How to Do a Russian Sit Up

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Most bodybuilders will tell you that strengthening your core is essential when it comes to building muscles, posture and power. Building your core will mostly involve strengthening your abdominals. There are many variations of crunches and sit ups you can do. One good abdominal exercise is the Russian sit up.

  • Warm up by stretching your muscles, particularly your lower back and legs, before doing Russian sit ups.

  • Lie on the floor on your back. Spread your legs in a V. Make sure to keep your legs straight.

  • Lift your legs a few inches off the floor as you sit up. Sit up until your upper body is perpendicular to the floor. Hold for a second or two, then lower your legs back to the floor.

  • Return to the starting supine position. Repeat this movement to complete as many Russian sit ups as you are able to do.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try challenging yourself by doing Russian sit ups holding a kettlebell or dumbbell in one hand as you perform the exercise. Hold the weight straight up over your body with your elbow locked as you sit up. Repeat for the same number of repetitions with the weight in your other hand.
  • Attempt another variation of the Russian sit up by keeping one leg straight and placing the opposite foot on that knee. Lift the straight leg approximately six inches off the ground and do sit ups with your hands behind your head. Repeat with an equal number of repetitions with the other leg straight.
  • Do not attempt to do a Russian sit up if you have any lower back pain. Stop the exercise if you experience any pain while doing this movement.
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