How to Do Sit-Ups: Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Situps improve your posture. (Image via Pexels / Rodnae Prodcutions)
Situps improve your posture. (Image via Pexels / Rodnae Prodcutions)

Situps are a classic abdominal exercise that you can do to strengthen your core and improve your posture. They work the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques, hip flexors, chest, and neck muscles. They also work the lower back and gluteal muscles.

In addition to these benefits, situps offer a greater range of motion than crunches and static core exercises, so they provide an excellent way to add variety to your workout.

How to Do Sit-Ups the Right Way

If you're looking for a simple way to improve your core strength and range of motion, give situps a try. You can make them more challenging by adding weights or an incline.


Before you start doing sit-ups, you might want to buy a yoga mat or an ab-mat. Doing sit-ups on hard surfaces, such as hardwood floors, tile, or gym-floor mats can bruise your tailbone and hurt your lumbar spine. Doing them on softer surfaces, such as plush carpeting, may be more comfortable—but it can also cause brush burns on your lower back!

Here's how:

  • Lie down on the floor with your knees bent, feet anchored.
  • Tuck your chin into your chest and lengthen the back of your neck by gently pulling it away from your shoulders.
  • Cross your arms over your chest or place your palms down alongside your body.
  • Slowly raise your upper body, exhaling as you do so.
  • Lower yourself back down to the floor, inhaling as you do so.

Tips and Techniques for Sit-Ups

  • Place your feet firmly on the floor and tuck them under a bench or other brace if necessary.
  • If you have a partner, have him or her hold your feet down (it’s best to perform sit-ups without a foot brace—you can work on strengthening your core until that point before attempting sit-ups, for optimal results).
  • In a pushup position, rest your hands on your chest with the left hand on the right shoulder and vice versa. Don't put your hands behind your head. This may result in neck tension.
  • Try to bring some attention to your core by drawing your belly button back to your spine.Your core should be fully engaged before you start each rep.
  • Think of your spine as a string of beads. Starting with the tailbone and hips pressed into the floor, lift one vertebra at a time until your back is upright.
  • Lower yourself back down by easing each vertebra back into place. Do not hit the ground completely.

Benefits of Sit-Ups

Due to its simplicity and efficiency, situps are a common core activity in workout programmes. There are several reasons why you should include situps in your training routine.

1) Strengthens your core

Works on your abdominal muscles. (Image via Pexels / Nappy)
Works on your abdominal muscles. (Image via Pexels / Nappy)

One of the most motivational forces for performing situps is core strength. Strengthening, tightening, and toning your core can help you avoid back pain and injury. As you go about your regular routine and engage in physical activities, you'll be able to move more freely.

2) Improve your muscle mass

Works on your hip muscles. (Image via Pexels / Timothy)
Works on your hip muscles. (Image via Pexels / Timothy)

Situps improve muscle mass by strengthening the abdominal and hip muscles. Performance on sit-ups can be a good measure of muscle atrophy. As per a 2016 study, older women who could do situps were less likely to suffer sarcopenia, which is the natural loss of muscle that occurs as people age.

3) Better body balance & stability

Improves body balance & stability. (Image via Pexels / Jonathan borba)
Improves body balance & stability. (Image via Pexels / Jonathan borba)

A strong core helps to keep your body balanced and steady as you move through your daily and athletic activities. They help in the coordination of your pelvis, lower back, and hip muscles with your abdominal muscles. You are less likely to fall and damage yourself if you have a good balance.

4) Improves posture

Helps in improving your posture. (Image via Pexels / Vlada Karpovich)
Helps in improving your posture. (Image via Pexels / Vlada Karpovich)

Moving your spine can help reduce stiffness in your spine and hips. Situps help you move more freely and ease tension and tightness by increasing hip and back flexibility. Flexibility improves circulation and focus while also increasing energy levels.

Common Mistakes

Sit-ups are crunching exercises that require great body awareness and muscle control. They're tricky, especially for beginners and intermediates, so make sure you don't make these common mistakes the next time you do sit-ups.

1) Craning your neck

Forward head posture is common during sit-ups. This mistake is characterized by craning your neck forward and rounding your shoulders. You might experience aches or pains in your neck or upper back if you do this, and doing so can even lead to a muscle strain.

2) Thudding on the floor

When you do a sit-up, make sure your lower back makes contact with the floor. If it doesn't, you may be using too much momentum to do the exercise and not enough muscle strength.

3) Using too many hip flexors

When doing sit-ups, the primary movers are your abs and hip flexors. If you have tight hip flexors, you might unintentionally use them to pull yourself upright instead of your abs. This can strengthen your hip flexors instead of your abs.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, doing situps is a way to support a healthy body and promote a greater level of fitness. The key is to remember to do them consistently and listen to your body while you do.

By increasing your workouts in combination with good posture, and reducing the amount of time you spend sitting, you can develop your core muscles and reap the benefits that come with a strong midsection.

Poll : How many sit-ups can you do everyday?

15 max

Barely 5

65 votes

Edited by Sabine Algur
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