Staying Fit and Keeping Your Muscles Lean Part 2: Sit-Ups – Strengthen Your Abdominal Core – 4 Helpful Steps

Before any exercise you should always take 5 to 10 minutes to stretch your entire body.

Prior to your work out make sure you take time to stretch your body. The main core of your body would be to stretch the abdominal muscles since the intensity of your work out will focus on that specific area of your body. Take approximately 5 minutes to stretch your body.

The following are the 4 steps to help you strengthen your abdominals:

1. Place a matt and/or towel on the floor. Lie down on your back on the floor. Lift your legs up from the floor and bend your knees into a 45 degree angle position. You can cross your legs by placing one foot over the other. So your legs should be in the air in a 45 degree angle position.  You can also place your legs on a ball and/or your bed. On the other hand, instead of crossing your legs, you can have your legs out straight in a 45 degree angle (both legs must be tight together) and feet can either go upward and or be stretched out. I find that more effective sit up work out is done having your legs crossed, remaining both legs in the air while doing this exercise.

2. Your hands can be placed at the back of your head slightly touching the back of your head and/or you can also cross your hands into an X symbol and have your palms touch your shoulder over your chest.

3.  Keep your eyes focused in one spot and during the exercise do not role your eyes on any other object in the room.  Your eyes must be looking into a one spot only.  The best spot is to have your eyes aimed at your bent knees at all times during each sit up you proceed with.

4. Pull your body up from the floor into a 45 degree angle. Breathe in when pulling your body up and breathe out when you are putting your back on the floor. Breathe consistently with the sit up flow and breathe slowly following every move you make. Please note that if you have your hands behind your head, you cannot use your hands to push your head while doing a sit up. This is called cheating and it will not help you gain your results.

The most effective sit-ups work out I find is when you conduct each sit up slowly (count to 5 during each rep) and properly that is what will get you results. If during your exercise you find that you loose your form, you should then stop and take a 2 to 3 minute break. When rested go back to the same. Try finishing your exercise by keeping the proper form of each sit up.

This exercise should be done 3 times during the week. A perfect routine is to do this Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

For the first 2 weeks please do 4 sets of 25-35 reps – this should be practised for about 2 weeks time. After 2 weeks time, increase the reps to 50-75 so do 4 sets of 50-75 reps – this should be continued for another 2 weeks. After you will be comfortable doing 50-75 reps increase it to 100-125 reps so do 4 sets of 100-125 reps. If you feel that you can do more be my guest. Again I will highlight that the most important part of this exercise is keeping the correct form.

The goal of this sit-ups exercise is to strengthen your abdominal core. By developing abdominal muscles you will gain a better form of your body. The abdominals will benefit your back since your stomach will loose fat and build muscles which will help support your back especially for those of us that suffer from back problems.