How To Do Sit Up Twist Properly

The sit-up twist is a bodyweight exercise that targets your obliques and core as primary muscles.

How to do a sit-up twist:

Required equipment: none (a mat and medicine ball Are optional)

  • Sit flat on the floor face up with your legs outstretched about shoulder-width apart, making sure to not have an arch in your lower back.
  • Bring your legs up by bending your knees at ninety degrees, and have your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  • Link your hands together behind your head, ensuring that you do not push them against your neck during the exercise. This is your starting position.
  • Tense up your core and obliques and raise your upper body off the floor towards your knees, till it forms a forty-five-degree angle with the floor.
  • Once you attain the angle twist your torso till your left elbow touches your right knee. Hold this position for about a second.
  • Slowly return to your starting position, making sure to keep your core engaged throughout the whole motion.
  • Tense your core and obliques again raising your body off the ground to the same angle. Ensuring, to breathe normally throughout the exercise.
  • Twist your torso till your right elbow touches your left knee and in a controlled manner return to your starting position.
  • Repeat this for ten reps counting touching both knees as one for two sets.

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

Keep your neck in line with your spine as you bend your torso forward.

If lifting your body off the ground poses a challenge then you can support your legs by placing your feet under a sturdy surface or structure for support.

WHAT MUSCLES DO SIT UP TWIST WORK?

Sit up twist use your body weight to tone and strengthen your abs and obliques along with your chest, neck muscles, lower back and glutes.

BENEFITS OF DOING A SIT-UP TWIST

STRENGTHENS YOUR CORE

Constant and disciplined repetition of the exercise strengthens and tones your core muscles which reduce your back pain and the risk of lower back injuries.

IMPROVES YOUR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Stronger core muscles improve muscular strength and endurance which enables you to attain and hold proper form and posture. Allowing you to perform at a more elite level before getting fatigued.

IMPROVES BALANCE AND STABILITY

Sit up twists strengthen your core pelvis, hip and lower back muscles which work in unison to provide you balance.

INCREASES FLEXIBILITY

Constantly moving your spine enables you to loosen up any stiffness in your hips, spine and back. This increases your mobility and reduces your back tightness.

 

ALTERNATIVES TO DOING A SIT-UP TWIST

SPIDERMAN PUSH-UPS

This is a calisthenics exercise that targets your chest, triceps, shoulders, rectus abdominis, obliques, core, hip flexors and quadriceps.

How to do Spiderman push-ups:

Required equipment: none (a mat is optional)

  • Lower your body to the floor into a plank position, your hands place about shoulder-width apart.
  • Make sure that both your upper and lower body are as straight as they can be. This is your starting position.
  • Flex your core and bend your elbows backwards to form a forty-five-degree angle, simultaneously lowering your upper body to the floor. Breathe properly throughout the exercise.
  • Raise your left foot and draw your left knee up and out, so that your left knee approaches your elbow as your chest is just about an inch from the ground.
  • Extending your elbows to push your upper body back up to the plank position, reverse the motion at the same time stretch out your knee and return your left foot to the floor.
  • Exhale as you push your body back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this motion to the other side, this time bring your right knee to your left elbow.
  • Repeat this motion for eight reps counting each push up as one for three sets.

Make sure that you do not droop your shoulders or lower your hips and arch your back as you do the exercise.

EXERCISE BALL PIKES

This is a Pilates exercise that targets mainly your abs ad triceps.

The exercise isolates your core and works them without putting any strain on your lower back muscles or hip flexors.

How to do the Pikes exercise:

Required equipment: Exercise ball

  • Place the ball on the floor leaving enough space in front of it for your whole body.
  • Get down onto the floor getting into a plank position on the exercise ball, ensuring that the ball is situated under your thighs.
  • Extend your legs fully behind you, your arms should be about shoulder-width apart on the sides of your chest.
  • Engage your core, legs and glutes to help provide you with stability.
  • Walk your body forward with your palms, so that the exercise ball is positioned on the top part of your shins.
  • The further forward you move the harder the exercise gets, so try t find your mid-point. Inhale deeply, holding your position for three seconds.
  • Slowly exhale as you flex your core muscles pulling your hips up to form an inverted v (also known as the pike position).
  • In this position your legs are straight, arms extended towards the floor and your hips are bent.
  • At this point the exercise ball will roll itself to about your ankles and your body will for a forty-five-degree angle.
  • Keep your shoulders pointing down and your chest wide to make sure that the distance between your ears and shoulders is not short.
  • Inhale deeply and engage your core muscles and use it to slowly return your body to the plank position.
  • Repeat this motion eight times for a set of three taking a thirty-second break in between each set.

SIT UP TWIST MISTAKES TO AVOID

SPEEDING THROUGH THE EXERCISE

Speeding through and raising your upper body as fast as you can and lowering it at the same speed to the floor reduces the effect of the exercise on your core muscles.

This causes you to use your leg muscles more which will cause you to get the undesired result, and may lead to injury as well, since rushing through will cause you to use the wrong form.

PUSHING AGAINST YOUR NECK

With your hands interlocked at the back of your neck, it is tempting to push against it to try and make the sit-ups easier.

But this strains your neck and might lead to neck injuries.

CONCLUSION

Sit up twists do not require any equipment and attach a wider range of your abdominal muscles than regular sit-ups.

Making them very effective and conveniently easy to add t your daily workout routine.

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