Lets spice things up today and talk about 3 different types of sit-ups you can use to add variety to your strength and conditioning routine for your abdominals. These will be all bodyweight exercises you can do at home for your abdominals or any location if you are on the move. You will need a partner for two of these variations.
To keep things short and sweet, I will assume that you are already aware how to do the basic version of the sit-up.
Credit is given Dr. Janda for creating this exercise and so, hence the name.
Thee is a principle called reciprocal inhibition that says the body relaxes the muscles opposite the ones contracting most given exercises. Using this principle as the foundation, the Janda sit-up stops the hip flexors from contracting by contracting the hamstrings and gluteus.
How do you contract the hamstrings and gluteus at the same time as doing your sit-up?
First, you need a partner to place their hands under your calves while you are in the normal bent-knee sit-up position.
Second, you need to pull against your partner's hands with your lower leg using your hamstrings while squeezing your gluteus as well. While doing this, you do your sit-up. By squeezing the opposite muscles, you "in theory" prevent the hip flexors from contracting making it all abdominals. It takes some practice to get it right but you'll increase the difficulty right from the start.
Jackknife or V Type
As with the regular sit-up, you lie on the floor with your hands behind your head and engage the abdominals to lift the upper torso off the floor. The only catch is that your legs are elevated the whole time!
When you are in the top position, you will look like a V and at the bottom you will look like a slightly open L. Very hard.
You can do this third type of sit-up by your self if you can find a table and if not you will need a partner.
Let's do the sit-up on your own first. You will need a heavy and stable elevate surface that you can secure your feet into. However you rig something up for your legs, your goal is to have your upper body hanging out in open air off the edge. This will allow you to come down past the point where the ground would usually stop you.
Not only do you no longer get any help stopping the sit-up but any bouncing off the floor is eliminated as well. In addition to that, you have an extended range of motion.
The partner version has your partner on their knees, with their back parallel to the floor. No you lie on your partners back with your legs draped over their shoulders.
Your partner now holds onto each of your ankles so that when you go back everything will be locked down and you don't flip over backwards. The combination of you sliding around and them moving makes this all the more challenging and fun!
Those 3 types of sit-ups should spice up your bodyweight fat burning fitness routine for you.