The classic abdominal strength training exercise guide.

Primary Muscle Abdominals
Secondary Muscle(s) None
Difficulty Beginner
Short Code SU

How to do sit-ups

The starting sit-up position:

  • Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. 
  • The feet should be supported under something for stability, or have a partner holding them down.
  • Lock your hands together behind your head. 
The exercise:
  1. Lift your upper body from the floor and up toward the thighs, exhaling as your rise. 
  2. Contract the abs hard and hold the position for a second.
  3. Lower the body back down to the starting position. 
  4. Repeat for reps. 

Sit-ups guide

Similar in movement to the crunch, but with a greater range of motion, the sit-up is an isolation exercise used to develop strength in the abdominal muscles and hip flexors.

Advanced Sit-ups

Once you can comfortably perform sit-ups for multiple sets and high number of reps you can increase the difficulty of the exercise by introducing additional weight. 

Try holding a weight plate, medicine ball or wearing a weighted vest for increased resistance. 

Sit-up variations


Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise.