How to do V sit-ups for next-level abs

When it comes to sculpting your core, there are sit-ups and then there are V sit-ups.

An advanced core exercise, the V sit-up works the desired rectus abdominis, or “six-pack,” muscles; deep lying transverse abdominis; hip flexors; And the obliques on the sides of your stomach.

They do all this while working the lower abdominals more than traditional sit-ups.

A word of caution before doing the V sit-up

During this exercise, it’s important to put ego aside and focus on proper form rather than the amount of reps you do.

“If you don’t engage your core during this exercise, excessive spinal flexion or curvature can occur, causing undue stress on the lower back,” says Cody Brown, CSCS.

To prevent lower-back discomfort—and get more core-building benefits from the exercise—Brown recommends focusing on actively squeezing your deep core muscles throughout the exercise.

To figure this out, focus on reducing any dip in your lower abdomen, tucking your pelvis and/or letting your chest bulge out (ie, rib flare).

You can imagine that someone is going to punch you in the gut. Whatever works!

V Sit-ups: Step-by-step instructions

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms extended above your head on the floor.
  • Keeping your back neutral and your core engaged, lift your legs and arms off the floor until your body forms a V shape. You can reach your arms straight out in front or toward your feet.
  • Pause, and then slowly bring your arms and legs back to the starting position.
  • Repeat, avoiding using momentum as you go through each rep.

How to make V sit-ups easier

Boat pose  Isometric ab exercises

It’s better to modify V sit-ups than to struggle with medium size. Always make sure the V sit-ups fit your current core strength and ability level.

  • Place your hands on the floor next to your hips. This will help stabilize your body so you don’t have to work as hard to maintain balance, says Brown.
  • Bend your knees to reduce the amount of resistance while lifting your core muscles, he says.
  • Hold the yoga boat pose. Focusing on holding V isometrically can help you work up to a running variation. You can place your hands on the floor or bend your knees in boat pose.

How to make V sit-ups stronger

Best Ab Exercise - Alternating V-Ups

V sit-ups are incredibly challenging on their own, but you can progress them.

  • “To make this exercise more challenging, you can add a spin on the climb by bringing one hand to the opposite leg,” says Brown. This will move over your oblique muscles.
  • Never touch the floor. Instead of resting completely at the bottom of each rep, lower your arms and legs until they just roll off the floor, pause, and then move on to the next rep for muscular endurance.

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