Sit-ups build powerful abdominal muscles, a flat stomach and a stronger lower back. But if incorrectly done, the hip flexor muscles are used instead of the abs. If you increase the difficulty of your situps by keeping your feet flat on the floor, forcing your abs to work harder, you will use the correct muscles and intensify your results. But what if no one else is around to hold your feet down? The good news: you can work out alone, without needing anyone to stabilize your feet and ankles, by using "ankle holders" which can be inexpensively made with elastic exercise bands.
What You'll Need
* An inexpensive elastic exercise band
* A sturdy piece of furniture
How To Use Your Elastic Exercise Bands
1. Choose your band: there are different kinds of bands with a multiplicity of colors, widths and thicknesses. Some are simply straight lengths of rubber while others have handles on the end or cuffs to fit your ankles and wrists. However, the safest bands for sit-ups are those that are a continuous loop of rubber that look just like a giant rubber band. There is no chance that these will suddenly give way in the middle of a sit-up.
2. You will need a very sturdy piece of furniture as an anchor. A desk or couch is best but if you choose a chair it must be a bulky and heavy one that will not move when your full weight strains against it.
3. Arrange the band so that it is very tight around the legs of the furniture. A sagging band will totally defeat your purpose.
4. Sit on the floor and adjust the band to a proper height so that your feet and ankles are firmly supported and will not move. Hook your feet beneath the band and test it carefully before trusting your entire weight to your new ankle holder.
5. Carefully and slowly begin your sit-ups, concentrating your attention upon every movement.
* Check the surface of your anchor before beginning your sit-ups because you don't want any loose objects sliding off and falling on the floor – or you.
* Choose a thick and heavy exercise band that is certain to support your weight.