I was in the gym today...No, really I do go. Once again I saw the foot end of the decline sit-up bench was propped on a Reebok Step. This seems to have the norm for young men (it is almost always men). I think the thought process is 'it gets harder the more declined it is, I must be working my abs more' WRONG. Your abs only work over a very small range, once you go beyond that you are flexing your hips, not your back. Your upper body is exerting maximum effect as a lever being pulled by gravity on the muscles trying to move or hold it when it is horizontal, so to be effective the muscle you want to be firing when you are horizontal should be your abs. If you're starting at 60' , you'll be past the abs by about 45' and predominantly strengthening your Psoas muscle, which is great but an overlarge Psoas can trap the nerves going into yous legs and particularly the outer thigh causing numbness or discomfort, it can irritate the bowel causing diarrhoea and worst of all...No one can see your Psoas anyway! There's a reason these benches are made so they only decline about 30'
Damian is the principal osteopath at Vauxhall Village Osteopathy and Oval Osteopathy