How To Improve Sit Ups? Fastest Ways You Need To Know
Summary: Want to set a record for the most number of sit ups? These are 7 surefire tips on how to improve sit ups. Read on!
Whether we want to qualify for a military or police position, whether we want to join a sit ups competition, or whether we want to simply have those washboard abdominals, improving the strength of our abdominal muscles is simply the key on how to improve sit ups.
The abdominals, like any other muscles, will improve through training and other healthy practices that we will be discussing in this article.
But first, let's talk about the muscles involved in performing the classic abdominal exercise: sit ups.
The Muscles Used For Sit Ups
Before we can improve the number of sit ups that we can do, we must first know the muscles that are used when performing this exercise. This way, we can devise a workout program that targets all these muscle groups which will result in an increase abdominal and stabilizers strength that will transfer to sit ups power.
The Main Muscles
The rectus abdominis is one of the four major muscles that make up the abdomen, and the one responsible for that six-pack effect. This muscle. starts at the pubic bone and connects the lower rib cage to the hips. It attaches three of our ribs--the fifth, sixth, and seventh ribs. This muscle is activated whenever you bring your torso, specifically the rib area, towards your thigh. Another function it has is the rotation of your pelvis and the rounding of the lower spine.
The rectus abdominis is about the contraction of the the abdominal muscles and the bending of the spine, while the transverse abdominis is all about stabilization. Transverse abdominis the deepest layer and is the most internal of all the core muscles.
Its main function so to stabilize the lower back and the pelvis prior to any torso movements. Since it works by wrapping the spine, it tightens your waist and serve as the body's own corset. Developing the transverse abdominis will help flattened the stomach regardless of your body fat stores.
The internal obliques are muscles located over the transverse abdominis muscles and connect to the lateral edge of the rectus abdominis.
Their function is to allow the torso bend from side to side and as well assist in the twisting. During sit ups, these muscles work together with your external obliques to support trunk flexion and rotation. Having a strong internal obliques helps you maintain a narrow midsection, improves posture, and protects your spine.
The external obliques are muscles that lie on the sides of the body. They're attached to the rib cage going down to the pelvis.
Their primary function is to rotate the trunk from side to side. When both sides contracted simultaneously, they aid the rectus abdominis in bringing the rib cage towards the thigh--such as when performing sit ups.
The Assisting And Stabilizing Muscles
The iliopsoas are muscles that are important in flexing the hip and stabilizing the lower back. It runs from your lower ribs and across your hip and attaches to your femur.Tensor Fasciae Latae
Tensor Fasciae Latae
Your tensor fascia latae is a thin muscle running from your pelvis to your leg. Its function is to bend the body at the hips, and assist in moving your legs away from your torso.
The rectus femoris is one of the four heads of the quadricep muscles.
Its function is to straighten the knee and assists with the bending of the hip. While the other three heads of the quadriceps are attached to the upper femur, the rectus femoris is attached to the pelvis. There, it helps the tensor fasciae latae in flexing the hips.
Now that we have a good understanding on what muscles are being activated when doing sit ups, let's now discuss these helpful tips on how to increase sit ups numbers.
5 Tips On How To Improve Sit Ups
1. Nutrition Before Workouts
Before doing sit ups you don’t let your body too hungry or too full. You should eat 60 minutes before workout. The ideal foods are low glycaemic index (GI) Carbohydrate Foods and high protein foods. You can use some pre-workout supplements and protein powders.
2. Do Sit Ups
The most effective way to improve sit ups is to do sit ups. That's pretty obvious, isn't it?
A few things to keep in mind:
Use proper form
Before you start cranking reps and setting a world record for the most sit ups, you have to know first how to do the exercise in proper form.
Here is the correct way to do sit ups:
I suggest doing it with a partner and letting him check your form. If you're doing it alone, just try taking a video of yourself so you could see if you're doing it right.
Determine your baseline repetitions
After getting your form checked, your next task is to determine your max sit ups strength.
Lie on the floor and crank as many sit ups you can. Record it. The goal is to beat this number each week.
Start with the basic sit ups program
Now that you have your maximum number of reps in a single set of sit ups, you now have to divide that number into three. This will be your baseline repetition for a single set. Let's say your max is 60 sit ups, divide that by 3 and you'll get 20. Your basic sit ups program will be 3 sets of 20 repetitions, to be done every other day or three times a week. Aim to beat your repetitions each workout.
Schedule a PR(personal record) day
Once a week, schedule a day where you will perform a single set of maximum repetitions for your sit ups.
Let's say Friday, instead of doing 3 sets of 20 reps, begin your first set by going all out. Your goal is to beat your previous number, which is 60, and aim for more repetitions.
After getting your new PR, record it again, and divide it again by 3. This will now be your baseline repetition for each set.
3. Add Resistance
When you've progressed to doing hundreds and even thousands of sit ups in a single day, it's now time to add some resistance.
You can do this by adding weights(holding a plate or dumbbells behind your head), or switching to harder variations like doing sit ups on a declined bench.
Depending on your goal, you can add resistance whenever you've reached a certain number of reps on a single variation of sit ups. If you're aiming for mass and strength, I suggest sticking to 15-25 reps.
If you're training for endurance, you can go as many sit ups as you like.
4. Include A Variety Of Core Exercises
If you've grown bored and tired of doing just ordinary sit ups and its variations, you can spice things up and add other exercises. This will improve your overall core strength and endurance that will further elevate your sit ups numbers.
Some exercises to add to your sit ups workout include:
- Leg Raises
- Crunches variation
- Captain's Chair Exercise
- V-Sit Exercise
The same principles also apply when performing these. Just go slow and don't do them all at once. Add little and progress in each of them.
5. Get Strong On The Big Lifts
An indirect way on how to increase sit ups is to get strong on the big lifts such as squats, deadlifts, etc. These exercises use the greatest amount of muscles in the body including those muscles that stabilize and assist core movements.
6. Diet And Nutrition
If you want to loose fat keep a diet with low-cab foods and high protein. Don't forget vegetables and water. You can use fat burner supplements for loosing fat and use protein powder supplements to get muscle mass.
7. Rest And Recovery
The abs, like other muscles, need time to recover and strengthen itself. That's why I will never recommend doing sit ups and other core workouts every day. But since the ab muscles recover faster than other muscle groups, it's enough to rest them for 48 hours before hitting them again.
These are the 7 surefire ways on how to increase your sit ups strength. Be sure to incorporate them ASAP in your training program.
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