Performing situps from a decline position places more stress on your abdominals than regular situps. Traditional situps are fine if you want to target just the upper ab muscles. If it's sculpted abs you're after, though, decline situps are your best bet as they target the entire core, calling all the ab muscles to action when you raise your bod from an inverted position. For a tight and toned tummy, perform three sets of 10 repetitions.
Sit on an inclined weight bench with your feet tucked securely under the leg bar.
Cross your hands over your chest or place them behind your head.
Slowly lower your back to the bench.
Contract your abdominals and pull your body back up to the starting position. Repeat.
- Hold a weight plate or dumbbell in your arms for a more advanced form of this move.
- Strengthen your oblique muscles by performing the same movement, except that when you rise, bring one shoulder to your opposite knee. For example, cross your body so that your right shoulder is coming to your left knee. Alternate between sides.
- Use your muscles -- not momentum -- to pull your weight up.
- If you are placing your hands behind your neck, do not pull on your neck as you raise up. This will result in neck strain.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.