Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Abdominals
Secondary Muscle(s) None
Equipment Bodyweight
Emphasis Isolation
Type Pull

Sit-up Instruction

  • You can slightly bend your knees or have your legs extended fully.
    • Anchoring your feet/legs will create more tension in your quads and hip flexors.
  • Your arms are at your sides at the bottom position. As you raise up, they elevate overhead.
    • The arms passive.
  • Take a breath out and imagine your abdominals curling your torso into the top position. Similar in the manner of a bicep curl.
  • You don't want a rigid torso position. Your back should not be arched during the execution of the exercise.
    • Ignore the notion to raise your chest up to the ceiling.
  • Your core is not "braced" as if you are doing a squat or deadlift.
    • From an anatomy and biomechanics perspective, the rectus abdominus flexes the trunk.
    • You cannot flex a muscle if it is tense.
  • At the top position, you are "uncurling" your abs back to the floor. 
    • Don't flop your upper back on the ground.
  • Don't hold your breath on the concentric or eccentric portion of the movement. 
    • Breath out before your perform both the concentric and eccentric portions of the lift.


  • At first, your legs will want to elevate or "spray" out. Through practice and greater core stability, you will be able to execute without much leg involvement. 
  • Create the mind-muscle connection that your legs are passive throughout the movement. Your quads and hips should not be taxed after each set.
  • Again, you are "curling" your body using your abdominals to complete the exercise.
  • Don't throw your elbows forward to elevate your torso. 
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