Do you want to strengthen your abdominal muscles, but find doing situps really boring? Me too. That’s why I’ve gone out of my way in recent years to find different ways of doing situps.
You should know by the way that situps will do more than make your stomach stronger. They will also strengthen some of your other core muscles, including muscles in your hips, lower back, and pelvis. Strengthening your core muscles will improve your posture and digestion as well as well as reduce the odds that you will have back pain. Situps are also a decent way to burn calories, lose weight, and improve your cardiovascular fitness.
The bottom line is that situps should be part of your regular exercise routine. The fact that doing traditional situps — the kind where you lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and raise your upper body until the elbows that are positioned behind your head touch your knees — is boring is not a good excuse not to do situps. You can make situps more exciting by varying your routine.
10 Situp Ideas
- Use An Exercise Ball: Instead of lying on the floor, you can lean backward against an exercise ball. A medicine ball is a kind of an exercise ball. As you can see from this website, exercise balls can be quite large. They can be about 25 pounds. The American Council On Exercise calls these kinds of situps “stability ball” situps. You should move your body upward toward your knees until your upper back is off the ball. Your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Alternate Crunches And Situps: When you do a situp, you move your lower back off the floor. When you do a crunch, you’re in the same starting position, but you move only your head and elbows off the floor. Health experts regard the crunch as an isolation exercise for your abdomen. Situps are more difficult so alternating them with crunches can lengthen the duration of your exercise.
- Straighten Your Legs: When you lie on your back with your legs straight and on the floor, you will actually be in a sitting position when you raise your upper body toward your legs.
- Move Your Legs: The article “Straight-Leg Situps” also recommends doing an alternative kind of straight-leg situp called the V Situp. In this situp, you move your legs toward your arms while you are moving your arms toward your legs. Your body will be shaped like a V when your fingers touch your toes.
- Use Weights: With your knees bent, you can hold a weight or a dumbbell in front of your chest. In this position, your hands are not behind your head as they are when you do a traditional situp. When you raise your body toward your knees, the weight, which can be in the form of a dumbbell, provides extra resistance. The article “How to Do Situps With Dumbbells” suggests starting with 5-pound weights.
- Use Weights And A Ball: You can’t grip weights behind your head when you’re lying on the floor, but you can if you’re lying on an exercise ball. It’s best to use a dumbbell so you can grip the weight more easily. You will lift your body toward your knees until your upper back is off the ball.
- Use Two Exercise Balls: This exercise sounds weird, but the article “21 Sit-Up Variations You Won’t Totally Hate” shows you how you can lean back against one exercise ball, while holding the other exercise ball against your upper chest. Here is the video.
- Raise Your Feet: When you do a traditional situp, your feet are on the ground. You can also have your legs positioned at a 90 degree angle with your upper legs pointed vertically and your lower legs pointed horizontally. The part of your leg from your knee to your feet is in the air.
- Spread Your Legs: When you do a traditional situp, your legs are attached to each other like glue. You can also, though, do a wide-leg situp. Your legs are spread, but your feet are still touching each other. With this situp, your two arms are on the floor beside you at the start of the situp rather than behind your head. Your fingers touch your toes rather than your knees.
- Use An Exercise Board: The advantage of using a board like the kind you see in weight rooms is that it doesn’t have to be on a 180 degree angle like a floor. You can use a board that is inclined at various angles.
There are lots of other situp ideas you can try as well. Be creative and have fun!