How To Do The Incline Sit Up Bench Properly

If you are looking to strengthen your core, the incline sit up bench could be your new favourite core exercise.

Sure, you can give you core a thorough workout by doing the traditional sit up, but do you have any idea how much more you can get from it by doing it from an inclined position?

Bet you don’t, but no worries though. It’s a good thing you are here.

This article explains everything you need to know about doing sit ups from an inclined position.

A good place to start is how to do it properly.

Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Get an incline bench with a foot bar or support brace under which you will tuck your feet.
  • Set the decline angle at 30-45 degrees. The higher the decline angle, the more challenging the sit ups will be.
  • Sit on the bench with both knees bent. Your feet should be resting on the incline part of the bench.
  • Tuck your legs under the support bar or foot brace.
  • Lie back so that your torso is declined and then place your hands by your ears. You can cross them over your chest too.
  • Lift your upper body off the bench, making sure to keep your core tight and back straight. Keep raising your body until your upper body is vertical.
  • Then, lower yourself slowly until the rear part of your shoulders touch the board on the bench. Your back should still be straight and your core tight.
  • Do 3 reps of 10 reps each.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE INCLINE SIT UP BENCH WORK?

RECTUS ABDOMINIS

This core muscle is the main target of the incline sit up bench.

It runs from the pubic bone to the bottom of your breast bone and the cartilage attached to your three middle ribs.

This muscle flexes your lower body when you bend forward at the waist.

It also helps support the organs located around in the abdominal area.

OBLIQUES

The external and internal oblique muscles are located at the sides of your abdomen.

These two muscles help twist and bend your lower body as you lift off the incline board and lower back down.

ILIOPSOAS

The iliopsoas is made up of two muscles that merge at one point.

These two muscles are the iliacus and the psoas major which originate from different places and join at the pelvis, then attach at the front and top of your femur (thigh bone).

The iliopsoas flex your hips, allowing you to lift your knees up and bend forward.

BENEFITS OF THE INCLINE SIT UP BENCH

WORKS YOUR CORE

The incline sit up bench is designed to strengthen your rectus abdominis, obliques and iliopsoas, which are responsible for your core strength.

BETTER POSTURE

A stronger core will help you develop better posture by strengthening and stabilizing your spine and lower back.

CAN BE MODIFIED

If you find the basic version of the incline sit up bench too simple, you can choose to modify it to make it more challenging.

One way to do this is by increasing the incline by setting it higher than 45 degrees.

If you are comfortable with the 30-45 degree incline, you could do well with a 5-10 degree increase.

You can also hold a weight plate to your chest, arms crossed over the top of it. Be careful not to drop it and hurt yourself.

Another way to increase the challenge is by increasing the frequency with which you do this exercise by increasing the number of times you do it in a week.

If, for example, you started by doing it once or twice a week, you can increase that to three or four times.

Similarly, you can make it easier by decreasing the incline angle so that it goes lower than 30 degrees.

This might not work your core as well as it would if the incline angle was between 30-45 degrees, but it will still help a bit.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE INCLINE SIT UP BENCH

BRIDGE POSE

This movement involves an inversion and backbend, and it targets your back, core and glutes.

To hold this pose for a longer period, place a block (or any other solid object you can use for support) under your back.

How to do it:

  • Lie down on your back, feet flat on the floor.
  • Point your toes toward your hips.
  • Press your arms into the floor by the sides of your body and tighten your core.
  • Slowly, lift up your tailbone until your knees and hips are at the same level.
  • Tuck your chin and straighten your spine and neck.
  • Hold this position for a minute.
  • Release slowly by rolling your spine down to the ground.
  • Repeat these steps after taking a short break.

PLANK

The plank aligns your body and helps you develop good posture.

It works your back, core, upper body and legs.

Steps:

  • Assume a tabletop position, with your legs extended behind you and your body aligned from head to toe.
  • Tuck your chin into your upper chest to lengthen your neck.
  • Press your hands into the floor and brace your core.
  • Hold this position for about 30 seconds (or longer if you wish) before lowering down.

INCLINE SIT UP BENCH MISTAKES TO AVOID

LIFTING FROM YOUR BACK

As much as this exercise is also designed to work your back, your core should be doing most of the heavy lifting.

So, if you use your back to lift you will be shifting the focus from your core and you may end up not getting the most out of this exercise.

NOT TIGHTENING YOUR CORE

If you don’t tighten your core, your body will not be as stable as it is supposed to be during this movement.

Additionally, bracing your core helps stabilize your back and spine, keeping them stable and preventing them from injury.

WINDING UP

Now that you know all there is to know about the incline sit up bench, you only have to put this information to good use for you to see the results you desire.

Don’t forget to maintain the correct form and stay consistent.