From military boot camp to ‘tums and bums’, the sit up is a classic part of our fitness repertoire. Here’s the low-down on this well-known move.
Both these exercises work the abdominal muscles, but the sit up extends the effort to other parts of the body. The crunch works ‘only’ the abdominal muscles, and is suitable for everyone. The sit up is more demanding, but allows you to combine your abdominal workout with exercise for other muscle groups.
As the sit up is a compound exercise, it can be regarded as more advanced. Don’t be afraid to use it, but pay close attention to technique.
Correct form and technique is absolutely vital for this simple-looking exercise. Get it wrong and it is very easy to strain your neck or back. Here is the basic sequence for a ‘starter’ sit up.
Neck strain is the number 1 problem if your sit up technique isn’t right. Remember the following:
Tucking your feet under a bar or bench (or a friend!) reduces the effort for your abs.
Exercise ball sit ups are a challenge to the concentration, but can be easier on the back.
Plenty of options! Flex those hips with a frog-leg situp. Add a weight while you do the move, and you can even incorporate leg moves.
The ultimate sit up is the Dragon Flag variation: don’t try this until you have real abs of steel!
There are plenty of ways to mix up your sit ups, so give those abs some work.
I like these variations,. Never heard of them before. I do like the frog-leg sit up!!
I really love doing sit ups using an exercise ball as I can still feel my stomach working a lot, but as I suffer from a bad back sometimes they do put less strain on me.
I have a tendency to wrench my neck when I've tried these, so thanks for the top tips. Will be concentrating very hard on my form. :-)