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Core Strengthening Exercises: Sit Ups, Judo & Back Support

The Best Situps as Core Strengthening Exercises

If you want to do something to build the sort of strength that will really support you when you do your throws and help avoid injury to your back when you do them, you have to do situps. I have had a back injury for a very long time and I know the importance of core strengthening exercises to support your back and avoid further injury. But not just any sort of situps.
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It is actually very hard to find a video that shows the correct situps that are good core strengthening exercises for Judo and Back support. They are quite specific. Though I did find one (below) it covers a bit more than I wanted but it was better than making one of my own. :)

Don't misunderstand me there are lots of good videos on situps shown through Youtube but the vast, vast majority of them encourage you to sit up all the way so that your back is straight or you are bent over your knees or even in half. This method of situp is still excellent at building muscle but a great deal of the muscle that is built is around the back. The idea of situps as core strengthening exercises that are ideal for supporting your back is to specifically build your stomach muscles not, you back muscles.

Counter-intuitive Situps For Judo Back Support

It seems counter-intuitive but your stomach muscles are the ones that should be the strongest so that they taking the strain away from your back muscles. In this way, you are reducing a lot of back strain when your back is injured. I found this out when I damaged my back all those years ago. I was in so much pain that I was on very strong pain killers and the physiotherapist I was seeing advised me to build up to doing 40 a day of these very specific situps. They didn't completely fix the problem but they were a big help and allowed me to reduce my medication substantially.

In those days my back gave me too much discomfort to do any Judo and it stayed that way until I went back to swimming. So it was not until I went back to Judo that I discovered the value of these particular situps on my core strength. Before I stopped Judo due to my back injury I had been doing situps. In fact, I had been doing them for as long as I can remember but after I went back I discovered that it was only these specific situps that kept the pain away. More than that, there was a fantastic spin-off. I discovered that as I continued to do them, throws that I had previously found a struggle, I could now do comfortably. So not only did these situps help avoid back pain they actually helped my Judo. Bonus!

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The key component of these situps as core strengthening exercises, that is shown but not mentioned in the video, is to make sure that you must keep your arms remain straight as you hands run up your legs (fig.1)

core strengthening exercises: sit ups to support Judo throws and your back. Image of the arms being straight during the situp
(Fig.1) Situps

 and do not let your hands go past your knees (fig.2) 

core strengthening exercises: sit ups to support Judo throws and your back. Image of the hands stopped on top of the knees during the situp
(Fig.2) Situps

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