Janda Sit up - Possibly the best ab exercise

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    Sep 03, 2010 10:40 PM GMT
    Did a search for Janda and saw nothing came up, so I thought I would mention this sit up. I think this is the best ab exercise, but most guys have never heard of it.

    A few years ago, a few of us did this together at the gym.

    Most guys, even guys in great shape, can't do even a single rep at first. To help in the beginning, they would use a rope to pull themselves up to the positive (going up), and they would try the negative under control, but even the negative can be somewhat difficult.

    Check it out:

    http://www.cbass.com/HardestSitup.htm

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/irontamer2.htm

    One guy who is in great shape emphasizing core exercises as well as the more traditional exercises could do 4 unassisted. That is the best I saw from anyone who had not been doing this before.

    If you cheat, it's much easier. What we did to completely prevent cheating is to do the sit up in front of a leg extension machine. The front pads would be against the calves, and just enough weight would be used to ensure back pressure was being maintained. To ensure downward pressure with the feet was maintained, we would put elastic bands or ropes around the feet and gently pull up.

  • geebus

    Posts: 216

    Sep 04, 2010 1:31 AM GMT
    Either i'm not doing them correctly, am abnormally fit, or that some of the hamstring raise motor drive has carried over but I did 6 the first time round (ie , just now)...I'll go ask a couple of my gym buddies.
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    Sep 04, 2010 1:34 AM GMT
    geebus saidEither i'm not doing them correctly, am abnormally fit, or that some of the hamstring raise motor drive has carried over but I did 6 the first time round (ie , just now)...I'll go ask a couple of my gym buddies.

    You could be extremely fit, but it is very easy to cheat without realizing it. You have to be sure that you are maintaining both downward pressure (not just keeping you feet on the floor) and backward pressure. It is really difficult to do this alone without some cheating.

    I first tried it alone with a device, an earlier version of this http://www.dragondoor.com/p12.html and I also did several. But when we did what I described above, was a different story at first. BTW, the new device in the link looks better than what I used, but it still forces you to concentrate on maintaining downward pressure with your feet. So I would still prefer something along the lines of what I described above instead of this device.
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    Sep 04, 2010 2:03 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidThanks for this post. I have been telling people to stop doing leg bends and classic situps for over a decade. The reciprocal inhibition associated with the flexing of the hamstrings and the release in the Illiopsoas is what is necessary to avoid injury and to more effectively isolate the abdominal wall.

    But nobody listens to me damn it. icon_evil.gif

    Very good point.
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    Sep 04, 2010 2:04 AM GMT
    viveutvivas saidBad for the lower back.

    Any core exercise that rounds the lower back forward while contracting the musculature puts undue pressure on the discs and in the long run lead to degeneration, bulging, or herniation.

    Although Bass in the link mentions rounding the back, most people I have spoken with on the subject recommend not rounding the back. When I used to do these with other guys, we also did not round our backs.
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    Sep 04, 2010 2:22 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidThese devices are averaging $100.

    That is insane.

    I saw a video on youtube by a doctor who is suggesting to do this with an exercise ball.

    I can imagine the exercise ball used help maintain backward or downward pressure, but I can't visualize it helping maintain both backward and downward pressure.

    Interesting video, also. I had not looked at this device. The device causes you to maintain backward pressure at the calves. I'm thinking the requirement to focus on clenching the glutes is a way to achieve the same effect that you would get by maintaining downward pressure on the feet. If they are the equivalent, using a cord to pull up on the feet forces you to maintain downward pressure and eliminates the possibility of cheating by relaxing the glutes.
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    Sep 04, 2010 4:37 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidHere is a video of the Pavelizer.




    thanks for sharing this video. now that i have a visual idea of what is going on, i think i'll macgyver something that will simulate this at the gym. i am very curious to try this out, because i've always felt a certain amount of effort being exerted by my psoas whenever i did crunches. i just assumed that it was just part of the movement i had to accept. it never occurred to me to try and use reciprocal innervation principles to isolate the rectus abdominus. this will be a fun experiment.

    incidentally, the best part of the video was BY FAR the cat. i just couldn't stop giggling, especially since he had to show the cat love during his talk. i see the cat has trained his human very well.
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    Oct 27, 2010 11:43 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI do this movement at the gym using a machine that allows me to simply anchor my ankles while I do my crunches. It really does work the abs. I can barely do three sets of ten reps each. KILLER!

