Oxford Karate Academy

General Category => Fitness => Topic started by: Fish on June 14, 2007, 02:56:30 PM

Title: Strength Building
Post by: Fish on June 14, 2007, 02:56:30 PM
I am wondering the best use of push ups to help build upper body strength. Is it best to focus on as many reps as possible with little recovery time, or is it better to do a significant amount over a longer exercise period? I understand the principle of using high weights and low reps to build muscle and low weight high reps to build endurance, is this sort of applicable to push ups. Any advice would be greatly received.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on June 14, 2007, 04:58:25 PM
Ah ha, next lesson will benefit your question ;D! Will you be there Friday?

A variety of ways are available. Wide, narrow, extended in front, inclined, inverted, with weight, with height added etc. Oh, and then get bench pressing, negatives, with a variety of inclined, wide grip, narrow, flyes, pec deck machines etc.

Yes to your statement of more reps for endurance and low reps with weight or resistance for strength.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Fish on June 14, 2007, 07:54:57 PM
I found the variation of exercises on weds very useful particularly the new way of doing press ups. I quite enjoyed the ones with the rotation onto one arm. In addition yes, I will be at the Friday lesson and a few pointers on some strength building style press ups would be well received ;D

Many thanks
Matt
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Death on July 25, 2007, 02:06:32 PM
The general rule of rep range:

1-6 reps = ideal strength training zone.
10-15 reps = ideal mass building zone.
20+ reps = endurance/lean muscle building.

(By the end of each range you should be fairly fatigued, don't have a weight that makes you go to failure unless hypertrophy (mass building) is your goal. I personally recommend 4 sets with these basic rep ranges. Also, going to failure too often may lead to over training.)

Whatever is in between can give you a mix of both qualities, though these are just 'general' rules, set and rep ranges like 5x5 (5 reps, 5 sets) are good for developing explosive power 'and' noticeable  mass gains even though they don't fit into the basic ranges, possibly due to the 'overall' volume.
Eg, 5x5 = 25 reps all together.
And 12x4 = 28 reps all together.
A difference of 3 reps in between the two routines.

Though it's not just all about rep ranges and volume, rest in between sets is also a big factor:

30 seconds - 1 minute of rest in between sets = endurance training.
1.5-2 minutes rest in between sets = mass building.
3-5 minutes rest in between sets = Strength training.

When making a routine try to train the whole body in a similar way other wise you may end up confusing your physiology.
Think about what you want from training and then work towards that goal.
Train for strength and you'll have a good looking body as a side effect, train for looks and strength will be the side effect.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on July 29, 2007, 12:42:37 PM
Tips for push ups??

I really struggle with push ups because my arms always feel so weak - and my elbow can give in sometimes... also are your elbows supposed to point inwards to your ribs or out a little bit?

do you have your chin up and looking forward or looking down?

Re: sit ups -  i find my neck gets stiff after only a few sit ups could this mean i'm not doing them properly? how are you supposed to support your neck?

ok . too many questions...

thanks any comments are good.
 
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on July 30, 2007, 02:07:45 AM
Welcome back DEATH, where have you been? Well I hope?
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Death on July 30, 2007, 02:16:46 AM
I've been busy settling into my new home in oxford, got my own place and am currently looking for work.
The plan is after a few months of working as whatever I'll be getting into a health and fitness apprenticeship.
I'm in summertown at the mo, not that from far from two gyms,  swimming pool and wolvercote boxing gym, not to mention a nice selection of 'higher class' shopping facilities.
It's all good right now, and plus I'm in the best shape of my life (I said that last week also, must be a good sign). :D
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on July 30, 2007, 02:39:41 AM
Seeing as you're in Oxford, you can come and train again!

