Sit-ups are the classic ab exercise done by lying flat on your back and lifting your core. We then use our body weight to strengthen and tone the core-stabilizing abdominal muscles.
Sit-ups work the lower abdomen, upper abdomen, and oblique muscles in addition to your hip flexors, back, and neck. This exercise promotes good posture by working your lower back and glute muscles. Having a large range of motion, sit-ups target more muscles than crunches and standard core exercises. This makes them an ideal addition to your fitness routine.
Keep reading to learn about the advantages of sit-ups, how to do them, and their variations.
Advantages of Sit-Ups
Sit-ups are often used in fitness routines due to their simplicity and rapid effectiveness on the abdomen. Some reasons you may wish to incorporate sit-ups into your workout include :
1. Strengthening your core
Getting powerful core strength and abs are some of the biggest motivators for doing sit-ups. By strengthening, tightening, and toning your core, we reduce our risk of back pain and injuries which enables us to move with ease to complete our daily routine and participate in strenuous athletic activities.
2. Improving your muscle mass
Sit-ups build muscle strength in the ab and hip muscles first, strengthening these muscles can reduce the loss of muscle mass. A lack in sit-up performance may be an indicator of muscle loss. According to a study by the American Council of Exercise in 2016, older men and women who were able to do sit-ups were less likely to have sarcopenia, which is the natural loss of muscle due to ageing.
Men and Women who were able to do more than 10 sit-ups in 30 seconds had higher levels of strong muscle mass in their old age.
3. Increased overall athletic performance
Strong core muscles are linked to improved muscular endurance in athletes. A strong core gives you proper posture, stability, and form which allows us to perform at a higher level while doing any sport or physical activity. Plus, one will be less likely to experience fatigue during running due to strong core support.
4. Improved balance and stability
A strong core helps to keep our body balanced and stable as we go through our daily and sporting activities. Sit-ups help the pelvis, lower back, and hip muscles to work together with our abdominal muscles. Good balance makes you less likely to fall and injure yourself during complex exercises and daily tasks.
5. Increased flexibility and mental health
Moving your spine helps to loosen up stiffness in your spine and hips. Sit-ups can make your hips and back flexible, increasing mobility and relieving tension. Increased flexibility improves our heart’s circulation and brain concentration, reduces stress, and boosts energy levels by releasing the hormone serotonin.
6. Improved posture
Building a strong, tight core makes it easier to keep your hips, backbone and shoulders in alignment, which helps to improve your posture. Good posture helps with decreased pain and tension, increased energy levels, and improved breathing ability.
7. Reduced risk of back pain and injury
Sit-ups build strength in the lower back and hips as well. A strong core allows for a solid, firm torso, making back pain and injury less likely. There used to be a common belief that sit-ups can cause injuries, a 2010 study of U.S. Army troops found that the inclusion or exclusion of sit-ups in an exercise program yielded similar results in terms of muscular and skeletal injuries which were mostly caused due to accidents.
As long as you’re careful when doing sit-ups, they’re likely to be beneficial and can even relieve back pain.
8. Diaphragm strengthening
Sit-ups are a good way to practice diaphragm focused breathing. Sit-ups cause compression of the abs, which can have a positive effect on your diaphragm and thus, your lungs. A strong, healthy diaphragm improves your breathing patterns, help overcome stress, and enhance endurance.
A 2010 Trusted Source study looked at the effects of several ab exercises in terms of diaphragm pressure where sit-ups were found to be beneficial in strengthening the diaphragm and improving our breathing.
9. Academic performance
Sit-ups may even have a positive effect on academic achievement.
According to a 2019 study by UC Berkeley, higher fitness levels in children were linked directly to high academic performance. Students who scored high in the sit-up segment of a test of eight activities had higher academic scores for their exams than those who scored low in the sit-ups section.
Let’s exercise that Core using the Sit-Up Assistant!
You should start doing those sit-ups with our Sit-Up Assistant to help you perform the exercise with better form and without any injury!
Use smooth, slow, controlled movements along with proper form and technique, which we explain further in this article. Practice on a soft mat or place a towel under your lower back for support. You can keep your spine slightly curved as you do these exercises. Install the Sit-Up Assistant using its strong suction cup and hook your feet firmly on the support bar. Let’s get started!
Work towards doing 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, three to five times a week. Build up slowly, especially if you’re a beginner at working on your core strength.
Good old-fashioned sit-ups may be a welcome addition to your fitness routine due to their effectiveness and uncomplicated nature. You can increase the intensity by using weights or an incline bench.
Let’s break down how to prepare your body before a Sit-Up for further understanding :
Lie on your back with bent knees and your feet anchored to our Sit-Up Assistant.
Tuck your chin into your chest.
You can interlace your fingers at the base of your head, cross your arms with your hands on opposite shoulders, or place your palms down alongside your body, whatever position you find comfortable.
Exhale as you lift your upper body towards your legs.
Inhale as you slowly and gently lower yourself back down to the floor.
Always remember correct form is everything!
Now let’s break down how to get your form right while doing Sit-Ups:Lie down on your back.
Bend your legs and hook your legs firmly in place with our Sit-Up Assistant.
Take your preferred relaxed body position discussed above and get ready.
Curl your upper body up toward your knees. Exhale as you rise.
Slowly, lower yourself down. Inhale as you lower your body gently.
Beginners should aim for 10 reps at a time for 5 sets to avoid overexertion and cramps.
By hooking your feet on the Sit-Up assistant during a sit-up, you can get a good workout for your lower legs and calves too!
Work hard, Take it slow, Trust the process.
Sit-ups are a multi-muscle exercise. While they don’t specifically target stomach fat, sit-ups work the abdominals as well as other muscles groups like chest, hip flexors, lower back and neck.
Muscle cells are more metabolically active than fat cells. This means they burn calories even during rest. By helping you build muscle, sit-ups will help you burn more calories in the long run. Don’t forget, strong core muscles improve posture and good posture can improve your appearance drastically along with weight loss.
Sit-ups are very useful in building and maintaining a strong core that benefits all types of movement. They are a great addition to a total-body workout routine that includes aerobic activity and strength training.
It’s considered best to do at least 150 minutes of easy aerobic exercises or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercises per week, with at least two days minimum of strength training for your muscles.
To lose weight, increase your daily activity slowly and steadily, reduce the amount of time you spend sitting, and follow a healthy diet. Keep in mind, it’s best to focus on your core strength instead of the outer appearance of your tummy.
Concentrate on working out your whole body, and increase the intensity and duration to achieve your desired results. And for working out other muscle groups and body parts, do consider checking out the Juiice Store for all your home workout equipment needs!