Major Muscles and Actions Involved
In this exercise the lower portion of the abdominal muscles, especially the rectus abdominis, shorten to perform spinal flexion. In this action the lower pelvic girdle rotates up and toward the upper trunk. This involves an opposite rotation of the pelvis in comparison to what occurs in the sit-up or crunch.
The reverse sit-up is an important exercise for all sports that require abdominal strength to rotate the pelvis posteriorly to produce a maximum ROM to rotate the legs up high. Thus, gymnasts perform this exercise to develop the muscles needed to raise their legs to a 90-degree angle or higher in many of the stunts executed on the apparatus and in free exercise. Likewise, it is an important exercise for dancers, especially for developing the muscles needed to raise the legs in ballet leaps and in modern dance.
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