Some of us are also in shape ........ round!
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: U-Neek1 on August 11, 2007, 03:24:12 PM

You guys should try the Abs Wheel , just bought one and man its a killer on the abs , but really good for building core strength as each time you need to wheel your self straight back up , look at this guy on youtube do it .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX2M-kb-TIE


its at the end but its well worth watching its called rolling the wheel.

plus I've spoken to this guy and he's really helpful in fitness tips , you should check out his web site  www.rosstraining.com

good stuff !!  ;)
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on August 16, 2007, 06:39:01 PM
My abs wheel is over 20 years old!
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on August 17, 2007, 01:39:00 PM
I can't believe he can do all that stuff! impressive -   but he must spend his life in his little gym basement!!

still pretty cool techniques for fitness . That abs wheel looks hard to control though... what's to stop you from just rolling it and falling flat on your face???   ::)


Ha ha

 :D
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on August 18, 2007, 09:21:19 PM
My belly stops me landing flat on my face. ;D .Xiaoyun thats a nice name how do you pronounce it. ???. As for training which is preferred by higher grades strength or speed,or both.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on September 02, 2007, 03:47:47 PM
Xiao - is pronounced a bit like 'miao' but with a 'x' and 'yun' like 'yoon' - it means small cloud in Chinese :) I'm studying Mandarin that's why...

- Xiaoyun  :)

personally - i don't think i'll be investing in an ab wheel - being built like a twig - i might just look like a stick insect holding a wheel an inch off the floor!! plus - its more for men anyway... so roll those abs guys! ;)
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on September 03, 2007, 12:54:44 AM
In a bizarre coincidence i recently found an ab wheel in my friends garden,he gave it to me,and it is very difficult. I am going to take to training this week and let everyone have a go. I will keep you informed on the outcome.I don,t think they are just for men though,so you have to give it a go,that is if you get hold of one. ;D If not i will keep hold of it until you visit.I am sure you will be able to do it.Get practicing. ;)   
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on September 03, 2007, 01:30:23 AM
I like the new avatar Shotofook  ;D Bring the ab wheel, I wanna go on it!
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on September 03, 2007, 01:39:18 PM
OK i'll see if i can get hold of one - and try not do too much damage!  in your friend's garden eh? maybe that says something about ab wheels! better as deco,   hahaha!   ;D
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on September 08, 2007, 09:38:42 PM
My friend is from Northern Ireland,he is not very tall, and i think he thought it was a unicycle.HAHA :D
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on September 11, 2007, 10:48:55 AM
well if he has good balance - who knows?!  ;D
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on September 11, 2007, 06:42:22 PM
Samara, please email me as I don't have your email.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on September 15, 2007, 08:54:37 PM
Used ab wheel for an hour today,stomach muscles are sore,and have to buy new carpet for front room. 8) 
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Death on September 15, 2007, 10:07:18 PM
Beat this, earlier today I did 3 sets of 8 dragon flags, did 4 sets of 12 weighted side bends (45kg) and 4 sets of 20 frog kicks.
Later on in the day 4 sets of 100 squats and 4 sets of 20 pistons.
After that I smoked some draw and went to sleep to wake up fresh.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on September 15, 2007, 10:24:32 PM
Cool dude,does the smoking help or do you just forget about the pain.Got to go now i have the urge for a bar of chocolate,strange eh!. 8)
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on September 16, 2007, 10:46:53 PM
I went on a brilliant new machine in the gym today and I felt sick after half an hour on it    .........

...............................


..............................



.............................

 it had Mars Bars, Crisps, Coke, Chocolate etc
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on September 28, 2007, 02:21:44 PM
A core exrecise for you SB.

Kneel on all fours, lift the left arm and point it forwards and raise the right leg and point it to the rear. After one minute, swap sides.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Death on September 29, 2007, 01:50:54 AM
P.S Death - how on earth does smoking 'draw' make you feel fresh when you've probably killed off a couple of hundred brain cells ????

I Don't know chemically/biologically how it makes you feel fresh, I just know that it does. If I had to guess I would say that it helps you sleep, it's a relaxant.
And it doesn't kill brain cells, the THC in it simply causes a hormonal response that effects your mental state, it's just like anything else you put into your body except it's more potent.
It's simply a more drastic version of ingesting regular food, what you eat can also drastically effect your hormones and your mood only you don't think too much of it becuase most moods and psychological states are familiar, the only reason the feeling of being 'high' seems significant is because it's different, new and interesting if you like the feeling.

