Increasing the number of situps you can complete in one set can improve within several weeks of consistent training of the abdominal and core muscles. Whether trying to qualify for a military or police academy, or just simply wanting to improve your overall fitness, training your abdominals at least three times a week using various techniques will help increase your situps.
Train All the Muscles
Practicing doing situps is one of the best ways to increase the number you can complete. However, since you are only as strong as your weakest link, it is essential to adequately train all the muscles involved in the movement. Training all the primary, secondary and stabilizing muscles used in situps once or twice a week can help improve the number of situps completed. The primary muscle used in the situps is the rectus abdominis, but the hip flexors, quadriceps and obliques also play a role in the movement. Include exercises such as squats, leg lifts, leg extensions and hanging leg lifts into your weekly training routine.
Train to Failure
Practice performing situps to failure. Regularly pushing yourself to failure can increase the number of situps you can perform, notes former Navy SEAL Stew Smith, on Military.com. Complete as many repetitions as you can without stopping until you fatigue or break form. Rest 15 to 30 seconds, then attempt to complete the same number of repetitions again. Repeat this process for three or four sets. Attempt to complete more repetitions than the previous workout session until you reach your goal. After reaching your situp goal, set a new goal such as completing 100 situps in the shortest amount of time possible.
Super Set With Ab Exercises
When training other muscle groups, such as your legs, chest or back, do a super set with different ab exercises. A super set is when you perform a set of one exercise and then immediately, without rest, perform a different exercise using the same or a different muscle group. Super sets allow you to train your abs during the rest periods of other muscle groups, which increases the intensity of workout. For example, perform a set of squats, then immediately complete a set of 15 abdominal crunches.
Train your abdominal muscles at least three days per week. Unlike other muscles, the abdominals rarely fatigue because you are working with the weight of your torso in a limited range of motion and limited resistance, notes exercise scientist Len Kravitz, Ph.D., of the University of New Mexico. A sample training schedule might include practicing your situps to failure on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays, strength train your upper body and include abdominal super sets after each upper-body exercise. On Thursdays, strength train your lower body and include abdominal super sets after each lower-body exercise. Perform 15 repetitions of abdominal exercises such as decline crunches, reverse crunches, leg lifts or twisting oblique crunches, or practice holding a plank for as long as possible.