Increasing your ability to perform situps builds your abdominal strength but requires practice and additional exercise. While situps do not do much to burn fat, strong abdominals improve your posture and help support you during many activities. Heavy squatting and deadlifting require strong abdominals, and the ability to transfer power generated by your legs into punching and some types of jumping demand a strong core. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any strength-training program.
Perform two sets of as many situps as you can. Go through a full range of motion. If you can do 40, each week try to add five to your total. Follow this with two sets of leg raises performed with your hands under your hips. Do not bend your knees or let your feet touch the floor. Do as many repetitions of leg raises as you can.
Perform five sets of weighted situps. Hold a dumbbell high on your chest, and select a weight that allows you to complete half as many situps as you did for your first set on your previous training day. Follow this with side bends for your obliques. Hold a dumbbell in one hand while standing up with your back flat. Lean to one side lowering the dumbbell, then lean as far as you can in the other direction. Do two sets of 15 to 20 repetitions per side.
Perform four sets of situps completing 80 percent of the repetitions you performed per set on your first training day of the week. Rest as long as you need to in-between sets, but still keep your rest time to a minimum. Follow this with four sets of leg raises at 80 percent of the volume per set used on day one.
- "Functional Training for Sports"; Michael Boyle; 2003
- "Stronger Abs and Back"; Dean Brittenham, et al.; 1997