Different Sit-Up Variations to Boost Your Ab Workout

woman doing sit-up variations

Everyone knows that sit-ups are a great way to strengthen your entire core. As a result of sitting up, you exercise the rectus abdominis, obliques, hips, rectus femoris, tensor fascia lata, as well as neck muscles. This group of muscles maintains the straightness of your body.

However, these types of exercises can get boring, so it is good to switch your core workout routine up.

Strength training is about form and technique, not necessarily frequency. Exercise is challenging to begin with, but once you do it often, your body becomes accustomed to it. Therefore, it’s crucial to change your routines periodically and switch sets. Try some of its variations if sit-ups aren’t giving you the results you want.

In this blog, I list some of the best sit-up variations you can do to avoid the monotony of repetitive exercises.

10 different types of sit-ups without equipment

You can perform various variations with sit-ups, turning the classic move into a more exciting one. Additionally, you will find that a few of them are slightly more challenging than the average sit-up, so you will really build up that six-pack and strong core.

Here are the variations you can learn from this video.

  1. Boat
  2. Regular
  3. Reach and Catch
  4. Boat and Split
  5. Hands to Heels
  6. Straight-Leg
  7. V-ups
  8. Alternating Suitcase
  9. Elbow to Knee
  10. Boat Hold

Note: The abdominal work can be made somewhat easier and gentler by using equipment like an exercise ball or resistance band. Plus, these tools are great for improving core strength.

Decline sit-up variations

Compared to the sit-up, the decline sit-up provides greater difficulty by allowing a more extensive range of motion. Compared to a sit-up on the floor, decline sit-ups provide trunk and hip flexion training at a significantly higher resistance level. Sets of 10-30 reps of unweighted decline sit-ups are recommended.

How to do it?

  • Sit up on a decline bench with your feet secured in the pads.
  • Put your fingers on your head or your chest.
  • Bring yourself up as far as you can by crunching your trunk.
  • Keep your abs tight and go back to the bottom.

It is possible to complete decline sit-ups with extra weight, for example, a dumbbell or plate held behind the head/neck, or rotating, as well as varying the angles of the sit-up board. Perform sets of 8-15 decline sit-ups with weights.

Learn more: Best ab benches for home.

Weighted sit-up

If you do sit-ups constantly, you may find that they become too easy. Add weights to the abdominal exercise to increase the intensity. To maximize your safety, you should learn the proper form before you attempt this.

By adding weight to the sit-ups, you’re adding stimulation that you wouldn’t otherwise get from them. The result is stronger and larger abdominal muscles.

  • As you lie on your back, bend your knees and make sure your knees point upwards directly.
  • Lock your arms and lift a weighted plate straight up towards the ceiling.
  • The weight plate should be rotated over your head as you sit up.
  • Bring your back down to the ground, so your back touches it. The repetition is complete.

Learn more: Sit-ups with weights

TRX Sit-up

In TRX workouts, gravity and your body weight act as resistance to help you strengthen your postural muscles, balance, coordination, flexibility, core, and joints.

  • Be sure the handles on the TRX are lowered enough. Ensure that the feet are positioned correctly in the band.
  • As you are horizontal, your spine should be straight. Supine refers to lying face up with your stomach exposed, then lying horizontally, with your back on the floor or other surface and your head facing upwards. Maintain a stiff posture.
  • Perform a sit-up from this position, bringing your arms up. The arms and torso are in harmony throughout the movement, where the torso forms a nearly 90-degree angle at the end.
  • During the highest point of the motion, exhale and contract the core muscles firmly until you return to your starting position. Don’t use the momentum.
  • Repeat.

Variations of the GHD sit-Up with isometric holds

In isometric exercises, particular muscles are tensed without moving other joints. As isometric exercises strengthen and stabilize your muscles through constant tension, they help improve your muscle endurance and posture. Use a medicine ball, a dumbbell, or a weight plate as an additional weight.


What can I do to make my sit-ups more challenging?

Your abdominal exercises can be changed by adjusting their speed, increasing the number of repetitions, and varying the movements. Other tools that may be helpful are hand weights and a timer.

Are these moves good for losing belly fat?

A six-pack is not a result of ab exercises. Despite the fact they help you to build up your abdomen muscles, you cannot intentionally target fat loss at the midsection. You need to lower your body fat with healthy nutrition and cardio workouts to burn calories.

Are planks better than sit-ups?

man doing plank woman sit ups

The rectus abdominis, also known as your abs, is the muscle you use for sit-ups and standard crunch. Whenever you have low enough body fat, your six-pack muscles show.

You should always include exercises that involve the rectus abdominis muscle in your abdominal muscle training program, as they will strengthen and build the abdominal muscles.

However, core strength requires more than just sit-ups and crunches. Additionally, you should strengthen your transverse abdominis and oblique muscles, which are responsible for stabilizing your torso and back. Planks can help with that. This exercise works your deep abs and low back, enhancing strength and stability.

In order to achieve the best combination of functionality, strength, and aesthetics, you should include both types of exercises.

How are crunches and sit-ups different?

Crunches are right up there with other ab exercises when it comes to working your abs. They both begin with a lying position and bent legs, but they have subtle differences that are worth noting.

As the name suggests, crunches only involve raising the upper back and shoulder blades off the floor and lightly rounding the abdominal wall.

As you sit up, your entire upper body is raised off the floor. There is a greater demand for the abdominal and back muscles in this variation. It is therefore recommended that beginners begin with crunches first.

Having more does not always mean that it’s better. Toning your abdominals requires a carefully crafted workout routine. Muscles must be trained regularly and recover between workouts in order to grow. The importance of regeneration cannot be overstated.

As a result, all-day abdominal training is not wise. Doing 3-4 x 15-20 sets three or four times a week is better than doing many sets every day. Besides ab exercises, you can also work your abs with squats, pushups, and lunges. Be sure to rest between sit-up sessions.

To conclude

Different types of sit-ups can benefit you in so many ways. From strengthening your core to building six-pack abs and harder abdominal workouts. However, I have to mention that most of the variations above are more suitable for experienced trainees.

Photo of author

About Me

Walter is a 39-year old gym owner. He loves exercising and staying fit. On this website, he shares the workouts he does to stay in shape. He also gives advice about the home exercise equipment he uses to keep himself in great shape.