Image of how to do sit-ups


Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals

Equipment: Body Only or a weight vest

Level: Beginner

What are Sit-ups?

Sit-ups are sometimes referred to as curlups, the basic sit-up involves lying on your back on a mat with feet restrained, either by a partner or by putting them under a stable object such as a sofa. With your hands holding your head and neck, you then lift your torso all the way up to your legs and lower back down to complete one rep.

Sit-ups are helpful for strengthening and developing core and abdominal muscles, Best of all, you don’t even need any kind of special equipment to do them. Once you get the basic form down, you can try sit up variations to make your workouts even more effective.

Over time, a stronger core can also improve your posture and reduce your risk of back injuries later in life if done right and carefully,  Just be sure to use proper form, as sit ups can cause injuries to the neck and lower spine if done wrong.

Muscles Worked in sit-ups


  • • Rectus Abdominis
  • • External Obliques
  • • Tensor Fasciae Latae
  • • Rectus Femoris

Benefits of Sit-ups

Sit-ups, when done correctly, can be very rewarding. Follow the correct method, and you will not be at the risk of injuring your back or neck.

  • • Improve core strength
  • • Increase flexibility
  • • Improve hip flexor strength
  • • Improve posture
  • • Help lose tummy fat
  • • Tone the ab area

How to do Sit-ups


  1. 1. Lie down on your back.
  2. 2. Bend your legs and place feet firmly on the ground to stabilize your lower body.
  3. 3. Put your hands on your forehead or place them behind you, without pulling on your neck.
  4. 4. Curl your upper body all the way up toward your knees. Exhale as you lift.
  5. 5. Slowly, lower yourself down, returning to your starting point. Inhale as you lower.

Repeat for desired reps

2 basic guidelines to get the most out of sit ups

  1. 1. Always keep your lower back completely on the ground.
  2. 2. Do not strain your neck by tucking it in.

Mistakes commonly made in sit-ups

Relaxing Down to the Floor

It is easy to let your shoulders fall to the floor although a more effective approach is to keep the tension on the abs throughout the entire exercise. You never want to completely relax the shoulders onto the floor.

Pulling on the Neck

This not only strains the neck, but it also takes away from working your abs. You want the movement in your abs, not your head. So you should keep your neck in proper alignment and not moving.

Safety when performing sit-ups

If you have any back or neck problems, you should talk to your doctor or physical therapist about if sit-ups are suitable for you. If not done with proper form, they can compress the spine and stress the neck.

Variations of Sit-ups

Weighted Sit-ups

This exercise can be performed with a weighted plate being held by both arms resting on the chest. Alternatively you can use a weight vest instead, if you don’t have one you can purchase one here: Weight vest

Weighted sit-ups

  1. 1. Get into a sit-up position by lying on your back. Take the weight you want to use and put it on your chest, grabbing it with both your arms.
  2. 2. Confine your feet by sliding them under the handle of two heavy dumbbells or have a partner stand on your feet. Make sure that your knees are bent.
  3. 3. Clutching the weight to your chest, perform a sit-up by rolling up toward your knees.
  4. 4. Slowly lower yourself down to the ground.

Repeat for desired reps.

Write below in the comments your opinion on sit-ups, if they work for you and any questions you might have.

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