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Workout Wednesday: Why Form Matters When Doing Sit-Ups


Sit-ups. Those horrible exercises we were all made to do in middle school gym class and sports practice. They probably made your back sore and your stomach muscles probably hurt for days afterward.

We’ve all been there.

While sit-ups are the go-to for stronger, more developed abs, many people may not realize there’s a proper sit-up form. Let’s talk about it!

Why Sit-Ups?

Sit-ups are probably everyone’s least favorite exercise. Even though they can be boring and painful, they offer some pretty great benefits. Sit-ups help tone and develop your abdominal muscles (especially the transverse and rectus abdominus muscles, which we talked about briefly in last week’s post), as well as your hip flexors and the rectus femoris in your quads.
Sit-up-Ali-QuoteIf you think doing sit-ups alone will give you the coveted “six-pack” look, you need to think again (regular exercise and nutrition are important keys, too), but they will help. They’ll also improve the strength of your core and help you lose weight.

Just like with most exercises, there’s a wrong and a right way to complete sit-ups. The wrong way may do more harm than good, and nobody wants that.

What Does Proper Form Involve?

Before you embark on your quest to complete the perfect sit-up, be sure to consult your healthcare provider. Getting the go-ahead from your doctor is a great way to avoid possible injuries. After all, it’s hard to do sit-ups if you’ve had troubles in the past with back injuries or other ailments.

So, what does proper sit-up form entail? Follow the steps below!

Step 1

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your hands and feet flat on the floor. Keep your heels about a foot from your tailbone and cross your arms over your chest or place your fingertips behind your ears. Do not lock your hands behind your head, as doing so may cause neck and back injuries as you pull yourself up into the sit-up.

Step 2

Keep your shoulder blades squeezed together comfortably. Exhale, tighten your abs, and pull yourself upward toward your knees. It may be difficult, but keep your head in line with your spine and tilt your chin forward a little as you meet your knees.

Step 3

Make sure you keep your tailbone and feet on the floor even though you may be tempted to raise one or the other. Curl your body toward your thighs and knees until your body is in a seated position. Hold that position and count to two.

Step 4

Breathe in and lower yourself back to the floor. Be sure to keep your ab muscles tight as you do so. Simply repeat the above steps until you reach your number goal or start to feel the burn in your abs.

Are you using proper sit-up form? Have you noticed a difference in core strength? let us know by leaving a comment below.

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