What are Sit-ups?
Sit-ups are by far the most well-known abdominal muscle exercise. The basis of the exercise is to elevate the upper body off the floor and forward from an outstretched, lying position. For the starting position, you lie flat on your back. Your hands touch the floor behind your head and your legs are are bent, in the so-called ‘butterfly position’. The upper body straightens up into a sitting position, until the hands touch the ground in front of your feet. At this point, the upper body reclines back into the starting position.
Sit-ups - the ultimate abdominal muscle training!
Sit-ups activate the abdominal muscles directly. Aside from the hip flexor (psoas major) and the deeper lying and oblique stomach muscles, the highest workload is on the rectus abdominis. The rectus abdominis, which we know as the sixpack or ‘abs’, is actually a single muscle that is attached to the sternum and extends down to the pelvis, divided by several sinewy and long strips of six to eight segments. The forward, upwards movement works the rectus abdominis muscle along its entire length, a relatively isolated exercise as this muscle ususally works in a supportive and stabilizing role in other movements. This is why no other exercise works the abdominals so intensely.
Sit-ups for strong core muslces!
Sit-ups are essential for strong core muscles. Imagine this as the center of your body, to which all the other muscles are attached. If the center of the body is weak, then the whole body suffers. Back pain and joint problems, even in other parts of the body, may be a result of a weak core. However strong core muscles support the spinal column and the intervertrebral discs. This is the reason why well-trained athletes are much less likely to suffer from pains in their necks, backs and from headaches. In addition to this, the strength in your core muscles can affect your performance in other Freeletics exercises. A strong core is not only important for squats, pushups and steady-paced running, but also for explosive movements such as sprinting or jumps. Whenever it comes to tensing your whole body, the core muscles are always activated first.
What does the Butterfly position do when doing sit-ups?
The butterfly position means bending your legs and tilting them outwards. When doing sit-ups in the butterfly position, the range of motion is much greater than when they are done with raised legs, so that Athletes can touch the ground in front of their feet. This last part of the movement causes a major impact and you can really feel it working the core muscles. Sit-ups are therefore even more effective for your abdominal muscles, if done in the butterfly position.
Sit-ups - exhausting but effective!
Even after just a few repititions, the abdominals will already feel as though they are on fire. They are really effective and have a great impact on the core, making the muscles become tired very quickly. But this is more a reason to be happy than to be concerned. Because the abdominal muscles have the quickest recovery time. And as with any other muscle group that is directly targeted when exercising, you might hate it while doing, but love it afterwards. Or at the latest when you start seeing the first signs of a sixpack.