(Relaxnews) – When it comes to the fine art of the classic sit-up, what’s the best approach? Keep your feet unrestrained, according to a new study.
Researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK enlisted members of the British Army to perform sit-ups and curl-ups in a variety of styles — including restrained, where subjects hooked their feet under an object or someone held them in place, and unrestrained.
Subjects performed sit-ups for two minutes while researchers kept tabs on muscle activity in both the abdominals as well as the rectus femoris, a quadricep muscle that works as a hip flexor, notes Runner’s World.
Findings showed that with the feet restrained, subjects used their rectus femoris more, which took some of the focus away from the abs. Runner’s World cites that sit-ups with your feet restrained have also been shown to raise the risk of injuring your back.
The findings appear online ahead of the print edition in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.