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Because the base of your spine doesn't grind, burn and snap with each rep? That might be nice. I'll have to look into that. Not that I'm ever doing sit-ups ever again in my life, but it's a neat thought...
A lot of people avoid situps for the reason knifegill here describes. Doing them on a mattress takes away all of those problems. Its true that it doesn't isolate the muscles as well but thats probably a good thing. I agree it isn't one of the five essential movements and I don't focus on them either but having discovered this, I intend to use it as a way of toning my abs...!
Situps lying over swiss ball with feet wide hooked under bench or bar, with full range of motion (floor to floor).
I found they hurt less to perform…but can cause DOMS because of larger range of muscles used. Start slow
It's on at 3am on Fox. It's called 'Owen's Ownage of the Abz'. It's like P90X but with just abs work. A lot of tan lean dudes smothered in oil doing sit-ups, just a warning (or a suggestion, if you're into that sort of thing).