If you’re looking for simple exercises you can do with or without equipment — even a rock will do — the Sit Up Stand Up is a good one worth trying.

It’s a calisthenics-based exercise and one of many I used when I worked with the U.S. Army Boxing Team to induce a conditioning effect.

You’ll start by standing up holding the weight, then drop down into a sit-up position and allow the weight to drop behind your head. Then, you’ll accelerate the ball or whatever you’re holding forward which will pull you into a standing position.

Use a medicine ball or anything that will allow you to hold onto a weight, so long as you can perform the exercise dynamically and not hurt yourself. Just make sure the weight you’re using is heavy enough to create enough momentum for you to stand up safely. (You can do this exercise without a ball, but your arms will need to move fairly quickly. Women can work without a ball more easily than men who have more of their body weight distributed in their legs.)

An important thing to keep in mind: Don’t perform this exercise if you don’t have a functional spine. Be sure to run a core function test included in my book, How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!

If your core isn’t working properly, any kind of sit up exercise will magnify any imbalances, and set you up for imbalance syndromes, back pain and other problems.

As you watch this short video, pay attention to how my legs are positioned when they’re extended. If your core strength, breathing, lats and lower abdominals aren’t optimal or stable enough, your back will go into hyperlordosis

Start slowly! I wouldn’t recommend more than one to three sets of 10 reps to start, and pay attention to how your body responds before adding more.

In addition to my book, you can learn a lot more in my Scientific Core Conditioning and Scientific Back Training video series or by enrolling in CHEK Exercise Coach.

Love and chi,

Paul

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