The sit-up (or curl-up) is an abdominal endurance training exercise to strengthen, tighten and tone the abdominal muscles. It is similar to a crunch (crunches target the rectus abdominis and also work the external and internal obliques), but sit-ups have a fuller range of motion and condition additional muscles.
It begins with lying with the back on the floor, typically with the arms across the chest or hands behind the head and the knees and toes bent in an attempt to reduce stress on the back muscles and spine, and then elevating both the upper and lower vertebrae from the floor until everything superior to the buttocks is not touching the ground. Some argue that situps can be dangerous due to high compressive lumbar load and may be replaced with the crunch in exercise programs.
The movement can be made easier by placing the arms further down away from the head. Typical variations to this include crossing the arms to place the palms on the front of the shoulders and extending the arms down to the sides with palms on the floor. The 'arms on shoulders' variation is also used to make the incline sit-up easier.
Since the 2010s, every branch of the U.S. armed forces have begun to phase out sit-ups, due to the high rates of lower-back injury.
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- "Sit-up (arms crossed)". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Sit-up (arms down)". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Incline Sit-up (arms crossed)". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Weighted Sit-up". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Incline Sit-up". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Weighted Incline Sit-up (arms crossed)". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Abdominal Training
- Mull, Amanda (28 May 2022). "The Sit-Up is over". The Atlantic. Retrieved 31 May 2022.