Are you tired of doing the same old sit-ups routine to tighten and tone your midsection? Well, don’t give up on sit ups until you’ve tried doing them from a different angle -- hanging upside down. You’ll be amazed at how intense and effective sit ups can be when you do them inverted and against gravity. Inverted sit ups may be just what you needed to turn your boring abs routine around, or upside down, and take your workout to the next level.
Stand under a pull-up bar, extend your arms, reach up and grab the bar with an overhand grip -- palms facing down. Slide your hands along the bar until they are shoulder-width apart.
Bend your hips and knees and pull your legs up through your arms. Wrap your legs around the bar. Position your knees directly on top of the bar and hang your feet over the opposite side.
Release your hands from the bar, lower your head and hang upside down from your knees. Cross your arms across your chest. This is the starting position. If you’re worried your legs may slip from the bar and you’ll go crashing to the floor on your head, have a training partner hold your ankles.
Tighten your core muscles and curl your upper body toward the bar for an inverted sit up. Try to touch your thighs with your crossed arms. Slowly lower your body to the starting position. Do as many inverted sit ups as you can without overexerting yourself or losing your form.
Reach up and grasp the bar when you can't do any more. Lift your legs off the bar, bring them back through your arms and lower your feet to the floor.
Increase the intensity of the inverted sit ups by securely holding a weight plate to your chest as you perform the exercise.
Put on a pair of gravity boots for a variation. Securely strap the boots around your ankles so the hooks are in the front of your ankles. Stand under the pull-up bar, reach up and grasp the bar. Pull your legs and feet up behind the bar and hook your feet onto the bar with the hooks. Use the same technique in the previous steps and do inverted sit ups.
- Don't forget to breathe. Exhale as you curl up toward your thighs and inhale as you lower back to the starting position.
- Hanging upside down can increase your blood pressure, according to Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease or glaucoma, check with your doctor before doing inverted sit ups.