Exercise Library

GHD Sit-up



AKA Roman chair sit-up
 
The GHD sit-up is an ab and hip flexion exercise with an extended range of motion.
 
 
Execution
 
Set up a glute-ham bench or Roman chair to place the fulcrum/pad under your upper hamstrings. Keeping your quads and glutes tight, lean back under control as far as you’re able, and then crunch the abs and sit back up, again keeping the quads tight. Tight quads and glutes (and a properly positioned pad) will help prevent the hyperextension of the lower back.
 
You can also limit the range of motion if the full movement bothers your lower back, or as a way to make it somewhat more difficult, by stopping with your upper body approximately horizontal.
 
Avoid high-speed reps and swinging—this places more stress on the lower back and also reduces the work the abs and hips are actually doing.
 
 
Purpose
 
The GHD sit-up provides a much longer range of motion for the back and hips than a traditional sit-up and will add a stretch of the abs to encourage more strengthening.
 
 
Programming
 
GHD sit-ups  should be done at the end of a workout and can be done for sets of anywhere from 10-50+ depending on conditioning.
 
 
Notes
 
This can be an extremely taxing exercise for athletes who have never performed them previously—ease into them with a very low number of reps and sets (e.g. 3 x 5) the first exposure to gauge your response.
 
 
Variations
 
You can perform GHD sit-up holds for static strength work, or pause in the horizontal position during the sit-up motion. The arm position can be changed to increase or decrease difficulty—holding the arms at your sides, hands on the chest, hands behind the head, and arms extended overhead will make the movement progressively more difficult. 






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