Hardstyle Sit-up Question

305pelusa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Hello everyone,
I recently came across some info about the Hardstyle Sit-up, the one that uses the Pavelizer 2 (or maybe a rubber band by your calves). I guess I'm just confused by the concept, hopefully someone can explain.

The device makes the legs weightless. So due to physics, you can't sit up all the way. So isn't this just a glorified crunch? Just spinal flexion? I tried it with a rubber band 45 degrees upward. Felt the same as a crunch honestly.

I was told I was "doing it wrong" if it felt like a crunch. So I did a negative all the way from the top, and just fell through the ROM. Which is to be expected, again, due to physics. If I COULD control that ROM, then by definition, my HFs must be working... so it turns into a regular sit-up no?

What am I missing?
Thanks!
 

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
To make it work, you have to really drive the heels through the floor. You CAN sit up all the way, and you CAN do a controlled negative. Done correctly, it produces an extremely intense abdominal contraction, much more than any regular crunch or situp. It's a high skill movement that takes some experimentation to learn. Externally, a proper rep and an improper one look the same; the difference is in the intent and muscle firing patterns, not the outward form.

I don't necessarily buy into the "inhibits the hip flexors" theory; I've seen a study (IIRC the author's name was Juker) that shows hip flexor activity is actually very high in this drill. I don't know how valid the finding is though, as I imagine it would be difficult to find skilled subjects. Regardless of hip flexor activations, the rectus abdominis contraction subjectively is extremely intense.

Edit: Here is a link to the abstract of the study mentioned above (Stuart McGill is a coauthor):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9502361

Keep playing around with it. Experiment with different band placements, angles and tensions, and with your internal focus.
 
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Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
I did a negative all the way from the top, and just fell through the ROM.
Take your time, continue to work negatives only, do not use a Pavelizer or band or partner until you can do this by yourself, then gradually add a little pull at a time to your calves.

Please get and read Hard Style Abs if you haven't already - the book contains a lot of detailed instructions on this movement.

-S-
 

305pelusa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Take your time, continue to work negatives only, do not use a Pavelizer or band or partner until you can do this by yourself, then gradually add a little pull at a time to your calves.
Hey thanks for the answer Steve. Interestingly, I can't do regular bent-leg sit-ups either. Either I generate momentum, or reach forward by quite a bit. I feel like this is an exercise in futility though. Like squatting with a vertical back, or a OAPU with a straight body. I can't do a sit-up unless I hook my feet under something. You think this is an issue of strength?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
You think this is an issue of strength?
Had an FMS lately? Have any movement issues you're aware of? I can't do this either, but I can pretty much explain to you the unresolved issues that, in my case, are the reason I can't.

-S-
 

305pelusa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
To make it work, you have to really drive the heels through the floor. You CAN sit up all the way, and you CAN do a controlled negative.
Thanks for the answer!
Now, I don't really comprehend how you could sit up, without using your hip flexors. Isn't this akin to curling without tensing your biceps? Doing a hip bridge without contracting your glutes?

I guess what you're saying is that the HFs do in fact tense up. In which case... why not just do sit-ups? 0_o

Thanks for the help, I have Bullet-Proof Abs, gave it a reading this past weekend.
 

305pelusa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Had an FMS lately? Have any movement issues you're aware of? I can't do this either, but I can pretty much explain to you the unresolved issues that, in my case, are the reason I can't.

-S-
Haven't had an FMS done ever, albeit I'm pretty sure I'd ace it. My training is very much gymnastics-based, I think of it a Mobility-First hahaha.

What's your particular reason for being unable to do it?
 

jca17

More than 300 posts
Haven't had an FMS done ever, albeit I'm pretty sure I'd ace it. My training is very much gymnastics-based, I think of it a Mobility-First hahaha.
FMS is still highly recommended. FMS is about motor patterns, not just mobility. Interestingly, I think Gray says its often the most trained athletes who have the biggest FMS difficulties.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
My list is long and not worth going into here. Suffice it to say that over the years, I have carefully tried many exercises and kept the ones for which the risk/reward ratio is good for me.

-S-
 

305pelusa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I see, well thanks for the answers for sure. I read somewhere by Pavel that it was not possible to go all the way up anyways, which makes sense to me, I guess due to physics.

I guess I just didn't feel the hype from the exercise. In Beyond Crunches, in sounded like absolutely the best thing to do. Just seems to me like a concentrated, focused sit-up with less ROM :/ I like HLRs and Dragon Flags though hehe.

Thanks for the help!
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@305pelusa each iteration of Pavel's work on the same subject improves. The principles remain the same but the tactics become better, more effective, easier to understand, easier to implement. Beyond Crunches was the first, BPA was the second, but Hard Style Abs is yet again better. Get it if you haven't already.

-S-
 

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I see, well thanks for the answers for sure. I read somewhere by Pavel that it was not possible to go all the way up anyways, which makes sense to me, I guess due to physics.
IIRC, the statement that it was impossible to go all the way up was referring to hip flexor involvement -- you can not go all the way up without using the hip flexors, not that you can't, or necessarily shouldn't, at all.
 
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