How do you train sit-ups correctly?

I've heard you can damage your back if you don't do it right.

Also, are there any varieties that allows one to use weights or similar objects? I ask about this because I want to build bigger muscles rather than focusing on endurance.

I get it you need to do few repetitions.

  • +1 . I would also like to know weather the advice of not doing the full sit-up, because it would hurt your back, holds any truth. Mar 20, 2011 at 10:53
  • +1 I'm also interested in how to get bigger abs rather than slimming down Mar 21, 2011 at 11:19
  • @Uw and @Samuel Work your way up to leg hanging leg raises youtube.com/watch?v=G0ysNevIv0w (Note: the buddy giving out occasional 'come on' and 'good job buddy' is mandatory) or youtube.com/watch?v=wr4-McBOJCg&feature=related. If you want abs any bigger than the guy in the second vid you'll have to take steroids or some other form of illegal drugs because abs any bigger than that aren't natural. Mar 22, 2011 at 1:43

3 Answers 3


Sport fitness advisor is a good site for abs/core exercises. Here are some examples from their site:

enter image description here enter image description here

Check out their site for more exercises!

My personal recommendation: get a swiss/exercise ball, start off with no weights and focus on the tension in the core. I'm assuming when you say bigger muscles, you mean a six pack - Six packs are hard to come by and are seen on people who have very little body fat, the abs are interlaced muscles that are one small part of the core.

Your question about hurting yourself - Yes, just like any other exercise, you can hurt yourself if not done properly. Technique first, then add intensity. A good, consistent, complete body routine is what the focus should be on.

  • Great page! I will try your recommendation.
    – whirlwin
    Mar 21, 2011 at 18:16
  • I'm pretty sure the using the animations falls under 'fair use'
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 22, 2011 at 12:17

Keep your eyes on the ceiling and concentrate on bringing your shoulders up to the sky, not your knees. That's one tip that really helps execute proper sit ups.

But if bigger muscles are you goal, sit ups a poor choice. I'd suggest trying planks or ab roll outs for better results with less risk of injury.

And as always, any discussion of abs needs to include the adage "Abs are made in the kitchen." If you want killer abs, you have to cut body fat, and that's primarily done with diet/nutrition.


Tough question because it wide open. I use different setups for different muscle groups. Each setup has it's own set of standards according to what you're trying to work.
On the flip side of that, I did run into some generic things not to do.
When you're attempting to slim, don't use an incline board. do them on the flat.

  • I see. But I am not interested in slimming down as I am fairly thin. I rather want to build bigger abs.
    – whirlwin
    Mar 20, 2011 at 11:17
  • @Dave Care to enumerate on different sit-up exercises, what muscles they train, and how to do them?
    – user241
    Mar 1, 2012 at 3:30
  • Sorry - I haven't been monitoring this.<br>how you place your legs and your arms makes a difference.<br>also you can add a twist or two to enhance different aspects of the situp.
    – Dave
    Jun 25, 2012 at 18:43

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