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Tired of sit-ups? Try sit-backs
Los Angeles Times · April 16, 2007
By Karen Voight

There are more ways to strengthen your abdominal muscles than just doing sit-ups. In this exercise, you reverse the motion and do sit-backs. It's easier on your neck than lying on the floor doing traditional crunches and, at the same time, offers more variety to your routine. Another advantage to this move is that it uses control and precision instead of high repetition.

1 Sit on a flat, padded surface. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Begin with your hands on the floor, palms down near your hips. On an exhale, contract your abdominals and roll slowly onto the back of your pelvis, dragging your hands along the floor. Hold this position as you flatten your abdominals and focus on moving your pelvis toward your chest. Slowly raise your arms to chest level with palms facing inward. Inhale, lift your chest and draw your shoulders away from your ears.

2 Without changing the position of your torso, straighten your right leg as you simultaneously pull your arms back until your hands are near your hips with your palms turned up. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and point your elbows back. Pause for a moment, then reach your arms forward, lower your right leg and repeat with your left leg. Alternate until you have done three on each side.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times in the "Good Form" feature of the Health Section. "Good Form" is updated with a new Karen Voight article each Monday.