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What Are Sit-Ups?
The sit-up is a bodyweight exercise that targets your abdominal muscles. Perform a proper sit-up by lying face-up on an exercise mat with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet on the floor. Engage your core and lift your upper body off the mat towards your knees. Pause at the top of the movement before slowly returning to your starting position on the mat.
3 Benefits of Doing Sit-Ups
Including this ab workout in your strength-training program can have several benefits.
- Sit-ups can increase your core strength and core stability. With proper form, sit-ups activate core muscles like your rectus abdominis (six-pack ab muscle), transverse abdominis, obliques, and lower abs. A strong core is essential for performing other bodyweight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups.
- Sit-ups can improve your posture. By helping build muscle in your core, lower back, and hip flexors, sit-ups can improve your posture during everyday activities.
- Sit-ups are versatile. Once you’ve practiced regular sit-ups, consider trying another sit-up variation like the weighted sit-up using a dumbbell, kettlebell, or medicine ball.
How to Do Sit-Ups With Perfect Form
For sit-ups, begin by performing 2–3 sets of 10–15 repetitions. Choose your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.
- Lie face-up on an exercise mat with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
- Place both of your hands on the sides of your head without interlocking your fingers. Your spine and pelvis should be in a neutral position. Slightly tuck your pelvis and bring your ribcage down. Engage your core. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin. All repetitions should begin from this position.
- Begin the upward movement by squeezing your abs. Curl your upper body off the floor toward your knees while squeezing your abs. Pause at the top of the movement.
- Slowly lower to the starting position while maintaining tension in your abs. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
How to Work Out Safely and Avoid Injury
If you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to attain optimal results based on your individual needs. Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement. When performing any exercise, pay close attention to your body, and stop immediately if you note pain or discomfort.
To see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program. Your results will ultimately be based on your ability to adequately recover from your workouts. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.