Quote
Unless you are of course the REAL grim reaper, part of the living dead

I'm not part of the living dead, that's somewhat insulting. I'm neither living nor dead, in truth I don't even deal in death unless it's for a good reason (or I'm bored), I actually deal with the living on their way to whatever end/path their religion or beliefs encompass.
My association with death is mostly because whenever people see me working while I'm guiding the soul from the body leaving a lifeless vessel. In other words people see me next to a dead body and associate me with it and I get bad press, People are so ignorant as always.

Quote
and don't care at all about your mental health...

Ah, yet another person who believes whatever authority tells them without good reason why.
The whole point of 'mental' health is that it's about psychology.
Basically meaning that if your the kind of person to become mentally affected from the experience of being stoned then you probably had more chance of acquiring some form of mental illness due to an unfamiliar or emotionally difficult event than those who fit a more strong minded psychological profile, meaning that if your the kind of person who freaks out and is easily traumatized from an unusual/trying experience then you probably shouldn't put your self into a situation where your likely to experience new/unknown things that you might not like, especially if it's likely to be emotionally charged.

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So surprised at how you exercise and then go and destroy the day's efforts with one puff..

I'd be surprised if that happened also, because whether I smoke it or not I make progress, and I don't really see how a temporary relaxant like THC could permanently shut off a persons motor neuron pathways, or how a gram of tobacco a week/fortnight used for the soul purpose of aiding ignition could significantly impair a persons cardiovascular capacity, let alone one 'puff'.

And if Kazuhiro Nakamura, Karo Parisyan and Bruce Lee to use Cannabis with no ill effects then why can't I?

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hello?

Hiyas! :D

Quote
common sense?

-is rare these days, too many people believe whatever they're told without being able to reason why, and even if they can, the information is often wrong.
I however look at a situation, concept or supposed fact, anylise it, research the concepts and principles it is based upon, consider all appropriate factors and results that apply to a certain situation and decide on the best available method/concept for the situation, try to invent new ones or even discard old ones, isn't that common sense?

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and then brag about it?...

I wasn't the only one bragging, and what's wrong with bragging? Are people so insecure to the point that it's annoying to hear of other peoples abilities?

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i rest my case.

I'm not surprised, it's now a very tired case that didn't stand a chance.

As for the things death is writing on the site,children log on to this site so maybe a good idea if he edits his last post.Come on Death get the brain cells back in the real world. >:( 

What are you talking about? What's to edit? And Why are you trying to shield children? Overprotection and smothering of kids is one reason why todays society is so pathetic and exploitable.
If everyone tried to do what your trying to do the mental trauma rate would skyrocket because when reality finally hits them they would have a seriously insufficient understanding of how to deal with stress, getting hit with a shot that rocks them would seem like losing a limb.
Why is it that people try to pretend they honestly care for the welfare of children with the same cliché tone of sentimentality and 'protection'
Why after 6000 years of human civilization people still don't understand that children aren't as stupid, vulnerable or impressionable as people seem to believe?
Why shield them from things that are seen on daytime television a news papers every day?
Weed isn't shocking, reading about weed isn't going to ruin anyones life, reading about it not going to traumatize anyone, being dragged out of bed in the middle of he night and lashed with a hooked fire poker will do a much better job of doing that to a kid, why not try protecting them from things that actually harm them rather than trying to expose them to a make-shift perfect world which will just crumble the second they gain independence.
Don't you know your supposed to prepare children for what's ahead, not blind them from it.

Quote
Come on Death get the brain cells back in the real world.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on September 29, 2007, 04:54:32 AM
I will raise my children to know that people who take drugs are more often than not in denial,and will say pretty much anything to defend their drug of choice.Writing pages of drivel to defend yours is not impressive to me death.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on September 29, 2007, 10:49:00 AM
Thank you Shihan,

I'll give those ones a go!

