Inverted sit ups are a core exercise that needs a ton of practice to perfect especially since you have to lift your entire upper body from an upside-down position.
In this position, your back will be extended all the way below your hips making you use more muscles than you would in a traditional sit-up.
It is challenging so beginners should either build their abdominal strength first or avoid this exercise altogether. It may cause serious injury if performed wrongly.
Some basic steps for a starter are to either move your arms further away from your head to your chest or simply lower your angle of inclination.
For those who are advanced, you can make this exercise a bit demanding by moving your arms closer to your head or adding weight to your inverted sit-ups.
As your body is inverted at a 180-degree angle position make sure that you get the most effective results by focusing on targeting the right muscle.
WHAT TO DO
- Get a bar that is stable enough to hold your weight than either wrap your legs or secure your feet on it so that they are not wobbly. If you find yourself struggling to get your body into this inverted position, ask for help or use your hands for stability
- Your head facing down, put your hands close to your chest, and propel yourself up by stretching upwards hence really working your core muscles. Then lower your upper body to the starting position.
- Keep your back as straight as possible while you exhale as you raise your upper body and inhale as you lower it.
- Do 8 to 12 reps per set for the most effective results
WHAT MUSCLES DO INVERTED SIT UPS WORK?
This workout activates the rectus abdominis a muscle found in between your pubic bone and your ribs when you lower and raise your upper body in an inverted sit up.
When you exhale to lift your upper body, this muscle tightens and stimulates the upward motion of your core which in turn lifts your entire upper body.
By strengthening your core, you make it easier for the rectus abdominis to perform its function making inverted sit ups a great workout for toning your core.
The obliques are made up of internal and external obliques. These muscles work in unison every time you do this workout.
Internal obliques muscles are inside the hipbones while the external obliques are on both sides of the rectus abdominis. These muscles assist in hip flexion when your core touches your thighs during the exercise.
Inverted sit ups also activate hip flexors, muscles close to the uppermost part of your thighs that allow your hip joint to bend as you raise and lower your upper body.
INVERTED SIT UPS BENEFITS
IMPROVE YOUR CORE STRENGTH
This workout really targets your core muscles building their muscle strength, toning and tightening it making it easier to use as you carry out daily activities that require your abdominals.
When your core becomes stronger, your muscles will surely increase in mass and you will have a good-looking core form
When performing this exercise, you engage your muscles you reduce stiffness of your hips and spine as your pelvis, hip, and back muscles work in unison with your core.
This improves your stability, posture, and even flexibility
This sit up variation is very beneficial to your core, back, hip, and leg muscles.
By constantly working these muscles and with proper form, you provide a shield to your muscles making them less prone to pain and injury.
ALTERNATIVES TO INVERTED SIT UPS
- Lie down on your back and stretch your legs and arms. At the same time, lift both your feet and arm like you want to touch the ceiling
- Align with the ground as your legs and chest are moved just at an angle.
- Pause in this V-shaped position for approximately 5 seconds before gently going back to the original position
ELBOW-TO-KNEE SIT UPS
- Start this exercise by lying flat on your back with your finger intertwined behind your head. Bend your knees and raise your legs from the floor
- While maintaining this position, move your torso so that your left elbow is touching your right knee close to your chest. Your left leg should remain straight while you perform this exercise.
- Do this on your alternating side so that your right elbow is touching your left knee. Repeat this exercise equally on both sides for the desired sets.
- Begin by lying down on the floor then putting both your elbows on the floor beneath your shoulders. Press the palms of your hand firmly parallel to the floor.
- Extend your feet so they are hip-width apart then raise your toes slightly into the floor with your heels in a backward motion.
- Maintain this position so that only your elbows, hands, and toes are touching the ground. Engage your core and hold this position for some time
- You will feel your muscles burning. Check for your breathing and repeat this exercise to work your abdominals.
INVERTED SIT UPS MISTAKES TO AVOID
In order to carry out this exercise, you will raise and lower your upper body while upside down.
As you move your body back and forth, you may experience some momentum that will only reduce the efficiency of this exercise.
When you lower your upper body make sure to pause for a few seconds before going up so as to increase tension which is good for muscle hypertrophy and strength.
By pausing, you minimize the swing that in turn reduces your body momentum and this is good as you don’t need momentum in this exercise
LIFTING YOUR NECK
Don’t be tempted to lift your neck first while doing this exercise. It will only lead to neck strain and pain. With your head facing downwards, avoid isolating your neck as you propel yourself up.
Instead of using your neck muscles to do this exercise, use your core muscles that are stronger and less susceptible to strain.
NOT BREATHING PROPERLY
Breathing is an important aspect of this exercise and proper technique should be used to get its full effects.
From an inverted position, exhale to fire up your core muscles that will help you push yourself up and inhale when you come down to relax your muscles in preparation for the lift.
Inverted sit ups are a great variation of regular sit ups especially if you want an advanced and intense workout for your abdominal muscles.
Before performing this exercise, please consult with your gym instructor or doctor for a go-ahead as this is an extreme strengthening exercise.
Doing this exercise consistently will keep your core, back, and legs strong so don’t shy away from executing it if you have already built enough muscle power to execute it.