By Martin Ebner
The sit-up – Although it may not be the most enjoyable of exercises, sit-ups hit your abs hard, helping you build a strong and toned abdomen. They involve a great range of movement and a lifting motion. This forces you to work not only you abdominal muscles, but also your connecting stabiliser muscles, such as your hip flexors leg and chest muscles.
Sit-ups better your torso health
While most people have the tendency to focus all their efforts on their mirror-muscles (Abs, chest and arms). Sit-ups work both your "6 pack abs" and the underlying stabilizing muscles, such as your spinal erector muscles.
The benefits of having a strong core
- Improved posture
- Reduced risk of injury to your back.
- Better stability and strength when you're doing any type of movement, such as lifting or jumping.
- They help you look good naked!
Sit-ups require no special equipment and are easily modifiable and progressive by adjusting your hand placement, adding weight etc.
How to perform a standard sit-up
1 - Lie on your back with your knees bent and you feet flat on the floor.
2 - Brace your abs and then raise your body up towards your knees, shoulders should be lifted of the floor.
Note: Head always looking straight, NO chin on chest and DO NOT pull the head forward as you rise; it causes neck strain.
3 - Allow your lower back to round as you come up.
4 - Roll back down to the starting position.
5 - Repeat.
The sit-up exercise plan
If you're new to exercise and sit-ups. Start with hand placement 1. Once you're able to do 3 sets of 15 repetitions, move on to hand placement 2 and so forth. Once you are able to complete 3 sets of 15 repetitions of exercise 4, it's time to add some weight!
Form is by far the most important aspect of any exercise. If you're at all unsure about form, ask one of the health professionals at your gym to spot you. If you're not a member of a gym, practice in-front of a mirror.