Home Fitness Tips The Program to Improve Your Fitness, Week 9

The Program to Improve Your Fitness, Week 9

  • Lie flat on ground with heels pushing into mat and feet slightly apart
  • Cross arms across chest and place hands on shoulder
  • To initiate the movement contract abdominal muscles as if doing a crunch, but continue to move and sit up.
  • When sitting up, do so under control and not abruptly making the effort to keep hands on shoulders throughout the move, while maintaining good posture
  • On the way down to the starting position, hold abs tight and control the movement until shoulders touch the mat
  • Repeat for 5-10 repetitions, making sure not to bounce or use momentum to sit up
  • To modify the sit-up – if you cannot do a complete rep – have a training partner apply light pressure to the lower shins, or place your feet under a stable piece of furniture
  • This is the same progression that I have used with my personal training clients for 20 years, and I can say from experience that this is the way to learn how to do proper sit-ups.  So start practicing and let me know if you have any questions or comments by dropping me an “E” at [email protected].


    1. It is also important that the main difference between the crunch and sit ups is the involvment of hip flexors. Basically hip flexors work concentrically with abs during the sit up and isometrically during the crunch. Therefore, sit-ups are safe as long as the client has stable hip flexion. However, if the hip flexion is limited the sit ups may be harmful. So the choice of an exercise (sit up vs. crunch) should be made on individual bases.
      Ralph Klisiewicz, MS
      certified personal trainer, NASM, NCSF
      certified MAT specialist

    2. When performed/taught correctly sit ups are not harmful regardless of whether or not a client has “stable hip flexion.” Crunches have no functional worth as there is no range of motion involved and the isometric contraction of the abdominals has no real effect, especially in active individuals.


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