Note: This exercise was created by Czech exercise physiologist, Dr. Vladimir Janda and is one of the most challenging sit-up variations as it completely isolates the rectus abdominals by eliminating the hip flexors.
- Position your body on the floor in the basic sit-up position; knees to a ninety degree angle with feet flat on the floor and arms either crossed over your chest or to the sides. This will be your starting position.
- As you strongly tighten your glutes and hamstrings, fill your lungs with air and in a slow (three to six second count) ascent, slowly exhale. Tip: It is important to tighten the glutes and hamstrings as this will cause the hip flexors to be inactivated in a process called reciprocal inhibition, which basically means that opposite muscles to the contracted ones will relax.
- As you inhale, slowly go back in a controlled manner to the starting position.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Variations: The exercise can be done using a dedicated abdominal bench apparatus, having a workout partner exert pulling pressure on your calves (while you maintain your feet on the ground) or wrapping your legs over barbell and pulling back.
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