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Sit Ups and Calf Exercises


Hello fellas, I've got a couple of questions I was hoping to get answered. The first is about sit ups, are they bad for your back and what replacement exercise is there which hits the same muscles? I've got to do 45 sit ups (and a bunch of other stuff) for my army fitness test later and I was testing myself just now. I can do it with good form, but I find that it hurts my back and I'd really rather avoid doing it. It's not that lovely good muscle soreness from a good exercise, it just hurts in the wrong way. I don't know if I am doing it wrong (I am mimicing the instruction video as best as I can) or if it is just supposed to hurt and I'm not use to it from not doing the exercise.

I don't really feel it in my muscles anyway. Is it supposed to be a back exercise? A stomach exercise? My deadlift is 140kg at the moment so I am fairly sure my back is not too weak for this simple exercise. All the other physical requirements are really easy for me and I blow the test out of the water except for this one. Like I said, I can do it but it hurts. Any recommendations on how I can either stop being a pussy or use a different exercise to train the same parts?

Secondly, I'm trying to find a good calf exercise I can do at my gym. Unfortunately, it's not an option to leave (everything else is too damn amazing. but there isn't either the seated of standing calf machine which you can put weights onto and my calves are too strong for me to use the stairs to just do them calf step things. I need to be holding at least 20kg in each hand and my grip/hands gets tired before my calves get tired.

Alright, cheers, or thanks as you prefer.


For the calf raises use a squat rack if its free, load up the bar, put it on your back, and just calf raise from the floor to as tall as yo can.
Works fine on a smith machine, as well. Hopefully your gym has some blocks or boards you can put your toes on to get some extra depth

As far as the sit-up. Try playing around with foot positioning elevated feet on a chair, or just holding your feet above the ground in a jackknife


Make sure you do the situps correctly. many people go all the way up to their knees although this is not necessary if training the abdominals is the goal.
if situps still hurt your back dont do them. i recommend planks , they are easy to learn and by placing arms farer and farer away it becomes more and more challenging.

Calf exercises: the one above mentioned by JBott1988 and you can also do them on a leg press . i prefer doing it on the legpress machine because you can focus really on the calves and you can get a deep stretch and a peak contraction

Hope this helped


crunches/sit ups i too had problems with sit ups i found the whole motion very uncomfortable especially in the upperback/neck area so stopped doing sit ups (sit up to me is back flat on floor then all the way back up to bent knees) crunch to me is a much shorter ranger of motions i.e like ur head leaves the floor and only up til about 8inches from floor. Crunches i find are better anyways as the tension on the abs remains longer, with sit up once u reach 45degrees there is no point imo

alternatives u can use a swiss ball i got one of these and the amount of stuff u can do on em are really good, and also i found it helped with my sit ups/crunches, if u google/youtube swiss ball crunches u will see lots of diff ways to use it, u can lay with ur back on the ball and crunch or u can let ur legs/shins sit on the ball and go into a push up position then pull ur knees to ur chest etc or an ab wheel is also good too!
u can do hanging leg raises (hand from a pull up bar and pivot at the hips, u can use bent knees or straight or straight legs)

or laying leg raise lay on a bench or the floor and with a very slight bend in knee to release pressure off the back raise ur legs, once u do them and get good at em if u have a training partner he/she can stand over u and once u get ur legs up they push them down to the floor again and u try stop ur legs hitting the floor causing resistance on the abs etc (obvs they are not trying to smash ur legs into the floor just a easy amount of pressure to push ur legs back down)

calf raises i d what is said above i load my barbell like i was doing a squat and just do calf raises i.e tip toe. works better with a flat lump of wood under ur forfoot so u get a full range of motion


Well Bob there are some good answers on stuff here for calves and some alternstive ideas for sit ups.

My idea is that you should stop doing what is hurting you in the first place. Completely. You are hurting for a reason and you should try to figure out the reason, because you will be required to do tons of sit ups in the Army. In the mean time you should do things that do not require the spine to flex to work the abs–do ab roll outs from your knees while maintaining a very strong, PROPER, plank position. I am.sure you know what planks are. But make sure you are doing them with a proper back position and active ab squeeze at all times, don’t let your back cave. Do ab rollouts, supersetted with planks. Or do rollouts supersetted with roman chair leg raises, ehich although they require an amount of spine flexion will be much easier on you and still work. Then periodically re test how many proper sit ups.you can as required by the Army. Worked on hard enough you should definitely see improvement in your numbers.of sit ups–if you keep the.goal of long time under tension in the front of your mind. This.will also really cut down on the pain you feel training. however it will not fix whatever underlying issue you have, so I would start reading and trying figure out the problem.