How to do sit-ups

Sit-ups, also called trunk bends, are one of the standard exercises for the abdominal muscles. We show you how to perform them correctly.
The correct execution 
  • Lie on your back and place your legs about shoulder-width apart, with your legs bent at about a 90-degree angle. 
  • Clasp your hands behind your head (or alternatively cross them in front of your chest) and tighten your abdominal muscles. 
  • Then slowly raise your upper body and straighten up. Make sure that your back remains straight and that you do not make a hollow back.
  •  The movement is done from the hips, you should not perform the sit-ups with momentum. 
  • Hold the position for one second and then slowly roll back down. Exhale as you straighten up and inhale as you roll down.
  •  Your shoulders should not touch the floor completely, however, and you should perform the next 15 repetitions directly one after the other, and without a break. 
With these exercises, you mainly train your straight abdominal muscles. 

The difference between sit-ups and crunches 
  • The terms sit-ups and crunches are often used interchangeably, although this is not entirely true. While crunches only raise your upper back, sit-ups straighten your upper body completely. 
  • In addition, during the crunch, you roll in slightly, while during the trunk bend your back remains straight and as stretched as possible. 

The disadvantages of sit-ups 
Sit-ups have lost popularity in recent years because they do not work the abdominal muscles as well as crunches. 
This is because sit-ups primarily target the hip flexor, even though it is already shortened in most people. So if you spend several hours a day sitting down and already have lower back pain, it's better not to do sit-ups. 

It is also important to remember that it is not possible to lose weight specifically only in the abdomen. 
To burn fat, you need to train the whole body and not just individual parts. For a flat stomach or a six-pack, you should therefore not only perform abdominal muscle training but also integrate cardio units into your training plan. 

Variations on sit-ups for additional diversity
If you're still having trouble with the classic torso bends, a theraband can help. Wrap the band around your feet' soles and grip both ends in your palms to do so. 
The theraband should be taut enough to provide adequate support for you during the activity. More theraband exercises can be found here.

Butterfly sit-ups can be used to add some diversity to your routine. So that your knees point outward and your legs are slightly apart, press the soles of your feet together. Lift your upper body after extending your arms straight out in front of you.

Sit-ups with additional weights can be done to increase the intensity of the activity. A kettlebell or weight plates, for example, are perfect for this. Hold them in front of your upper body in your hands, then do your sit-ups as usual.


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