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Sit Up, Bench, Declined

Type: Abs
The declined sit up works the abdominals hard because you have the added challenge of overcoming gravity. It targets the whole abdominal region but focuses mainly on the lower abdominals.
Level :  Equipment : Yes
Lower Abs
None

Sit Up, Bench, Declined Steps:

Step 1:
Position yourself on a declined workout bench, with feet secured underneath the foot rollers.

Step 2:
Lie fully backwards so your whole trunk is flat on the surface of the bench.

Step 3:
Place your finger tips on the side of your head.

Step 4:
Curl your abdominals towards your knees and at the same time bend at the hips to raise your upper body to the upright position.

Step 5:
Pause at the top and slowly lower back down to the start position.

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FEATURE ARTICLE

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Sit Up Bench Declined

As we all know, working your abs into a better shape is one of the most ardent priorities for both casual exercisers who just want to get their bodies into a good enough form for showing it off and for those with a passion for bodybuilding. There s nothing worse than a wiggly abdomen or a pouch made of extra body fat in the area such things can really ruin the overall effect, even if the rest of your body is in great shape. Also, the abdomen is one of the first areas where the occasional overindulging becomes visible, and this is all the more reason for which ab exercises hold a high spot in everyone s workout priority list. Since props are most of the time a necessary help in the process of exercising, if you re serious about it, the sit-up bench holds an important place in any ab workout, and the sit up bench declined exercise is one of the best moves you can employ to tone your abs wonderfully.

In this post, we will detail for you everything you need to know about your abdominal muscles, about the sit up bench machine and about declined sit ups and crunches. This way, you can then know exactly how to work out your abs like a pro and what the best routine would look like for you. Hopefully, once you understand exactly how you can adapt this exercise to your particular shape and exercise capacity, you will then be able to work out more efficiently while at the gym, and thus make your life easier. You will find everything you need here, whether you re still a beginner or not, and whether you re a man looking for strength and mass building or a woman looking to tone her abs and oblique muscles for a narrow and slim waist.

Abdominal Muscles: Anatomy 101

Before we move on to actually detailing how to use the sit up bench declined press for the best results, let s take a look first at the abdominal muscles themselves and their specific, beautiful anatomy. How does the abdomen actually look like on the inside, have you ever wondered? The main thing you should know about these muscles is that they consist of three separate layers of muscle, each of them with the fibers oriented in a certain direction, so that all three layers actually come together to create a strong, solid net that holds everything in the abdominal cavity together. This is one of the strongest nets and systems in the body: while the abs may not be as strong as the thigh muscles which are capable of powerful kicks and of propelling the body on great distances, they are still pretty impressive, considering that they move the torso and the trunk in all directions, they assist with breathing and digestion and so on and they also hold everything in tightly.

The three main layers of ab muscles that you should know about, since they are employed in virtually every exercise routine you could possibly try, are the oblique muscles (both external and internal), the transverse abdominus and the rectus abdominus. The rectus abdominus is the largest muscle, covering almost the entire front area of your abdomen, and this is also the muscle that can develop into a 6-pack, when it is properly trained and if there s almost no body fat to cover it up. The oblique muscles are situated in the waist area, and are therefore especially important to ladies that are working out in order to achieve a better figure. The transverse abdominus are a sheath of muscle covering the central part of the abdomen, right above the rectus abdominus. Doing as many of the sit up bench declined variety of exercises can help with training all of these layers into becoming tighter, more toned and stronger (with a focus on the lower abs, mainly part of the rectus abdominus).

The Sit-Up Bench, Declined and Inclined

If you re familiar with the basic equipment in every gym, provided that you didn t limit your exercising habits to home workouts so far, then you are also acquainted with the sit up bench. This machine looks like a bench to lie down on; that also has a special pad to securely fit your legs under, thus enabling you to perform efficient sit-ups without anyone s help. (Usually, before sit-up benches became part of the scenery, you would need to have a workout partner to practice with, and you would each take turns holding each other s feet tightly down while the seated partner would perform the sit-ups.)

