If you are looking for ways to intensify your sit up routine, try adjusting the speed of your abdominal exercises, increasing the number of repetitions and diversifying your movements. You might also benefit from using a timer, hand weights and/or a heart rate monitor.
1. Do More Repetitions
To get more from your sit ups, do more repetitions. If you are doing crunches regularly, challenge yourself by adding on a few additional reps in each workout. If you are doing 20, aim for 25. If 50 repetitions are simple for you, intensify your workout by doing 60 the next time.
2. Add Twists to Your Sit Ups
If you are accustomed to doing straight crunches, you might add twists that work the sides of your torso. With your arms behind your head, reach your right elbow towards your left knee. Be sure when reaching that your right shoulder is coming fully off of the floor. Repeat on the other side.
3. Slower Sit Ups to Build Strength
Slower sit ups are actually more difficult to do because you do not have the momentum pushing you forward. To do a slow sit up, start by sitting on the floor with your back upright and your knees bent. Your feet will be flat on the floor and you will keep them there the entire time. Cross your arms across your chest. Now slowly lower your torso to the floor. Your back will touch the floor and your goal is to avoid resting your head on the floor as you lower your body. As soon as your shoulders touch the floor, pull your torso up again and toward your knees. This is a very slow movement and it will become easier the more you include it in your daily workout routine.
4. Intensify Your Sit Ups Using Hand Weights
Once you are accustomed to the slow sit up, you can intensify it further by adding a flat hand weight to your workout. Start off with a small amount of weight and increase it gradually. You will hold the weight behind your head with both hands and slowly lift your torso off of the floor, keeping the feet flat on the floor as much as possible. This is a more intense sit up, so be sure that you have mastered the slow sit up before adding hand weights.
5. Make Use of Electronic Devices
To pump up the intensity of fast sit ups, use a timer to increase the number of sit ups you do from day to day. Set a timer for 60 seconds and count the number of sit ups you can do in that amount of time. Make it your goal to increase your speed with each workout. You might do 25 sit ups in one workout and shoot for 30 the next time.
You might also wear a heart rate monitor on your wrist while doing sit ups to make sure that you are working out at your target heart rate. This is a good way to ensure that you are burning fat while strengthening your abdominals.