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The Abmat

Abmat Situps are a fantastic way to strengthen your core while protecting your lower back.  Get yours here.
 
When done correctly, abmat situps are an effective and safe abdominal exercise. But there is even more you can do with an abmat than just a standard situp.  Incorporating abmat situps into your warmup every time you train is a fantastic way to prepare your core for more demanding workouts.
 
To get the most benefit from abmat situps, be sure to place the abmat behind you rather than under you.  When placed noticabley behind you, much more emphasis and demands are placed on the core to move the body.  If the Abmat is placed under, then it begins to act as a fulcrum which lessens the effectiveness of the exercise.
 
  • Standard situp - performed by placing the AbMat under the lumbar curve of the back allows for a contraction of the abdominal muscles from full extension (when spine is arched or extended 15-30 degrees) and shoulders firmly engaged to the floor to full flexion when the lower back comes off the abmat and spine is about 30 degrees from the floor.
  • Butterfly situp - performed by turning the knees out and bending the legs.  This lessens the involvement of the hip flexors and forces the involvement of the abdominals to complete the movement.
  • Catapult situp - performed with the athlete facing a wall.  A mark is placed on the wall at the head height of the athlete.  From the starting position, grasp a medicine ball with arms extended overhead.  Sit up and throw the ball to the mark on the wall.  Catch while in the upright position and return to the starting position.