How to Do Butterfly Sit Ups Properly

Butterfly sit ups mainly focus on your abdomen and hips. For this exercise, no equipment is needed. However, you can use a yoga mat if you do not prefer lying on the floor.

How to do it:

  • Start by sitting on the ground/mat and bring your feet together so that the soles touch each other.
  • Spread your knees wide apart.
  • Lie on your back then extend your arms over your head.
  • While exhaling, slowly raise your upper body and touch your toes. Ensure the positioning of your feet is intact.
  • While inhaling, lower your upper body to the floor.
  • Repeat the routine 10 times for 3 sets.

If you have any neck or back problems, it is not recommended to perform the exercise. Instead, consult your physiotherapist for further guidance. The wrong technique of butterfly sit-ups can stress your neck or compress your spine.

WHAT MUSCLES DO BUTTERFLY SIT-UPS WORK?

ABDOMINAL MUSCLE

Butterfly sit-ups utilize your body weight to tone and strengthen the core- stabilizing abdominal muscles. The abdominal muscles include obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis.

Additionally, the exercise tightens and strengthens the core. Butterfly sit-ups play a significant role in developing six packs since it targets all muscles in your core.

HIP FLEXORS

The exercise loosens the stiffness in your hips. It achieves this by opening up your hip rotators. When your hips loosen, it is easier for you to perform other routines, such as squatting, running, performing lunges, and deadlifting.  Butterfly sit-ups tones your hip flexors, hence promoting strength, stability, and flexibility.

LOWER BACK

The exercise also works on your lower back. It strengthens the lower back, hence reducing the occurrence of back pain. Besides, the exercise helps in aligning the spine to promote good posture.

NECK

The exercise strengthens the neck muscles. However, if you do the routine wrongly, you can hurt your neck and cause injuries.

BUTTERFLY SITUPS BENEFITS

CORE STRENGTH

Butterfly sit ups strengthen, tightens, and tone the core- stabilizing abdominal muscles. The exercise also helps in developing a six-pack.

INCREASED FLEXIBILITY

The exercise promotes flexibility by loosening the tight hip rotators. Hip flexibility relieves tension and increases mobility. Body flexibility enhances circulation, which increases energy levels.

STRENGTHENING OF THE DIAPHRAGM

Performing the correct technique of butterfly sit-ups causes the abdomen to compress. This results in positive effects on the diaphragm such as improved breathing and respiratory function.

STABILITY AND BALANCE

The exercise enables the lower back, pelvic, hip, and abdominal muscles to work together and promote stability and balance. Good balance prevents instances of falling and injuries.

IMPROVED MUSCLE MASS

Butterfly sit-ups build and strengthen hip and abdominal muscles.  

IMPROVED ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

The exercise promotes improved breathing patterns, which significantly contribute to muscle endurance. Besides, a strong core enables you to have proper form, stability, and posture. This allows you to perform athletic or sporting activities for a longer duration at the same time experiencing minimal fatigue.

REDUCED RISK OF INJURY AND BACK PAIN

As mentioned earlier, butterfly sit-ups strengthen the hip and abdominal muscles. A strong core significantly reduces the risk of injuries and back pain.

However, this can only be achieved if you are doing the sit-ups properly. The reverse can result in back pain, neck pain, and compression of the spine.

ALTERNATIVES TO BUTTERFLY SIT-UPS

REVERSE CRUNCHES

The reverse crunch is also a core exercise that targets the lower abdominal muscles. You will need a yoga mat for this exercise.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back maintaining your body in a straight position from head to toe.
  • Rest your arms down on the sides of your body.
  • Bend your knees to 90 degrees. This marks the starting position.
  • Gently lift your feet in an upward movement while curling your hips and knees towards your chest area. Do this while exhaling.
  • While inhaling, slowly return your legs to the starting position. Do this while controlling your pace rather than returning to the starting position rapidly.
  • Perform 10 reps in 3 sets.

SCISSOR KICKS

The scissor kicks alternative also targets your hips and abdominal muscles.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your arms on your sides. Alternatively, you can place your hands below your glutes for extra support.
  • Raise both legs a few inches above the ground and align them to form a ‘V’.
  • While lifting your legs above the ground cross them horizontally in and out or vertically, up and down.
  • Ensure that your lower back is firmly pressed on the floor.
  • Perform 10- 15 reps.

FOREARM PLANK EXERCISE

The plank exercise activates and strengthens core muscles, such as oblique and rectus abdominis. You will also need a yoga mat for this exercise.

How to do it:

  • Lie flat on the floor/ mat. This is your starting position.
  • Position your forearms on the floor. Your elbows align with your shoulders.
  • Ensure that your arms are parallel to the rest of the body. The space between your arms should be shoulder width.
  • Raise your feet so that your toes are grounded on the floor.
  • Squeeze your glutes and maintain a straight position from head to toe.
  • Hold and maintain the position for about 30 seconds.
  • Depending on your endurance, you can increase your plank duration.

BUTTERFLY SIT UPS MISTAKES TO AVOID

FAST MOTION

While doing the butterfly sit-ups, avoid falling back rapidly. This affects the effectiveness of the workout. Instead, control your motion and rise slowly.

SITTING ALL THE WAY UP

Sitting all the way up instead of rising slowly has an impact on the effectiveness of the exercise. By sitting up, you do not engage your core- stabilizing abdominal muscle. Therefore, you do not experience the strengthening or tightening of muscles.

WRONG POSITIONING OF THE FEET

The sole of your feet should be touching each other. Stretching your feet alters the success of the exercise.

CONCLUSION

The butterfly sit ups are great exercises for your rectus abdominis. Moreover, they tone and strengthen your lower body.

Ensure that you get the right technique from a professional fitness trainer to obtain successful gains.