Cheers,
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: tzuki on September 29, 2007, 11:26:56 AM
How many times have people defended drug taking with:- its only this or that  there's no real evidence to prove it doe's any harm , how qualified are you to state this , what about the people who die in whatever the circumstances i.e.:- drug gang wars , prostitution (earning money to feed a habit) , mugging (to feed a habit)  , housebreaking (to feed a habit) . Are the victims nothing and don't count simply because they are not taking the drugs ! I could go on and on ,I suppose you will say I'm been " overprotective "  to warn my children about  the big picture and all the side issues  its not just " weed " it what it leads on to , go and ask real people with hard drug habits how they arrived where they are now !  I will stick with my body providing "natural highs" through old fashioned exercise , and will be happy for any children or adults who wish to copy me to do so ! . As for drugs if you cannot see how children are influenced  , (this only my humble opinion of course) .
1/You are still a child yourself  .
2/ The weed is not as harmless as you thought .
3/You are stupid .
This web site is intended  to provide help and information to people lets keep just to that !
Looking through your postings you seem to want to be controversial .

              COLIN PACE (student , parent and instructor)
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on September 29, 2007, 02:12:06 PM
Hey Shotofook, Sorry didn't mean to be so defensive or aggressive or criticising. So apologies, Of course Shihan has a sense of humour!! all English people have a great sense of humour...

Seem to have stirred the pot too much with this topic...

 :-\
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on September 29, 2007, 02:14:08 PM
Death, you are entitled to do as you please with your life. I don't know you, so I can't criticize you.  I apologize if you are offended and if i have offended anyone else.

Xiaoyun
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on September 29, 2007, 05:49:13 PM
THC is tetra hydra cannabinol/tetra hydrocannabinol (abbreviated to d9 THC).

The active ingredient in marijuana sativa is THC (tetrahydra cannabinol), a mind-altering (pscyhoactive) chemical. The marijuana sold today contains higher percentages of THC than that sold in the 60's and 70's. Skunk is grown under artificial light to make the THC reach levels that are hallucinogenic. Skunk can also be known as CHRONIC! Skunk has other labels, such as Northen Lights, Durban Poison, Blueberry, AK-47.

Marijuana has both short and long-term health consequences. Short-term effects include problems with short term memory loss; memory and learning; distorted perception; paranoia; decreased thinking and problem solving skills; loss of motor co-ordination; increased appetite; and increased heart rate, anxiety. Long term effects include risk of cancer, respiratory problems, and negative effects on both the male and female reproductive systems.

Under the influence of marijuana, students may find it hard to concentrate and learn and may eventually lose their motivation for schoolwork and other activities they once enjoyed. Young athletes could find their performance is diminished, since both timing and coordination are affected by THC.

That is a researched opinion, not that of a karate person, parent, goody goody two shoes, or anything else. However, I'm sure if people want to indulge in any form of recreational drugs, this forum is a karate forum. KEEP it that way. This topic will probably be deleted by the admininstrator anyhow, as it is a KARATE web site.

Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on September 30, 2007, 10:47:50 AM
kara = empty and te = hand, denoting a hand with NOTHING in it.

Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on September 30, 2007, 04:16:41 PM
My=Bank, denoting an account with nothing in it. :'(                                                                      Xiaoyun, no need to apologize you were right to defend Shihans honour,and debate is a good thing, when done by the masses. :)                                         
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on October 01, 2007, 12:42:32 PM
Thanks Shotofook,  ;) as Shihan said this is a Karate website, so an apology is in order... so lets rather talk about karate! may i ask how long have you been studying/ training in Goju? are you fairly new to Shihan's classes? I left nearly a year ago but I still like to keep informed on what's going on in England/Europe/Japan. Was hoping to go on the Japan trip, but likewise my bank is looking poorly :-\, as hard as I try to save!!! Maybe in a few more years time when I have a full time job I might seriously be able to go, still saving for July just in case I do manage it!  ;D
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on October 01, 2007, 07:32:50 PM
I have been studying Wado ryu for four years,and studying with Shihan for the last six months.Shihans classes are a lot more informative than my other style,its just what i was looking for.In some respects i wish i had started this style first,but i don,t think i would have had the confidence to go along without doing wado first. I would also like to go to the seminar in Japan,but it all depends on a lot of things.Keep saving might see you there you never know.     :)  By the way can i ask, what grade are you.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on October 02, 2007, 10:54:04 AM
An empty hand, devoid of a spliff, joint etc  ;D
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on October 02, 2007, 04:25:44 PM
I'm currently a purple belt (over here green with a black stripe) going for my next belt (1st brown one here) in December. missed a grading due to uni stress! and they're only 3 months apart which seems short now due to what we have to learn! But still enjoying the challenge even though it is considerably harder and much more technical.

Wado ryu sounds interesting, I believe that Sensei Fraser did something like that or maybe it was Wing Chun???  I've only ever studied Goju but I find it so complete and that's what is so interesting, that it never ends, your knowledge can always be extended. It's a lifelong dedication and I like the idea of something that I can follow and learn all my life with (hopefully) never tiring of it.  :) Much like my love of languages, why learn one when there are 6,912 more to learn?!  ;D  and why stop at a black belt when there are ten more levels to go! ;D no so easy tho! haha

Are you studying at the moment Shotofook?
Xiaoyun
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: shotofook on October 02, 2007, 08:49:44 PM
Not studying at college,sadly a little to old for that.And never really been academically minded.But i am studying life in general.I get to meet a lot of different people,from all walks of life.Its good to see how they get on in their daily life.Recently i have been talking to a millionaire who travels all around the world,but he is bored stiff.Oh to have his problems hey.   Also been speaking to someone who is in great debt,but he is extremely happy.Its a strange world is,nt it. What are you studying.And how long for.   
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on October 05, 2007, 07:33:05 AM
Studying a Bachelor of Arts - French, Chinese, Political Science and English Literature to go on and double major in Chinese and English Lit. 3-4 year course depending on my majors. So Shotofook do you work?  re the millionaire and the guy in debt... they say millionaires never smile .. and judging from the one I met - I think that statement is very true. It's important to find out what makes you happy and stick with that!  ::)

PS. re Karate, hows it going?  i'm finding it so hard working on my yoko geri's (spelling is probs wrong there)  but practice practice practice... will prevail.

Yes it is a strange world, but one I am determined to travel around! Here's something for your study of life - do you know of anyone who's been to Russia and did they like it? ;D
Have you traveled much?
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on October 07, 2007, 11:02:30 AM
Moscow airport was scary enough!
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on October 09, 2007, 03:13:28 PM
Really? Why?
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on October 10, 2007, 12:55:01 AM
Very aggressive, military etc.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on October 10, 2007, 01:51:33 PM
Really? I wouldn't have expected that, although I suppose as a communist country and one with such a strong history of a powerful military I shouldn't be surprised!  ;D

maybe i'll put that trip on the back burner. ::)... hmm..

re: fitness - I would be really interested to know what sort of level of fitness black belts maintain? and daily? Naturally a very high one...and I understand this varies from person to person, but how much exercise outside of classes might one recommend? Black belts? I guess what I'm asking for is just an idea of a fitness level to work towards...

i.e is there a minimum amount of sit ups etc you do just to keep in shape and fit enough for class?
Comments would be appreciated
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Shihan Paul on October 11, 2007, 02:43:08 AM
So many people do other sports and hobbies. I know some of the black belts do weight training, bag work, running etc.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Death on October 11, 2007, 01:37:30 PM
For fighting, I'd suggest high intensity training because that normally the intensity you'd encounter during a fight or simulation of one.

