You probably know that sit up and crunches are really good for you. In fact, a sit up for abs is one of the best ways to build your core muscles.
Fortunately, a sit up variation can make this good-for-you exercise classic into something a little more interesting. Plus, sit up variations are often more challenging than the traditional exercise so you build more muscle in the process.
Try these variations of sit ups to refresh your ideas about this boring, old-fashioned exercise:
1. The Sitting Sit-Up
- Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair or piece or furniture with your feet flat on the floor.
- Grab a book or something else heavy and hug it to your chest.
- Bending at the hips only, lower your chest to your knees.
- Try to keep your butt flat on your seat as you bend.
- Hold the bend for a second, straighten up, and repeat 10 times.
2. On The Ball Sit Up
- Have a seat on an exercise ball, planting your feet on the ground in front of you.
- While balancing on the ball, bend until chest reaches your knees.
- Extend your arms in front of you or cross them over your chest as you perform this bend.
- Repeat your sit-up bend at least 10 times in a row.
3. Plyometric Sit Up
- Lay down on the floor in front of a plyometric box.
- Place your feet on the box, keeping your legs straight and your butt slightly lifted off of the ground.
- Using your hips and abdomen, perform 10 sit ups.
4. In Suspension Sit Up
- Grab suspension straps and pull yourself up so that your feet are off of the floor.
- Using your abdomen, curl your lower half up, drawing your knees to your chest as well.
- Get your knees as high as you can to perform one repetition.
- Repeat five times, as this exercise is challenging.
5. Burpee Sit Up
- Begin with a standard sit-up.
- As you bend forward into your sit up, jump up to your feet.
- Lean forward on your toes to perform a superman pose and lean back into a squat.
- After your squat, lower yourself to the floor and perform a sit up again.
- Repeat the circuit at least five times for a full body workout.
6. Weighted Sit Up
- Grab a weight, holding one in each hand.
- Get into a typical, horizontal sit up position, holding the weights directly above your head.
- While keep your arms extended directly out, perform a sit up.
- Continue to perform sit ups until you have completed 10, keeping your arms extended the whole time.
7. Hands Out Sit-Up
- Extend your arms out to your sides so that your body forms a “T” while lying on the floor.
- Without moving your arms, perform a standard sit up.
- As you reach the bent-phase of the sit up, extend your arms above your head and hold the position for five seconds.
- Put your arms back out to your sides and lower yourself.
- Begin again and complete 10 repetitions.
8. V-Up Sit-Up
- Lie flat on the floor with your arms above you head, forming a straight line with your body.
- Slowly lift your feet toward the ceiling, keeping them together and perfectly straight.
- At the same time, lift your arms toward the ceiling.
- Your upper body will naturally raise up as your arms do.
- Using just your abdominal muscles, pull yourself like this until you form a “V.”
- Hold for five seconds and then rest.
- Repeat only three to five times because this motion is intense.
9. Leg Work Sit-Up
- Lying back on the floor as if you are about to perform a standard sit up, be sure your feet are together.
- Draw your knees up toward your chest.
- Meanwhile pull your upper body toward your knees without using your hands.
- When your knees and upper body are as close as you can make them, slowly return to your starting position.
- Perform this exercise 10 times.
10. Bridged Sit-Up
- Lay flat on the floor.
- Place your feet flat on the floor, bending your knees up.
- As you do this, your butt will lift off of the floor. Raise it until your back is straight.
- In this bridge-like position, reach your arms and upper torso toward your knees.
- Move your buttocks as little as possible as you perform this motion.
- Repeat 10 times.