do sit-ups and leg raises reduce hip flexibility?

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do sit-ups and leg raises reduce hip flexibility?

Postby REG » Oct 13, 2011 18:42

Hello again. I have been doing some thinking, and I am concerned as to whether or not hip flexor exercises such as sit-ups, lying leg raises, hanging leg raises, etc. reduce hip flexibility. I am most concerned about sit-ups because that particular exercise seems to very much resemble either sitting most of the day at work (or studying) or exercising on a bicycle, while exercising the Iliopsoas and other hip flexor muscles. I already know that being sedentary throughout most of day everyday or riding a bicycle a lot will indeed reduce hip flexibility (especially in the Psoas major, minor, and iliacus muscles), since neither one of those situations allow full extension of the hips and thighs. Lying leg raises and hanging leg raises seem to be better than sit-ups for hip flexibility, but those exercises still do not seem to permit the full range of extension of the hips. I have diligently checked all of Mr. Kurz's articles in the newsletter section, columns, Q&A's, etc. for the answer to this question, but there doesn't appear to be an answer for it. I need someone to please help me out here in clarifying this matter as I don't know what to do.
REG
 
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Re: do sit-ups and leg raises reduce hip flexibility?

Postby dragon » Oct 15, 2011 10:39

When performing hanging leg raises,your legs go from a neutral position(hanging straight down) to being raised.....So why do you feel this isn't providing you with a full ROM?...

As the sit up does involve the hip flexors,and the hip flexors remain in a contracted position throughout,then i guess it could be argued that it could reduce flexibility....If you have a well rounded,balanced training program though and not over concentrating on one thing too much,i don't think this is even worth worrying about...

If you feel these exercises are hindering your progress though,change them for something else...There are hundreds of ab exercises out there.

Dragon.
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Re: do sit-ups and leg raises reduce hip flexibility?

Postby REG » Oct 17, 2011 15:10

dragon wrote:When performing hanging leg raises,your legs go from a neutral position(hanging straight down) to being raised.....So why do you feel this isn't providing you with a full ROM?...


With leg raises, either lying or hanging, you don't extend the thigh back like you would in running or walking. So, wouldn't that mean that with leg raises you don't move your hips through full extension?

dragon wrote:As the sit up does involve the hip flexors,and the hip flexors remain in a contracted position throughout,then i guess it could be argued that it could reduce flexibility....If you have a well rounded,balanced training program though and not over concentrating on one thing too much,i don't think this is even worth worrying about...


Then why does Mr. Kurz imply in his articles and books, that even if you have a well rounded and balanced training program, doing one exercise such as parallel squats (rather than deep squats) could reduce your hip, thigh, and calf flexibility?

dragon wrote:If you feel these exercises are hindering your progress though,change them for something else...There are hundreds of ab exercises out there.


But they all seem very similar to what Mr. Kurz knows.
REG
 
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Re: do sit-ups and leg raises reduce hip flexibility?

Postby dragon » Oct 18, 2011 04:29

REG wrote:With leg raises, either lying or hanging, you don't extend the thigh back like you would in running or walking. So, wouldn't that mean that with leg raises you don't move your hips through full extension?


This has been discussed in some of the other posts-Your joint doesn't have to move through a full ROM for the joint,just a full ROM that a particular exercise allows.As you mention below,why stop squats short when it's possible to do them deeper.


REG wrote:Then why does Mr. Kurz imply in his articles and books, that even if you have a well rounded and balanced training program, doing one exercise such as parallel squats (rather than deep squats) could reduce your hip, thigh, and calf flexibility?


Perfect example-You stand up,you squat down........Would you try and lean backwards at the top of a squat to push your pelvis forwards/create a greater ROM in your hips?The same thing applies with the hanging leg raise.You don't need to pull your legs behind you for a great ROM in your hips.You just need to use a full ROM of the exercise.


REG wrote:But they all seem very similar to what Mr. Kurz knows.


Because that's what's required for the exercise to be effective for the abdominals....You need to rid yourself of this theory that every exercise needs to be aimed at hip flexibility.The activities you perform need to be put into perspective:-

If you are a serious cyclist who rides 20 miles per day and performs some half hearted stretching at the end,then your flexibility will be reduced.

If you are a dancer/martial artist who trains effectively through a full ROM in your chosen practice,a well balanced strength routine/stretching routine and rides a bike to the local store once per week,then it's not going to destroy you...

I think it would be helpful if you say-

1)-How long you've been training for.
2)-What your chosen sport is.
3)-Your current training routine-including volume,frequency,intensity..

Like i've said in a previous post,it's good to have the knowledge,but the practice is better.I train with some guys who have no idea what muscle fibre type they are or even what a hip flexor is.....These same people can kick harder,lift more,have greater flexibility than most trainees i know though.

Dragon.
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Re: do sit-ups and leg raises reduce hip flexibility?

Postby tyciol » Feb 17, 2012 01:37

Maybe if you did ONLY leg raises. But keep in mind: part of the chronic shortening in hip flexors is due to weakness and disuse as much as it is with being in that position.

With leg raises you go into a stretched position under load, I would think that would help prevent shortening. Now with hanging raises the hardest part of focus is certainly the raised portion, In which case, you can combine them with lying leg raises to focus on the stretched portion.

If you want to stretch from a hyperextended position, you can do this with split squats, elevated rear foot squats, lunge variations and isometric front split holds.

Or if you want to do a leg raise, you could do it with 1 leg hanging off a bench to get more stretch, or if you do them hanging, hook 1 leg on the other side of the bar and drop the other down, do a hanging front split that way.
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