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wikiHow to Do Inclined Sit Ups

Three Parts:Getting in the Starting PositionPerforming the ExerciseChallenging YourselfCommunity Q&A

If you’re looking to build core strength, sit ups can be a useful exercise as they increase strength and flexibility in your abdominal muscles. Doing sit ups on an incline bench are more effective than regular sit ups, as there is a wider range of motion. This exercise strengthens your rectus abdominis, or your "six-pack muscle." You can even add weights or adjust the incline for an additional challenge.

Part 1
Getting in the Starting Position

  1. 1
    Find an incline bench. This exercise will work best if you have a support bar, or foot brace, under which to hook your feet as well.
  2. 2
    Set the decline angle. You should start with an angle between 30 and 45 degrees. The higher the angle, the harder the sit ups will be.[1]
  3. 3
    Sit on the bench with your knees bent. Your feet should be on the inclined (higher) side of the bench and your head should be at the declined (lower) side of the bench. Hook your legs under the foot brace or support bar.
  4. 4
    Lie down so that your upper body is declined. Cup your hands over your ears or hold the tips of your ears with your fingertips. Avoid placing your hands behind your neck, as this can lead to injury when the head and neck are pushed too far forward.[2]

Part 2
Performing the Exercise

  1. 1
    Raise yourself from the bench by bending your waist and hips. Make sure your abs stay tightened and your back is straight. You should raise up until your upper body is completely vertical.[3]
  2. 2
    Lower yourself down slowly. You should slowly lower your body until the back of your shoulders touch the bench. Keep your back straight and your abs tight.[4]
  3. 3
    Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Try to do 10 repetitions of this exercise per set. Repeat until you've completed 3 sets.[5]

Part 3
Challenging Yourself

  1. 1
    Increase the incline. Increasing the incline makes the exercise more challenging. If you’ve got the hang of this exercise and want to challenge yourself, increase the incline by 5-10 degrees.[6]
    • The bench will have a knob which allows you to lift and position the high end of the bench even higher.
  2. 2
    Add weights. For a more challenging sit up, you can hold a weight against your chest, with your arms crossed over top of it. Be careful not to drop the weight and hurt yourself.[7]
    • Use a weight plate (used on bench press bars) rather than free weights.
  3. 3
    Increase the frequency. If you start out doing this exercise once or twice per week, increase that to three to four times per week. The more sit ups you do, the better results you will see.[8]

Community Q&A

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    • A well-rounded abdominal workout includes additional exercises like the , , and the .


    • Potential injuries to your back and neck may be incurred if this exercise is performed incorrectly.
    • Limit the number of sets and repetitions you perform of this exercise, as this movement pattern is attributed to lower back injuries.
    • Abdominal exercises should always be matched with exercises for the spinal erector muscles in the back, so do moves like the in conjunction with inclined sit ups.

    Things You Need

    • Incline board with foot brace
    • Weight plate

    Article Info

    Categories: Abdominal Exercises

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