There's a simple way to clearly see what kind of fitness you need for fighting.
Basically take a jog/run, you'll notice that you should be able to go for a fair amount of time before you feel the need to stop (or all day if you run often! well, not quite).
Now have a session on the bag, punch it as hard and fast as you can at a constant rate (just as the running was at a constant rate until you need to stop.

You should notice that you are worn out a lot quicker from the bag work than the running, the main reason being is that the two are of two completely different levels of intensity, the jogging being 'low' intensity and the bag work being 'high' intensity.

What I mean by intensity is simply the harder you work, the more oxygen your body needs to maintain the activity, through training you condition your body to adapt to the intensity and physical demands of your sport/job/etc.
So when training you want to know that your training simulates the stresses of your activity as accurately as possible, you do not want to be training for a marathon (long distance running) when training for a fight.

This article explains it a lot better and quicker than me.

http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1343138&cr=performanceTraining

Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Xiaoyun on October 23, 2007, 01:21:54 AM
Thanks Shihan,

currently i'm trying to do some bag work at the gym once a week - along with cardio and a few light weights. This has improved my fitness - however the punch bags at the gym seem really soft and bouncy - quite hard to control if you hit it hard. 

going to try do some running on the beach this summer - apparently that's good for you  :P
trying a few other dojos at the mo - went to a Wu wei Do school which has  a lot of goju in it but then blends with other styles higher up... It was interesting to partake in a class with a slightly different style. I think it's Goju - with martial arts from southern China mixed in. But I still prefer goju as a pure style - it just makes more logical sense to me.. but I'm considering being open to another style if we really can't find a suitable dojo nearby.

  :) well that's just what we're up to at the moment.

Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Death on August 11, 2008, 02:44:28 PM
Xioyun, just a comment about the 'light weights' thing.
I know most girls don't like to go heavy because of the fear of becoming overly muscular, but really you could be going heavier because it's no amount of training of any kind will make you any bigger unless you eat to facilitate it.
Calorie intake is what affects whether you get bigger or not, you could have a world class bodybuilding regime and not gain more then a few pounds if you eat the same amount of food as you normally would.
The reasoning behind this is basically that every part of your body needs energy (calories) to stay alive, and also the same applies to creating mass, no excess energy = no resources to create new muscle.
This is why professional bodybuilders will eat 6-8 thousand calories a day, they need the excess calories to create new muscle (more than is needed to sustain their current weight).

If you find your current regime is benefiting you then that's fine, but if you go heavier and up the weight a bit you might find that you will make gains in strength and explosiveness, which reminds me, have you every tried any kind of plyometrics?

If I'm being too overzealous here then just tell me to shut up, I have a habit of writing long winded posts.
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: pratishtha on May 07, 2009, 06:19:04 PM
A variety of ways are available. Wide, narrow, extended in front, inclined, inverted, with weight, with height added etc. Oh, and then get bench pressing, negatives, with a variety of inclined, wide grip, narrow, flyes, pec deck machines etc.



I really struggle with push ups because my arms always feel so weak - and my elbow can give in sometimes... also are your elbows supposed to point inwards to your ribs or out a little bit?

do you have your chin up and looking forward or looking down?

Re: sit ups -  i find my neck gets stiff after only a few sit ups could this mean i'm not doing them properly? how are you supposed to support your neck?
Title: Re: Strength Building
Post by: Fraser on June 14, 2011, 12:50:10 PM
Different arm positions will achieve slightly different results.

Normally for push ups we aim for keeping the arms fully along side the body, so the movement is the same as a fully chambered drill punch, the direction of the extension is then perpendicular to the body with as little wasted energy in alternate directions as possible. Your head should be held straight in line with the rest of the body like a plank.

You should place your hands behind your head when doing sit ups, and not let your head move around. Sore necks are usually caused by people trying to throw their head forward to start the sit up, keep your head stable, it isn't what you are meant to be working out ;)
Don't let your shoulder blades hit the floor as you go down, you aren't meant to be hitting your back / bouncing off the floor, and it's then that most people start flicking their head forward.