There are many reasons some professionals prefer reverse sit-ups and think they are better for your six-pack abs. It may be down to preference in many cases, but performing reverse sit-ups may challenge your muscles like never before. Even if you see good results with traditional sit-ups you may still benefit from switching your routine from time to time.
What many people don`t know is how the abdominal muscles can work for them. Instead of training them as a single muscle, you can benefit from doing specific exercises to target smaller muscle groups. The abdominals consist of the following muscles:
Traversus Abdominis is located under the oblique and it has a role in keeping your organs together and also plays a role in breathing. The oblique muscles (internal and external) are located on each side of the Rectus Abdominis and they play a role in moving your core from side to side. And finally, the largest muscle group which is also visible (6 pack) is the Rectus Abdominis.
These muscle groups cannot be separated into a traditional abs routine which could involve upper and lower crunches. There is not such separation between the muscles and this is why they tend to work together. However, there are a lot of benefits to performing reverse sit-ups which include lower pressure on the back.
The benefits of reverse sit-ups
There are some obvious benefits to performing reverse crunches and this is why so many athletes only train abs with these types of exercises. Here are the most popular benefits:
Working the lower abs
Working the lower abs of the Rectus Abdominis is more difficult than the upper abs. It also takes more time for those muscles to be visible and this is why many professionals prefer to perform reverse sit-ups.
It may also be worth mentioning that stored fat is the hardest to burn from the lower abs region and this is why you need to perform the exercises while eating a healthy diet if you want to have visible abs.
Relieving the pressure on the back
Too many people are risking injuries by performing sit-ups with wrong form. Traditional sit-ups may find you with neck or back discomfort and you need to realize how to make the abs work and not the back muscles.
Performing reverse crunches will allow your spine to sit in a more comfortable position, either on the floor or from a hanging position. You will also use your legs for all exercises which will ensure the focus shifts towards the lower part of the torso.
Focusing on the difference against regular sit-ups
Since you will be performing new types of exercises you might find it challenging to maintain proper form. This will, however, help you with focus as it will make you more aware of what muscles are actually activated.
One of the best exercises to include with lower abs sit-ups is the plank. As an isometric exercise (no change in the angle of the exercise) it will target the inner abdominals which are vital to keep balance with the visible abs.
The exercise should help you focus and drawing your abs towards your spine and hold them in the position for a few seconds. This exercise will work all the major abs muscles but it will also strengthen the spine muscles which are also vital to help maintain a proper posture.
By only allowing your legs to move you put all the tension on the abs with no actual means of cheat repetitions.
How to perform reverse sit-ups correctly
There is an ongoing debate on which reverse sit-ups are better. No matter which ones you choose, you need to ensure you perform them correctly as they can have a positive impact on your posture. Ideally, you want to train the opposing back muscles as well for the best posture. Here are some tips on how to focus on the proper form for reverse sit-ups:
Maintain a relaxed position
When compared with regular sit-ups, reverse crunches can actually make you feel more relaxed, especially in the spine and neck area. Make sure you stretch before every exercise and include leg stretching since you will be using your legs for the lower part of your abs routine.