    I wonder if it would be possible to do an experiment to see if you are completely getting the hip flexors out of the equation. Requires an assistant.

    Lie in front of a leg extension machine with the pads adjusted at mid calf height and your legs over the pads which are resting against your calves on the back of your legs. Use a moderate weight and use your legs against the weights. Reposition yourself a few inches further from the machine to cause your legs to lift the weight stack a bit. The purpose of all this is to force your legs to maintain continual back pressure against the leg extension pads.

    Your assistant will have a rope or bungee cord around both of your feet, gently pulling up. You will keep your feet on the floor, requiring you to resist the pulling of the rope or cord. This requires you to keep downward pressure on your legs.

    Now try the sit-up and see if is the same difficulty.

    If you can try this experiment, I would be very interested in the results.
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    Oct 28, 2010 7:36 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI may have to try that at some point.

    I think what I am doing in the gym is effective. If I can barely do three sets of 10 reps that does tell me something.

    By the way, the bar that I anchor myself to is only 3 inches off the ground. And when I anchor myself I then flex my hamstrings and curl my legs so that I sort of "pull" myself/upper body toward my ankles. It is simply enough to cause a strong enough tension to active the hamstrings yet not pull myself all the way into the bar.

    Then I do my reps and work it, babe. icon_smile.gif

    No question what you're doing is effective because you can go to exhaustion. Glad it's working.
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    Oct 28, 2010 7:37 AM GMT
    sxydrkhair saidGreat thread. Thank you.

    On behalf of all thread contributors, thanks.
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    Oct 30, 2010 4:13 PM GMT
    Just wanted to report on an experiment a friend did with my help. For reference, he is a serious weight lifter in great shape, but has not recently done core or ab work on a regular basis.

    He first saw someone demonstrating on YouTube what they claimed to be the Janda sit-up with a ball. He tried it, found it pretty easy and was not impressed.

    We tried a method with his knees up and feet flat on the floor. I had my hands on the back of his calves pulling towards me requiring him to keep pressure to prevent me from moving his legs. He was also concentrating on keeping downward pressure on the floor with his feet. He did 2-3 sets of approx 10 reps, feeling a definite burn on the abs. He felt it was by far the best sit-up he had ever done.

    We tried a different method, using a leg extension machine with me pulling upwards on a rope that went around his feet, what I described a few messages above. Using this method, he could not do a single rep unassisted. He had another rope tied to the leg extension machine to help himself up, so he could at least do the negative part (going from a sitting up to a lying down position).

    I think the difference between the two approaches is when just applying downward pressure with the feet it is easy to subconsciously relax a bit which makes the sit-up easier. When pulling upward on the feet with a rope, there would be immediate feedback to any relaxing, which tends to keep the downward pressure constant.

    He is anxious to keep working with the more difficult method, but I think it is better initially use the method that allows a number of reps to build up the abs.
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    Feb 26, 2012 10:43 AM GMT
    Starting to focus on this again and thought the thread might have a second life.
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    Feb 26, 2012 12:09 PM GMT
    Janda's not onto anything that a little common sense and focused training cannot address. Janda sit-ups are nothing more than proper sit-ups. They're difficult, but only b/c they're new to you (you'll find this is the case with practically any new routine).

    I notice there are some web sites promoting Janda. They try to convince readers to buy yet another "revolutionary" ab-isolating product that ends up under our beds collecting dust. I like my abs and I have a strong core, and I've managed without a shi**y piece of equipment that does nothing more than give people an excuse to stay out of the gym and in their homes.
  • jock_1

    Posts: 1491

    Feb 26, 2012 1:19 PM GMT
    Interesting ab workout and seems like it would work, but the ab workout i do is much more intense and ab focused. I learned it from my martial arts instructor and trust me, this guy is shredded. It involves the same kind of position but with no machine or weights, its all body resistance and is very simple.

