Exercise 101: Sit-Ups
Name of Exercise—Bent knee sit-up ("crunch")
Type of Exercise—Single-joint
- Lie face up on an exercise mat.
- Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor, or put your lower legs up on a bench while maintaining a 90° angle at the hip and knee.
- Place your arms across your chest or down at your sides.
- Lift your head off the floor and tuck your chin into your chest.
- Curl your upper body off the floor toward your thighs until your upper back is off the floor.
- Exhale during the upward movement.
- Lower your shoulders down in a controlled manner while keeping your feet on the floor or your lower legs on the bench.
- Inhale during the downward movement.
It is important to perform a posterior pelvic tilt prior to performing the crunch. To do this, press your lower back into the floor while curling your pelvis slightly upward. This will engage your abdominal muscles from the start and make the movement more efficient. Place your hands across your chest or down at your sides rather than behind your head.
Last reviewed January 2009 by
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