Published on: August 28th, 2019
Updated on: November 28th, 2023
This article is in categories: Exercises | Fitness

The sit-up is an exercise for the abdominal muscles, and it begins by lying flat on the floor and ends when your back is fully lifted. Typically, you set your knees in a bent position. It is similar to the popular crunch with the exception that the sit-up, with its full range of motion, works a larger set of abdominal muscles. It is often utilized as a standard in general physical preparedness tests such as the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

Benefits of the Sit-up

  • Improved core strength
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Improves balance and stability
  • Reduces the risk of back pain and injury
  • Improved posture and flexibility
  • No need for equipment
  • Can be performed almost anywhere

Movement Standards for the Sit-up

  1. Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent at the knees.
  2. Clasp your fingers behind your head or fold your arms across your chest
  3. Elevate your upper body until your elbows touch knees or thighs
  4. Under full control, lower yourself back to the starting position
  5. Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.


  • Maintain proper form to reduce the risk of back and neck injury
  • Stay under control when lowering to the floor to minimize the impact.
  • Sit-ups will not cause abdominal fat reduction. To achieve a “six-pack”, you most reduce body fat, which can only be accomplished across the entire body, as well as increasing muscle size (muscle hypertrophy)

Variations of Sit-ups

  • Weighted Sit-up
  • Crunch
  • Bicycle Crunch
  • Side Crunch
  • Frog Crunch
  • Russian Twist
  • V-Ups
  • Dead Bugs
  • Raised Leg Crunch
  • Alternating Toe Touches

Progressions for Sit-ups

  • Partial Sit-up (curl off the floor as high as possible)
  • Place your hands along your side instead of behind head or across your chest
  • Utilize a partner or a weight to hold down the feet
  • Utilize a Bosu ball
  • Knee raises while sitting on a bench or a chair.
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