Sit ups are not everyone's favorite exercise! But it is a very misunderstood exercise. The abdominal muscles are critical to back health. It is easy to perform them incorrectly and injure yourself. So, I want to pass along a little known fact about performing this vital exercise safely and correctly. Here's my therapy pearl of the day!
I instruct my patients to use the "table-top" position, as shown here, with hips and knees at 90 degrees and toes pointed downward as this young lady is doing. This will engage the posterior kinetic chain,preventing your body from substituting with the hip flexors.
The most common mistake I see is when people brace their feet under or around support. This will engage the anterior kinetic chain, activating the hip flexors instead of the abdominal muscle group. This alone will lead to strains of the Psoas muscle = low back pain and possible back injury.
I also recommend just crossing your arms across your chest or extended next to your hips. This way you will focus on the activiting muscle group (abdominals) instead of attempting to pull up with your arms / neck. Maintain a space between your chin and your chest (as shown) in order to protect your neck.
With only 10 minutes a day, you can invest in a lifetime of back wellness!!