Boot Camp Basics: The Sit-Up


While sit-ups might be only part of the equation for a flat, lean stomach, it’ll be even harder to get if you can’t perform one correctly

There’s nothing quite like trying to get out of bed the morning after your abs have had a tough workout. When your core doesn’t want to give any help and your attempt to soldier on regardless makes you look 30 years older - that’s a sign of a quality abdominal session. A session that’ll make your stomach muscles stronger and, in the long run, potentially more defined.

However, you won’t get any of that from a set of sit-ups if you don’t do them perfectly. Poor practice in pursuit of washboard abs is rife. That’s why Mark Wood and Garry Kerr, British Military Fitness Head Training Tutor and Head of Operations and Training respectively, have come to the rescue. In the video here, they run you through how to do a proper sit-up. No rounded backs or half reps here.

Should you be after a variation that’ll ramp up the difficulty at your next boot camp or gym session, Mark and Garry suggest a simple change, which, combined with employing perfect technique, will have your abs burning in half the time.

The Perfect Sit-Up, Step-by-Step:

  1. With your rear on the ground, a bend in your knees and your feet flat on the ground in front, place your shoulder blades on the floor and cross your arms over your chest.
  2. Back straight, engage your stomach muscles to raise your torso off the ground until your elbows touch your legs.
  3. Lower your upper body under control to the floor, keeping your torso straight and engaged.

Advanced: To make the exercise more challenging, place your fingers on your temples and perform the move as above, making sure you raise your torso to your legs.


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