Frog sit ups are one of the most challenging yet effective core workouts you’ll ever come across in your fitness journey.
Unlike most other sit ups, this particular variation uses only the first quarter of the range of motion in a standard sit up, which means they increase the work your abs will have to do during the exercise.
To do it properly, here are the steps you need to follow:
- Lie on your back on the floor, with your legs extended in front of you (like you’d do in a regular sit up).
- Bend both knees to bring your outer thighs to the ground, and then touch the soles of your feet together. If you find it hard to get in this position, you can simply put your legs in a diamond-like position.
- Bring your feet as close to your butt as you comfortably can.
- Cross both arms over your chest to make them touch opposite shoulders.
- Tighten your core.
- Exhaling, flatten your hips as you lower your back into the ground and curl up your upper torso to the height of a quarter sit up.
- Hold this position for a second then lower back to the starting position.
Try to do as many reps as you can, or include this movement in a circuit to get the most out of it.
WHAT MUSCLES DO FROG SIT UPS WORK?
Frog sit ups are designed to strengthen and isolate your abs, specifically the rectus abdominis on your upper core.
They also fire up your hip flexors which help flex your hips as you bring your outer thighs to the ground and flatten your hips during the lowering phase.
BENEFITS OF FROG SIT UPS
EASY ON THE SPINE
Compared to the regular sit up, frog sit ups are less likely to cause you back or neck pain because they are easier on your spine.
You don’t require any equipment to do frog sit ups; all you need is your bodyweight, the correct form and consistency to get results out of it.
ISOLATES YOUR CORE
The frog sit up is an effective way to isolate your rectus abdominis muscles (the “six-pack” muscles) to give you those gorgeous ‘abs’ you’ve been wanting.
By strengthening your core, this movement helps stabilize your spine and lower back, hence improving your overall posture.
BETTER CORE WORKOUT
Frog sit ups give your core a better workout than most other sit ups because they reduce your range of motion and put extra tension on your core muscles by making them work harder than they would in a regular sit up.
ALTERNATIVES TO FROG SIT UPS
Mountain climbers work out your core with the added advantage of cardio which gets your heart rate up and burns a few calories of your body fat.
How to do it:
- Get into the push up position: core braced, feet together, body aligned from head to heels and hands in line with your wrists (which should be stacked underneath your shoulders).
- Lift your left foot off the floor and draw the left knee in toward your chest, making sure your back stays flat, your butt drops down and the rest of your body remains stationary.
- Tap the ground with your toes.
- Return the left foot to your starting position, and then immediately draw your right knee to your chest, tapping the floor with your toes once again.
- Alternate your legs during your reps.
- Make sure you perform equal reps on each leg.
- Do as many reps as you desire.
Windshield wipers also make for a fantastic alternative to the frog sit up.
Just like in frog sit ups, the leg positioning matters in this exercise too.
You can do it with straight legs if you are looking for a challenge or with bent legs if you want to make it less challenging.
How to do it:
- Lie on your back on the floor, arms extended to your sides.
- With your legs together, bend your knees to make them form a 90-degree angle.
- Lift your legs so that your shins are parallel to the ground. Your knees should be stacked over your hips.
- Brace your core, so that you press your back to the ground.
- Exhaling, drop both knees to your right side, as your legs remain together. Don’t let them drop so far that your shoulders peel off the ground.
- Get back to the center as you inhale, and repeat these steps on the left side.
- Do as many reps as you desire.
FROG SIT UPS MISTAKES TO AVOID
PLACING YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD
Avoid placing your hands behind your head as this could strain your neck. Instead, cross your arms across your chest from start to finish to keep them still.
NOT TIGHTENING YOUR CORE
This exercise is primarily for your core. It goes without saying that you have to brace your core for it to be effective.
Bracing your core will also stabilize your body throughout the exercise.
FAILING TO BREATHE
Inhaling and exhaling with control will help improve your mind-muscle connection. Additionally, it will help activate the muscle fibers in your core muscles for maximum engagement.
GETTING YOUR LOWER BACK OFF THE GROUND
At no point should you peel your lower back off the ground; only your upper torso should move.
Keeping your lower back pressed to the ground will help concentrate the tension in your core so you can get a better workout of the area.
It is important to note that frog sit ups are not a beginner move; you need a significant amount of flexibility to pull it off otherwise you might struggle trying to get your thighs to the floor.
If you are having a hard time getting your thighs to floor, you can try to loosen them up for a while with stretching exercises before you do this movement.
Stay consistent with this exercise as you maintain the correct form, and it might just get you those abs you’re dying to have!