Place your hands and arms in the position that best suits your ability level see page Keep your upper back and neck straight and maintain your hand and arm position through the movement. Pause briefly. You may round your upper back slightly and roll your spine on the floor as you do so. Keeping you abs tight, lightly touch both shoulder blades to the floor. Perform as many reps as possible in the 2 minutes, and write down that number.
Time to take a breather and relax. If your results fall into more than one category, then start at the lower level; you'll have plenty of opportunity to progress to the next level as you work your way through the program.
The Prep level can be found on page Now it's time to dive into the programs and get to work! The Level I program is a 4-week progressive training program featuring plus core-strengthening and toning exercises to prepare you mentally and physically for the 7-week program in Level II. For some athletes, Level I may be adequate to attain their fitness goals and maintain their physique; a month-long duration is perfect for developing and sticking to a routine, and the program is designed to target abs, hips and lower back in each set to maximize your total core fitness.
Athletes who are looking for more of a challenge will be introduced to a dozen additional exercises in Level II that target the hips, lower back, and abdominal muscles in new ways and from different angles.
Level II is semiprogressive; while for the most part we're working upward in terms of repetitions, the program varies from workout to workout to allow for strength gains, muscle growth, and recovery. Each exercise has been carefully selected and placed into each set specifically to strengthen and tone your entire core.