Sit Up


The sit up exercise is a common and basic exercise for the abdomen to be more toned and more flexible, and it mostly aims to strengthen your six-pack muscles. This exercise only requires you a mat to lie down and a small space for your body.

In order to perform a sit up, you need to lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your shoulder blades must be at the back of your elbows. Place your hands or your fingertips behind your head but avoid pushing your head while doing this exercise because the force may lead to neck injury. Slowly lift your head first, then your torso reaching your bent knees. You hold on for a second, then you can return to your starting position. Your hands should only be supporting your head very lightly so that your neck can be relaxed during the exercise. Your abdominals must be at an angle of no more than 35 degrees, and your lower back must be remained intact on the floor for an effective isolation for the abdomen.


The muscles that the sit up targets are the rectus abdominis (the wall of the abdomen), the obliques (the side muscles of the abdomen), the tensor fasciae latae (the muscles on the hip and towards the upper front of the femur), and the rectus femoris (one of the four muscles comprising the quadriceps).

The rectus abdominis is going to form a six-pack due to the bulging of the upper torso towards the knees. The abdominal muscles get tightened and flexed. The rectus femoris also becomes more flexible in moving the hips, and the tensor fasciae latae to easily bend the body at the hips.

Furthermore, all of the affecting muscles are strengthened and become more toned, resulting to being healthy and physically fit.

Sets and Repetitions

The variation of sit up is to have an exercise ball on your back while you lift your torso up towards your knees. This is for those who are experiencing back pain or shoulder strain in lying down on the floor.

For starters, the sit up is performed for 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, while the advanced can go on to 3 sets of 20 or more repetitions. Avoid overdoing the exercise because it can lead to neck injury and shoulder strain.

Instagram Video

Here is an Instagram video that exhibits sit up.

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The exercise ball or the medicine ball can assist you in doing your sit ups by putting it on your back while you do the routine.

The sit up bar is handy in helping you do the sit up by avoiding your feet to be lifted unintendedly. For beginners, sit up can be quite difficult because your feet should not be lifted as lift your torso and return to starting position. The sit up bar is placed between the feet and then hooked onto the door so that your feet are steady on the floor.

Top Performance Metrics

Several fitness pioneers have reach top records in performing the sit ups such as Jack LaLanne, who is able to achieve 1,033 sit ups in just 23 minutes, and David Begiashvilli, who has done 1,430 sit ups in 30 minutes.

Related Movements

Incorporating other exercises with sit ups is essential when you want to speed up with your desired result. Planks, lunges and pushups are among the exercises that are related to the sit ups.

Related Foods

Certain foods are necessary to consume before and after your workout so that your body can have better results. Proper diet also plays an important role in exercising. Apples with peanut butter, sweet potatoes, and brown rice with black beans are among the food you may want to consume before the sit up. After the workout, you may choose from chocolate milk, salad with roasted chickpeas, steamed vegetables with


Here are some photos that are related to sit up.

YouTube Video

Here is a YouTube video on how to perform sit up.

Celebrity Use

Most mom celebrities have indulged themselves in serious workout to get back in shape such as Jenny McCarthy, who has become the cover girl for the Playboy magazine for six times already. She is clearly enthusiastic in doing sit ups as part of her workout routine because she believes that putting up discipline in being healthy is the most important thing in one’s life.

For the sake of the lead role in Southpaw, Jake Gyllenhaal had achieved 2,000 sit ups per day in order to attain the desired physique as a boxer. It was part of his six-hour training every single day, which is truly necessary as he needs to get his mind focused for the lead role as a boxer.

Functional Use

You would be noticing the difference by massaging your abdomen to check if it has been toned. If you can feel that it has become tender, then you are doing satisfactory with your workout performance. You would also have a lean physique since the sit ups burn excess body fat, leaving you more confident in your everyday activities.