    Start by just laying on the floor on your back, legs straight and together with only your heals touching floor, arms at your sides, or for beginers you can place hands on your stomach or abs to help yourself up ward.

    WITHOUT raising your legs, tighten your butt and lift your entire upper torso as if you are trying to sit up, arms at sides acting as a guide for your upper body to follow, then once at full sitting motion you slowly go to floor again WITHOUT raising your legs. I always exhale as i start my incline and inhale as i go back down. the slower you can do this excersize the better (i usually do a five count on the way up and the way down), you have no hands behind your neck and your spine stays straight.

    To start try one or 2 sets of 10 depending on your fitness level and to increase resistance try arms out at the sides or above heads and go to 3 sets of 10

    believe me you will feel the burn for a couple days at first but its all worth it after a few months. HAVE FUN!!

    Now that you did those you should try some wicked pushups my instructor also taught us called (Tiger Pushups) too long to describe on here and for a different thread.
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    Feb 26, 2012 2:52 PM GMT
    credo saidJanda's not onto anything that a little common sense and focused training cannot address. Janda sit-ups are nothing more than proper sit-ups. They're difficult, but only b/c they're new to you (you'll find this is the case with practically any new routine).

    I notice there are some web sites promoting Janda. They try to convince readers to buy yet another "revolutionary" ab-isolating product that ends up under our beds collecting dust. I like my abs and I have a strong core, and I've managed without a shi**y piece of equipment that does nothing more than give people an excuse to stay out of the gym and in their homes.

    They are not new to me. Done them for years now. I agree that equipment is not necessary and not surprised that folks want to make money on gadgets. As far as common sense, I doubt that removing the hip flexors from the exercise is so obvious to most people. What is described here is one way to perform a good sit-up. I have found most people consciously or subconsciously cheat, and this is one way to minimize or prevent that.
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    Feb 26, 2012 2:56 PM GMT
    jock_1 saidInteresting ab workout and seems like it would work, but the ab workout i do is much more intense and ab focused. I learned it from my martial arts instructor and trust me, this guy is shredded. It involves the same kind of position but with no machine or weights, its all body resistance and is very simple.

    Start by just laying on the floor on your back, legs straight and together with only your heals touching floor, arms at your sides, or for beginers you can place hands on your stomach or abs to help yourself up ward.

    WITHOUT raising your legs, tighten your butt and lift your entire upper torso as if you are trying to sit up, arms at sides acting as a guide for your upper body to follow, then once at full sitting motion you slowly go to floor again WITHOUT raising your legs. I always exhale as i start my incline and inhale as i go back down. the slower you can do this excersize the better (i usually do a five count on the way up and the way down), you have no hands behind your neck and your spine stays straight.

    To start try one or 2 sets of 10 depending on your fitness level and to increase resistance try arms out at the sides or above heads and go to 3 sets of 10

    believe me you will feel the burn for a couple days at first but its all worth it after a few months. HAVE FUN!!

    Now that you did those you should try some wicked pushups my instructor also taught us called (Tiger Pushups) too long to describe on here and for a different thread.

    I think tightening the butt is another way to put tension on the hip flexors to get them out of the picture. My version of the setup does it with downward pressure on the floor and backward pressure with the legs as I described earlier. In my example the use of a partner and elastic bands was to prevent cheating.
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    Feb 26, 2012 3:43 PM GMT
    I use an exercize ball, and some of the basic ideas, discussed here. I try to tell people I train, to try to slow down , doing abs, and hold the top position, and accentuate , the negative movement..and don't realax, at any time. Time under tension..is very important for ab work. The mind, muscle connection is very important..so I'm able to use a basic crunch exercize, and still get good results. However, it's hard to say how much of my abs are from 35 years of daily karate training, and which came from specific ab exercizes.