There is no question that sit-ups are among those ab exercises which everybody knows. When somebody starts to train his abdominal, it is the first workout it comes into his mind.
Some expert fitness trainers say it is one of the most important body weight techniques to strengthen the midsection, others say it is useless and can be even harmful. Overall, there are many questions around doing it. Within this post, I would like to answer these questions.
Are sit-up exercises harmful for the lower back?
Many people who start doing it complain about they have lower back pain. You have to understand that pain in the back or in your spine is not because this type of workout is harmful but for other reasons.
These reasons can be:
- The exercise is done improperly.
- No warm up exercises and stretching are done before the training.
- The person does not do any other workouts to train his lower back.
- Poor posture. You do not hold your torso stable.
Doing sitting-ups is not more dangerous than any other type of core exercise. If you get rid of the mentioned reasons above, you will not have back problems and your can train your whole midsection effectively.
Here is video to understand the proper sit up technique.
Boost your sit ups! Get an adjustable sit up bench.
Sit-Up vs Crunches?
Both of them are core exercises with advantages and disadvantages. For example, crunches train your upper abs better while sitting-ups strengthen the lower muscles more efficiently. There is no such thing that which is the better. Do both!
Can I build six-pack abs with it?
I think, you already know the answer. It is nearly impossible to get flat abs just because you make a huge number of sit-ups daily. It is a great technique to define and strengthen your rectus abdominis, but not the best one for oblique muscles, for example. You need to do other core fitness workouts as well, in order to train your whole midsection and your low back.
Moreover, to get the best results you need to use different sorts of equipment to make the movement by using an adjustable ab bench, gym ball or other machines.
In addition, without a good diet it is nearly impossible for most of the people to get a flat stomach. To get there, you need to take in balanced nutrition and follow a workout routine which contains various types of conditioning, strength and cardio exercises. The aim is to lower the body fat while you have a healthy lifestyle.
How should I breath?
Many people do not know how to breath properly while they do abdominal exercises. It is important to concentrate on breathing, since “without air” performing the motion properly is harder and more tiring. Breath out, when you exert and breath in when you recover and do the extension.
How often should I do sit-ups training?
Again, do not do only sit-ups, but a full routine with other exercises. This is another question that splits the community. Ones say that ab muscles can be trained everyday, others say 3-4 times a week is the optimal.
There are two reasons why I suggest not to train every day. The first is that no matter if it is abdominal muscle or not, it needs resting and recovering. The other is that if you do ab training every day sooner or later you will get tried of it and lose your pleasure. I have tried both ways, but for me the 4 times per a week routine works the best.
What about variations?
There are many sit-up variations you can do with or without equipment. Within the video below you can learn some.
Is sitting-up good for women?
Of course! Just do not make the mistakes mentioned in the first answer. It surely helps to slim your belly and hips.
Overall, it is a useful core exercise, but it is not enough. Combination with other abdominal exercises is crucial. You can discover a lot of types of workouts here.
Will doing 50 sit-ups before going to bed tone the stomach?
It surely helps, but it is not enough if you have some extra fat on your tummy. You should do cardio and proper diet to get rid of that fat.
Are incline/decline benches useful?
Surely. Adjustable benches are very useful for to get the most from sit ups and other abdominal exercises. By modifying the angle of the board, you can increase or decrease the resistance.