What do sit ups do?
Sit ups strengthen your abs (stomach muscles) and can help to achieve a flat stomach or six pack.
When ever most people think about getting a flat stomach they think about sit-ups, this is a misconception because sit-ups are solely not the best way to lose stomach fat. Sit-ups by themselves will work the muscles of the stomach, but they don’t burn that many calories and therefore will not burn that much body fat. It’s best to include other forms of exercise and a calorie controlled diet to achieve good results.
Using a sit up bench
Sit-ups can be performed in different ways and with different equipment, a very important factor with the technique is keeping the feet in a fixed position, without a fixed position the sit-up cannot be performed properly. A fixed position can be achieved by performing them on your own, however this can be a little tricky, just as long as you perform the sit-up with good controlled technique your feet should remain in the same position. Ideally you need to place your feet under an object to keep your feet in a fixed position,
Different variations of the sit up
- Normal straight bodied standard sit up – works the abdominals
- Twisting the body – example, left elbow points towards your right knee, this twisting motion gives more focus on your obliques, (these are the muscles at the side of your stomach)
- Lie on the floor, legs together, have your knees a few inches apart with your knees bent at about a 90 degree angle, heels on the floor, your hands can be used to role up and down your thighs as your perform the sit up.
- Bring your body up keeping it as straight as possible, raise until your body is vertical and in an upright position, with your hands still on your thighs, hold for a brief moment and then slowly lower and return to the start position and repeat. (remember to keep your legs and still as possible)
If you start to feel discomfort in your lower back, stop exercising immediately and adjust your technique, you may even need to seek alternative stomach exercises.
There are also other various pieces of equipment that can aid with your sit-up technique, you can also perform the sit up while holding a weighted plate in front of you for added resistance.