The system is pretty simple: you sit down on the bench, you align your back and your shoulder blades to it, and you tuck your feet tightly under the special pad. Rest your trunk on the bench, and put your hands (the tips of your fingers) on the back of your neck, to protect it from the extra tension once you start moving your body up. Once you feel like you re comfortably seated, begin lifting your whole upper body up to a right (90 degrees) angle, and rest for a few moments when you reach the highest point. Make sure you contract your core muscles as much as possible in the process. After this brief pause, slowly let your body ease down to the initial position, and repeat. As a tip, you should resist the urge to let your body drop back down: if you use gravity to do the work for you, you basically cheat your way out of the effort your muscles are supposed to put in.

Speaking of gravity, this force becomes an even more important partner in the case of declined sit-ups. For a declined sit-up, the bench needs to be oriented in the opposite direction: just grab it and reverse it or ask a trainer to show you how. Depending on the particular case, some sit-up benches may already be set on this mode by default, to help differentiate things within the gym s space. To begin performing a sit-up bench declined exercise, lie on it in the same manner as you would for a regular position bench, and then just make an extra effort to lift your body to that right degree angle. You will need to lift not only your own weight from your upper body area, but to fight against gravity as well, not to mention that the distance you will need to move your body over will also be increased. The reversed version of the classic sit-up bench exercise is precisely what it promises to be: an improved and amped-up turbo exercise, to give your abs a true run for their money.

Besides the sit up bench declined variant, bear in mind that there is also an inclined version of the sit-up bench exercise, and you shouldn t confuse them when reading about it or when you talk to your trainer about what you want to do. For the inclined version, you need to incline the bench to a slight lateral direction, to mimic an inclined sit-up while seated on the floor. This way, you will target your oblique muscles from one side more than you normally do while performing centrally-oriented, regular sit-ups. Therefore, this is a particularly welcome exercise for the ladies looking to define their waistlines better, but also for men trying to increase the size of their trunk in a harmonious manner (we all know how awful it can look to only build mass on certain isolated areas of one s body).

Added Weight for an Extra Push

If you want to make the sit up bench, declined, an even greater challenge for your ab workout, add a barbell or a dumbbell to your upper body to make it more difficult. That way, you will need to overcome more than just gravity to be able to lift your body to an upright position, and this weighted version of the exercise will therefore burn more calories and stimulate the muscle tissue deeper. You may even get quite a burn after the workout, but it will all be worth it once you see how rock solid your tummy will become. The extra weighted version of sit-ups can be used for both the declined and the inclined varieties, but it works better for the sit-up bench declined exercise, since the lower abs can lift significantly more than the obliques (which are engaged in the case of inclined sit-ups). Since this post is focused on the sit-up bench declined exercise anyway, take our advice and focus on this one more than on its inclined counterpart; after all, it s a six pack or a flat stomach that you re after, and the oblique muscles are kind of secondary to these goals.

Sure, this version with added weights may be a little more intense than the average level of exercising beginners are looking for, but you don t need to be a professional bodybuilder to experiment with a little extra weight after a while. If you want to see how comfortable it would be, start with the lightest barbell you can find the ones for the ladies should do the trick. Just make sure you hold the weight in a stable position over your chest, and with a tight grip, to prevent any dropping-related accidents. If you d rather have your hands free to use them in the sit up process, you can use a tightening elastic chord or some other system any gym trainer can prescribe, to securely fixate the weight on your chest. Usually, the options are perfectly adjustable to your size and body and this shouldn t be a great concern it s an universal request in most gyms.

