Muscles Used: Rectus Abdominus (Abdominals or Abs)
Equipment Needed: Mat or towel to lie on (optional)
- Lie with your back flat against the floor.
- Bend your knees and place both feet on floor.
- Place hands behind ears, gently supporting your head, but not holding or lifting your head up. Do not interlace your fingers together.
- Push your lower spine flat against the floor. Pretend there is a zipper holding your lower spine to the floor (starting position). (see photo A)
- Slowly lift your shoulders off the floor, using the strength of your abdominal muscles. As you lift, imagine you are squeezing your belly button into your spine (lifting position).
- Place your hands on your upper quadriceps and hold this position for a count of 16. This is an isometric or held muscular contraction. (see photo B)
- Exhale (breathe out) as you lift and hold while you move your hands from upper quadriceps to behind your ears.
- Inhale (breathe in) as you slowly lower your shoulders back to floor (starting position).
- Repeat exercise for a set of 8.
- Do keep your spine flat on the floor.
- Continue to breathe.
- Do move slowly. Rushing to complete a higher number of isometric sit ups could injure your back.
- Do use a controlled abdominal squeeze, without rocking or swinging.
- Do keep your fingers loose and unlaced behind your head.