How To Do Dumbbell Sit Up Properly

Dumbbell sit up is a perfect exercise that works to strengthen and tighten your core muscles. You can perform a sit-up without equipment but for faster and better result, you can do a weighted sit-up.

Non-weighted sit up works as weighted sit up though the difference is that for weighted sit-up, you will use a dumbbell. The added weight increases the intensity of the workout.

HOW TO DO DUMBBELL SIT UP

Materials required; dumbbell or weighted plate.

  • Assume a sit-up position
  • Lay on your back, take the chosen weight and put it on your chest as you hug it with your arms.
  • Have your feet firmly fixed on the floor with your knees bent at a right angle. This is your starting position.
  • With the weight clutched to your chest, contract your core and raise your upper body towards your knees, keeping your hips and knees on the floor.
  • Pause at this position for a while then slowly lower your upper body back down to the floor.
  • Repeat as many times as you possibly can.

WHAT MUSCLES DO DUMBBELL SIT UP WORK?

1. RECTUS FEMORIS

This muscle is part of the quadriceps found in the front of the thigh. It is attached to the knee cap and it mainly serves in straightening the leg at the knee point.

Unlike other heads of the quadriceps, rectus femoris crosses the hips to the pelvis where it assists the iliopsoas in flexing the hips thus facilitating lifting of the torso during a dumbbell sit up.

2. THE OBLIQUES

These include both internal and external obliques. The external obliques attach to the rib cage are responsible for twisting the body as well as tilting the rib cage from side to side.

When external and internal oblique are contracted simultaneously, they help the rectus abdominis in directly crunching the rib cage towards the pelvis during the performance of a dumbbell sit up.

3. RECTUS ABDOMINIS

Rectus abdominis forms the wall of abdominal muscles that links the hips to the lower rib cage.

This muscle creates a six-pack when built up to an extent that it bulges against its crossing tendons.

When doing dumbbell sit up, rectus abdominis helps in tilting the rib cage and the pelvis bringing them closer to one another.

4. ILIOPSOAS

Iliopsoas attaches itself to the lower spine around the hips and to the upper front of the femur.

Their key role is to enable bending of the body around the hips so as to lift the thigh towards the torso during dumbbell sit up exercise.

However, these muscles are weaker compared to other antagonist muscles, therefore care must be taken when working them.

5. ACCESSORY MUSCLES

These are additional muscles that assist in the performance of a dumbbell sit  up exercise. They include chest muscles, neck flexors, and shoulder extensors that all aid in lifting your torso from the floor

DUMBBELL SIT UP BENEFITS

1. STRONG CORE

A strong core is a prerequisite for the performance of many physical activities.

When your core is well strengthened and toned, you will greatly reduce your chances of back pain and other related injuries.

2. IMPROVED MUSCLE MASS

Dumbbell sit up builds the strength of the hip and abdominal muscles.

It is a recommended exercise for older women who are likely to experience sarcopenia, a condition brought about by the natural loss of muscles due to aging.

3. BALANCE AND STABILITY

A strong core will help keep your body stable and balanced as you undertake your routine physical activities.

The working of your lower back, hip muscles, and your pelvis will be well-coordinated with your abdominal muscles. A good balance will save you from unnecessary injuries and falls.

4. INCREASED FLEXIBILITY

Mobility of the spine assists in loosening the stiffness around your spine and hips.

Dumbbell sit ups will greatly boost the flexibility of your back and hips hence increasing mobility and reduction of tightness and tension.

Increased flexibility improves circulation and boosts energy levels in your body.

5. REDUCED BACK PAIN

The exercise works to strengthen your lower back, pelvis, and hips. This forms a strong core with a firm center that reduces back pain and other related injuries.

As long as you perform the exercise in a proper manner, you are most likely to get benefits with relief to back problems.

6. STRONG DIAPHRAGM

The diaphragm is an important part of the breathing system. Dumbbell sit ups compress the abdomen which positively affects the diaphragm.

A strong and healthy diaphragm will improve your breathing pattern, alleviate stress and enhance your ability when engaged in a physical activity.

DUMBBELL SIT UP ALTERNATIVES

1. PLANKS

These are safe and easy to perform abdominal strengthening exercises because they put comparatively lesser strain and compression on your spinal column.

They equally work to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and shoulders. Besides that, planks will improve your balance and overall body posture.

2. WEIGHTED CRUNCHES

If a dumbbell sit up proves to be hard for you then consider performing a weighted crunch instead.

Crunches will only lift your head, neck and shoulders thus sparing your other muscles from being worked, but gets to properly work your abdominal muscles.

3. OBLIQUE TWIST SIT UP

This exercise works to tighten and tone your oblique muscles. During performance, whenever you lift your body from the ground up towards your knee, rotate your upper body so that your elbow touches the opposite knee.

Get back to the starting position and repeat the same with the other elbow and knee.

4. V – SITS

V – Sit is an exercise that helps in developing strength, coordination and balance within your body. V-sit is recommended when you are looking for a more challenging exercise.

DUMBBELL SIT UP MISTAKES TO AVOID

1. STARTING WEIGHT

When you consider including dumbbell sit up into your routine, start with a lighter weight as this will give you ample opportunity to gradually work your related muscles.

Starting with a heavyweight will pose a lot of challenges and may cause injury. If you feel ready to add weight for building stronger muscles then gradually add weight as your core grows stronger.

2. EXTRA WEIGHT

It is not advisable to add extra weight at the initial stages of the exercise. Even though extra resistance gives better challenge to your abdominal muscles, inappropriate additional weight may cause injury to your back and spine.

You may add more weight at an advanced fitness level provided that you have trained your core well.

3. IMPROPER GRIP

Try to secure a comfortable grip. It is advisable to select a suitable weight that you can hold conveniently during sit up. You may choose between a weight plate or a dumbbell.

CONCLUSION

Dumbbell sit up is a suitable exercise for building and maintaining a healthy core for the physical benefit of all body movements. It is a simple exercise to do at the convenience of your house.

You only need to choose a suitable weight so that you get to work your muscles appropriately. More resistance for better results can be a consideration as you gradually work your muscles.