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Sit Ups

Exercise / Abs

Performing Sit Ups Correctly

What an age old exercise for strengthening the abdominal muscles. But what is the correct way to perform sit ups? Let us take a closer look at the proper technique for this exercise to maximum results and muscle development.

For this exercise you will start off by lying flat on the floor or exercise mat with your feet stretched out and together. Once you are lying straight, bend your knees so your things are 45 degrees to the floor. Spread your legs about hip width apart.

Place your hands behind on your neck and point your elbows inwards. This will be your start position.

From this position, pull your stomach inwards (try imagine puling your belly button to your spine) and lift your torso upwards from your hips and waist. Keep raising your torso until your until it is a few inches away from your thighs. Contract your abdominal muscles and hold this contraction for a second.

Slowly lower yourself back down to the start position, by elongating the abdominal muscles. Repeat this process for as many reps as the workout stipulates.

What not to do:

  • Rock backwards and forwards for momentum
  • Jerk yourself upwards

Below are some different variations that you can try with sit ups. There are of course many more than what is listed below.

CAUTION: Do not bend your head forward or force your torso up by pulling your head with your hands as you sit up!

Exercise Tips

  • Inhale on the way down
  • Exhale on the way up
  • Focus on contracting your abdominal muscles as you pull upwards
  • Raise your torso from your hips and waist
  • Keep your head up and look forward

Sit Up Variations

  1. Variation 1: Elbow To Knee Touches: With this variation, the technique will remain the same, however at the top, you will touch your elbow to the opposite kneed. Basically move your elbow across your chest to the opposite knee. Once you have touched, return to the straight position and go back down to the start position. On the way up, touch the other elbow to the other opposite knee. You can also touch both at the top by moving from side to side.
  2. Variation 2: C Sit: For this variation you will be holding the sit up position, but will not be moving up and down. Take a look at how the C Sit exercise is performed.