A lot of people absolutely hate doing sit-ups. Most of them feel that they’re not really getting better at it. And when you’re not seeing results, that can be pretty discouraging. If you’re also having trouble pushing yourself to do those dreaded core exercises, chances are you’re not doing them properly, not frequently enough, or both. Because trust us – when they’re executed correctly, sit-ups are very, very effective. Not just for getting tight abs, but also for improving your posture and reducing any problems in your neck, shoulders and back. With a strong core, everything becomes easier! Read on to find out how you can actually get better at sit-ups.
How to get better at sit-ups
#1. Don’t stick to just one single sit-up variation
Your core consists of the muscles in your lower back plus multiple abdominal muscles. There’s the musculus rectus abdominis (your ‘straight abs’), the musculus transversus abdominis (the deepest ab muscle), the external obliques and the internal obliques. Most core exercises only work either the top, middle or lower part of the straight abs, or focus primarily on the obliques. So if you want a strong core, it’s essential to do multiple sit-up variations. If you only ever do one or two different variations, you could end up with for example having your upper straight abs very strong but very underdeveloped lower abs. That’s right, you need to work them all!
#2. Ensure you’re practicing proper form
You can do one hundred sit-ups a day, but if you have a bad form it will take a lot of time to see or feel any progress. Moreover, bad form is a recipe for injuries. So make sure you have the basics right first! Okay, but how do you execute a sit-up with proper form? Well, that depends on the variation you want to do. A personal trainer or coach at your local gym can show you how do to each variation with proper form. If that’s not an option for you, check out some YouTube video’s such as this one about the right way to do a crunch.
#3. Be slow and in control
If you’re a gym bunny, you’re probably familiar with the type of guy that goes through his crunches as if he has to finish them all within a specific timeframe. Please do not take an example from them; this is NOT the most effective way to do sit-ups! Instead, try to perform each movement slowly and with as much control as possible, while also keeping your form in check. If you have a tendency of letting your thoughts wander, you may require a bit more focus while you’re going through the movements. It also helps to move with the breath. Try holding the final position of each sit-up for a second, before returning to your starting position.
#4. Give your body a chance to recover
While it’s important to have consistency in your training, recovery days are just as important when you want to get better at sit-ups. While you’re working your core you’re essentially causing micro-tears in your muscles. Each time those micro-tears are repaired, your abs become a little bit stronger. This means you need to give them the time to recover; at least one recovery day each week. Also make sure you’re getting enough sleep. And don’t forget a healthy diet with plenty of protein. There’s a reason that people say abs are made in the kitchen!
Bonus tip: Get killer abs with these exercises!