Sit Up Variations – Part 1

Sit Up Variations Part 1 – For An Incredible Core!

There are many variations of the sit up, all of which work slightly different parts of the abdominal region. In order to keep improving and to build a strong core throughout you will need to target all of the different areas and mix up your exercises. In this article, I am going to cover four variations that do just that!

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The Crunch:

This exercise is a good place to start if you are new to the sit up and want to ease yourself into them slowly. Though that being said the crunch is still a challenging exercise especially after several repetitions and will certainly work your core.

Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.

Place your fingertips on the side of your head with your elbows bent out to the side.

Without moving your lower body and keeping your lower back on the floor, start to peel your shoulders off of the floor lifting them up and forward about four inches.

You should now start to feel your abs contract. Once you are as high as you can go whilst keeping your lower back on the floor, start to lower yourself back down. That is one rep complete, remember to keep this movement nice and controlled throughout.

The Sit-Up:

This exercise is similar to the crunch except that the sit up doesn’t stop after four inches. This exercise requires your core to stay strong and lift you all the way up until your elbows touch your knees.

Set up the same as you would do for the crunch. If you need something to help keep your feet on the floor for this exercise you can weight your feet, wedge them under something or get a partner to hold them for you.

Lifting up as per the crunch except for when your shoulders have gone as high as they can go, allow your lower back to curve. Keep drawing your upper body up until your elbows can touch your knees and you have created a ‘V’ shape with your thighs and upper body.

Once in this position lower yourself back down in a controlled motion until your back is once again flat on the ground. This marks the completion of one sit up.

Leg Raises:

For this exercise, your upper body stays firmly planted on the ground and this time it will be your legs moving. This will strengthen your lower abs and your hip flexors which will help you to progress to the L-Sit. Also, strengthening your lower back helps to prevent injury.

Start by lying down flat on the ground with your arms down by your side, palms facing the floor.

Keeping your upper body flat on the floor including your head, engage your core and with your legs out straight bring your legs up until they are above your hips, creating an L shape.

Lower them back down slowly in a controlled motion, returning your legs back down until your heels are just off of the floor. By keeping your feet off of the floor throughout the repetitions you will keep body tension throughout, maximizing your efforts.


The v-sit is a great exercise for targeting the entire abdominal region including your hip flexors. It’s a combination of the sit up and leg raises, you will certainly feel this one!

Start lying down on the floor in one straight line, head to toe with your arms extended straight out above you on the floor.

This part requires a little bit of coordination, lift your feet up off the floor until your legs are almost straight above your hips. Now at the same time lift your upper body up off of the floor towards your legs until you can touch your shins or your toes, creating a V. Now lower yourself back in a controlled motion and just as you are almost back flat on the floor, stop yourself so you maintain the body tension, now go again.

If you incorporate all of these exercises into your training program you will be on your way to achieving an all rounded core.

For any of these exercises try three sets of twenty reps with a minute rest between sets.

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