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How high should I come up in a crunch/sit-up?

How high should I come up in a crunch/sit-up?

Until your shoulder blades come off the floor

When performing a basic crunch, lift your upper body off the mat until your should blades come off the floor. This is about 30 – 45 degrees of movement.

Why?

Your abs are the main muscles working up until this point; past 30 degrees of movement, your hip flexors take over and do most of the work. (Your hip flexors are a group of muscles that lift your knee or thigh up)

You may notice your feet starting to come off the ground once you curl up past a certain point. This is a sign that your hip flexors are taking over.

Sources:
Super Abs Resource Manual by Len Kravitz, Ph.D.
Ricci, B., Marchetti, M., & Figura, F. (1981). Biomechanics of sit-up exercises. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 13, 54-59
Laban, M. M., Raptou, A. D., & Johnson, E. W. (1965). Electromyographic study of function of iliopsoas muscle. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 46, 676-679.



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