Still Doing Sit Ups? Time To Move On To These 3 Ab Exercises…
Along with pushups, pull ups and dips, sit ups have been a favourite in just about every gym or home workout.
But unlike the other 3 exercises which remain in the rotation of many workout programs, the sit up appears to have outlived its purpose.
Studies on exercise biomechanics over the years have shown that the sit up does not directly target the abdominal muscles.
Instead, the sit up tends to work the hip flexors more because it is more of a pulling action than a contraction.
In order to work the abdominal region, the muscles must contract.
Sit ups may also affect your lower back.
Here are 3 of the best ab exercises you can do and not one of them is the sit up:
1. Elbow Plank
- Lie face down on the mat resting on your forearms and knees.
- Push off on the floor and rest on your elbows. Knees are off the floor and legs straight out. Glutes must be in line with your shoulders and heels.
- Contract your abs to prevent your glutes from rising; maintain a flat back position.
- Do 3 sets of 30 seconds per plank.
- Get a stability ball where your knees are at a 90 degree angle when sitting on it.
- Assume the start of the plank position; hands directly in line with your shoulders and shins on the stability ball. Keep a flat back, do not arch.
- Contract your lower abs in order to bring the ball forward to your hands as your hips and pelvis move up toward the ceiling.
- At the top of the movement, your toes will be on top of the ball and upper back perpendicular to the floor like a handstand.
- Slowly go back to the plank position and make sure your hips do not drop below shoulder level.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps
3. Hanging Leg Raises
- Hang from a pull up bar with your feet off the floor, legs in a slightly bent position.
- Contract your abs and raise your legs as high as you can. No swinging.
- Hold the position for a count of “one” then slowly bring your legs back to the starting position.
- Do 2 sets of 10 reps.
Remember exercise is just one part of the equation to get abs. Follow a clean, nutritious diet and you can have a 6 pack without doing a single sit up.