How to do Decline Sit Ups with and without a Bench?
The decline sit ups are one of the most popular exercise for strengthening your core muscles. They have been used by many bodybuilders, fitness models and athletes. However, they can be very dangerous if not done properly or incorrectly. Many people think that decline sit ups are just a simple way to build muscle mass but it’s actually much more than that!
Decline sit ups work your abs, obliques, lower back and even your glutes. These exercises are great for building strength in all those areas. They also improve balance which is essential for sports like basketball and volleyball players.
In fact, decline sit ups can make you better at any sport because they strengthen every muscle group involved in the movement. But, as I said, they can be dangerous without the proper knowledge. So let’s get started!
How to Do It:
First of all, decline sit ups are almost exactly like regular sit ups except the decline position puts more stress on your abdominal region which is what you want for building strength. The decline position also helps to put less stress on your lower back.
I highly recommend that you do these exercises slowly and deliberately. This will help to engage the abdominal muscles more and also reduce the chance of injury.
You will need a decline bench, cushion or sofa to put your feet on.
Lay back and put your feet up on the decline. While you do this, make sure that your legs are straight. You may want to bend them a little bit so that your knees are over your toes. This will help to put your legs in a safe position.
After this you should slowly lay back. Make sure to keep your legs straight and not bend your knees while doing this. You should also try not to put all of your weight on your lower back. As you lay back, slowly move your arms behind your head and interlock your hands.
This will help to support your upper body. Your elbows should be pointing outwards as you do this.
You should now be in the decline sit up position. Make sure to not pull your neck back as you are doing this or you could hurt it. Now, here is where people have the most trouble. They want to do a sit up but when they raise up their head and upper body they throw all of their weight onto their spine and lower back.
This is very dangerous and can cause severe injury.
In order to do this exercise properly, you need to pull your belly button in and up. This will cause your lower back to naturally arch. Rock your body back and forth a little bit and you should feel your lower back muscles working. When you do sit ups, only move up until your neck is just past the upright position.
The whole time that you are doing this move, your belly should be sucked in and arched.
When you are just past vertical, tuck your chin in towards your chest. This will cause your head to move past vertical and will be the highest point in the movement. From here, slowly lower back down until your neck is past vertical once again.
This needs to be done at a regular pace. Don’t try to rush through it. The whole idea is that you work your core muscles and not momentum.
If you find that you are lacking in strength, you may put both legs up on the bench. This will give your more stability and take some stress off of your lower back but you won’t be working your leg muscles as much.
As you get stronger, you can try putting one leg on the bench. This will provide even more core muscle activation and exercise.
Make sure that your legs are straight when you put them up on the bench. It is also important to keep them straight when you are raising them up and lowering them down from the raised position. Never bend your knees while your legs are in the air. When you do this exercise, it’s always best to have a spotter.
Even with a spotter, only do what you feel your body can handle.
When you start doing this exercise, you may want to only do 3 reps for the first week. This will let your body get used to the movement and gradually increase from there. As with most exercises, you should never feel pain while performing this one. If you do experience any pain, stop what you’re doing and don’t do anymore that day.
If you experience continued pain, seek medical attention.
When you work your way up to doing this exercise for 10 minutes straight, you will find that your whole core region will get a great workout. Your back, your abs, and your hip flexors will all get stronger. This can help prevent back pain and improve posture.
This will also help to keep your body in shape and can even be used to shed a few pounds when done in conjunction with a proper diet.
Once you’ve reached a certain point with this exercise, you may want to look into other forms of sit up equipment that may offer greater resistance and even more of a challenge.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ergonomic weightlifting bench by JP Slattery – US Patent 6,565,495, 2003 – Google Patents
Convertible exercise bench by HF Jennings – US Patent 4,749,190, 1988 – Google Patents
Exercise bench by IG Kecala – US Patent 4,546,967, 1985 – Google Patents
Bench attachment intended to eliminate the need for a partner while performing medicine ball crunches on a declined exercise bench by H Rapp – US Patent App. 13/846,100, 2014 – Google Patents
Multi-purpose exercise bench system by RF Sterba, JR Slade Jr – US Patent 5,042,801, 1991 – Google Patents
Foldable exercise bench by RT Webber – US Patent 6,264,586, 2001 – Google Patents
Exercise apparatus by TM Hallmark – US Patent 5,518,487, 1996 – Google Patents