The Crunch vs. The Sit-Up

There are basically three types of ab exercises guaranteed by experts to produce visible results in tightening your abdominal muscles: sit-ups, crunches and leg raises. Each of these has undeniable benefits and multiple variants; but the most efficient ones are considered to be the crunches and the sit-ups, for the simple reason that they can be performed with some extra effort (especially by adding weights, as we described above). Leg raises, on the other hand, have the advantage of being milder on the back, so if you experience some lumbar discomfort after a series of intense sit-ups and crunches, it either means that you re doing them wrong (and you can ask a trainer for advice on the spot), or that you overdid it and should take a break. In rare cases, the discomfort can indicate an underlying back condition, so it would be best if you would see a doctor to make sure everything is fine.

In either way, what s certain is that leg raises are definitely not useless for toning your abs and that they can provide an efficient alternative for sit-ups and crunches, whenever your body seems a bit too battered by these two main exercises. However, as soon as you re able to, you should return to the golden classics, the crunch and the sit-up, for a more intense abs run-around. When it comes to these two, you may wonder what is the most efficient for your abs: crunches or sit-ups? The answer is that it depends. Crunches are somewhat better for the upper ab region of your muscles, while sit-ups are known to target the lower ab region somewhat more intensely; but these differences aren t that dramatic. That means that both types of exercises engage the whole abdominal region almost equally, with a special focus on the central part of its muscles, the rectus abdominus. The only slight variation is that one of them stimulate this muscles lower region a bit more, and the other one the upper region. That is why a proper routine should include, if possible, both types of exercises.

Benefits and Calorie Burn of the Sit Up Bench

Sit-ups and crunches (or curl-ups) are widely considered by fitness experts to be a guaranteed path to a flat and well-toned tummy, provided that you also follow a reasonable diet (not to cover up some otherwise beautifully developed muscles with any layers of concealing fat). But when sit-up benches are involved, this takes the experience to a whole new level, almost close to the Olympic standard: it allows you to perform better targeted and amped-up sit-ups with the efficiency of an industrial factory. You re not simply a gym enthusiast performing some sit-ups anymore, but instead you become a commercial hammer, slamming your abs into perfect shape with the precision of a machine, through the help of the machine. This is why the gym is something that should only occasionally be abandoned in favor of the home workout though sit-up benches are something you can take home as well (as we ll detail more on below).

The basic data for exercising on the sit-up bench proves that this should indeed be a central part of any ab workout: if you perform them at a fast pace (100 sit-ups) in 10 minutes, you will burn 57 calories. We don t know whether you re familiar with how many calories various exercises and activities burn up, but take it from us when we say that this is an impressive amount of burn-up for just 10 minutes. Also, performing this exercise at an explosive pace is beneficial not only for the calorie burn-up, which may be of little interest to you if you re not looking to also lose some weight in the process, but it is beneficial mainly to how deep those muscles are stimulated. Experts say that a 10-minute round of intense sit-ups (100 of them) may be more beneficial to training the abs than one hour long sessions of more relaxed sit-ups (200 of them over one hour). The implication of this should really guide you when you re working out: it doesn t matter to do more at the end of the day, but it matters to do more in a short period of time. The intensity of the effort trumps the total amount of that effort.

If you want to keep practicing with the sit-up bench declined exercises in the comfortable setting of your own home, we have good news: there are plenty of machines available for sale from retailers such as Amazon or Walmart, for a reasonable price. So if you know that you re not much for gyms and your schedule allows you to fit a home workout better into most days, then maybe you should consider investing in a sit-up bench of your own. Whatever you decide and wherever you actually practice, remember than perseverance is the sole key to success, and in this case the key to beautifully toned abs. It s not enough to practice for 2 hours straight if you only do it twice a week: for visible results, all fitness experts recommend you to have a 40 minute workout every day of the week, if possible, or at least on 5 of them. As a general rule of thumb, remember to also do a proper warm-up before any workout, to drink a bit of water if you feel the need to, as long as you don t take breaks too often for it, and remember to check our video archive before trying the exercises yourself, to see exactly the posture needed by each of them. Have fun and good luck!


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