How to Stretch For Sit-ups

How to Stretch for Sit-ups

In this post, we are going to go over how to stretch before and after sit-ups. I’m going to try and format this post in a new way, and I’d like to get some feedback on which style is preferred by you, the readers. So let’s get started, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Sit-ups are a calisthenic workout that target your abdominal area, there are four main muscles that are worked when doing your standard sit-ups, to learn  more about each of the muscles, click on any of the pictures above to be linked to the corresponding Wikipedia page.

These are the muscles that we will be focusing our stretches at, we have four muscles to stretch, and this shouldn’t take longer than 3 or 4 minutes, so there is no reason to skip it.

How to Stretch the Rectus Abdominis

Rectus Abdominis

The Rectus Abdominis

While the video is intended as a yoga stretch for the spine, it also stretches the Rectus Abdominis.

How to Stretch the External Obliques

External Obliques

The External Obliques

This stretch is probably one of the easiest to do, and to learn, in fact, it’s so easy you can learn it from a 12 second video.

How to Stretch the Tensor Fasciae Latae

Tensor Fasciae Latae

The Tensor Fasciae Latae

Stretching the Tensor Fasciae Latae (or TFL), is also very easy. To recap what you see in the video, you simply cross one leg over the other, and

then bend down, twisting slightly to the side that has the leg behind your other leg, do this to both legs.

How to Stretch the Rectus Femoris

Rectus Femoris

The Rectus Femoris

When stretching the rectus femoris, it’s best to use a pillow if you are exercising on concrete or a hard floor, but if you have carpeting or are outside in the

grass, you’ll probably find that it isn’t necessary. If you are outdoors, you can use a tree to replace the wall, or just find a wall, be creative, if there is a will

there is a way.


That sums up the basic stretches for your sit-ups, once again, I’d really appreciate it if some of you let me know if you prefer this formatting versus the formatting I’ve used in other posts such as, how to stretch for push-ups, and how to stretch for pull-ups. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. Once again, if you have any suggestions or questions, just let me know and I’d be glad to fulfill your request.

Tagged with:
Posted in Beginner Stretches, Stretching
11 comments on “How to Stretch For Sit-ups
  1. Fulgenzio Siciliano says:

    You have showed great perseverance behind the blog. It’s been enriched since the beginning. I love to share to with my friends. Carry on.

  2. Geir says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. I really enjoy reading your articles, even though I’m not very good in English. Being an salesman who live half the time in hotelrooms, this system is great. Now I can work out almost everywhere I go. Randomly dropping in to this website was a lifechanger to me. So thank you very much.

    Greetings from Norway.

    • Alex says:

      Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my posts. Is there any particular subjects you’d like more information about?

  3. Geir says:

    Right now I’m a new beginner with very little experience. Your beginner exercises are more than enough at the time being. These simple routines really work wonders. In the long term, my goal is the more difficult stuff you’re writing about. But handstand pushups and bridging are also topics I would like to know more about. But like I said, I’m struggling with the easy stuff at the moment:-)
    I’ll recommend this site to friends and family.


    • Alex says:

      Ah, perfect! If you have an android phone, I suggest the 4 free apps by Rittr Labs (there is one for push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and squats). They are designed to work you up to doing more reps, by the time you finish the program, you’ll have nice core strength to progress to the more difficult workouts. If you don’t have an android phone, I’m pretty sure there are other options, let me know what phone you’ve got and I’ll find you a website or an app for that phone.

      It’s important to enjoy working out though, so if you find that you really don’t enjoy it, only work out once or twice a week, until it becomes more of a habit (like doing lawn work, or cleaning the house). Then you can increase the frequency of your workouts. If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll usually end up giving up after a few weeks, this happened to me a number of times when I was first getting into fitness. People always say, “take it slow”, but I am somewhat of an impatient person and figured I’ll just jump head first. Biologically though, everybody has the potential to enjoy working out. The chemicals your body release while working out are pleasurable to everyone, you just need to get your body used to it so it isn’t shocked/stressed.

      What are your fitness goals? Burning off unneeded fat? Building functional strength? A little of both maybe? Knowing that I can give you more fine-tuned tips to better suit you specifically.

      I plan to make posts about handstand push ups and bridges, and actually I will make some posts about bridges today. At the moment I can’t do more than a few assisted handstand push-ups though, and I’d like to keep my posts in topics I have first-hand experience in. As of right now, I’m putting most of my focus on achieving the planche, and I think getting pretty close. After the planche I plan to focus on handstand push-ups so I can do the planche to handstands.

      I appreciate the recommendation! I’m really glad people are actually reading and enjoying my site, I was beginning to get discouraged. I didn’t make a post the last two days because I was having computer issues, but I’ve got them fixed and posts will be coming out daily as normal.

  4. Geir says:

    I’m so sorry for my late answer, but I’ve been extremely busy the last week.
    My goals are very simple. I want to be more flexible, but also build functional strength in the same prosess. I’m happy with my bodyweight (86 kg on 190 cm). But I want to get more toned and tighten up my muscles a bit. I’ve always been obsessed with handstand pushups, ever since I saw Nick Cage doing them in Con Air. One of my favourite movies when I was a kid. And now my goal is doing 10 reps of them.

    My phone is a Windows Phone, but I’m used to the good old fashion paper-log wich I used when training with weights. As for now I’m cool with my my lowtech papers:-)

    Now I’m traing; mon – wed – fri. With squats, diamond pushups, situps and hangups (when I can find a bar to grab on to). And my goal is always to improve since last time. In the future I want to include harder exercises like handstand pushups, legraises, bridges, planche pushups etc. to my routine. I’ve also started stretching out recently, and I think the stretching part is a LOT hardermore painfull than the workout part.

    I will also try out the burpee intervall program you wrote about in the near future. But when it comes to nutrition I can’t seem toskip the carbs. Egg and bacon is too tasty combined with bead and tomatobeans. I’m also a big fan of beer and other sweets.

    • Alex says:

      Glad you’re still reading 🙂

      Stretching gets easier as time goes by, and it gets easier pretty quickly (much faster than you build strength). Keep it up!

      I’d suggest working in some cardio, especially if you don’t want to cut carbs. If you don’t like cardio, do the tabata burpees. If you don’t mind cardio, I’d suggest doing C25K, I’ve recently made a post about it and have started it myself recently, or do both. Diet is pretty important though and shouldn’t be completely ignored. You can see some benefits just by consuming less carbs. I did keto for a while and it was good to me, but due to the nutrient requirements of a medication I’m prescribed, I wasn’t able to stay on it for more than 2 months. Now I just consume less carbs and avoid bread in most instances, unless it sounds really good. I got used to avoiding carbs while doing keto though, the way I got myself to not care about carbs was I asked myself what I enjoy more, a piece of cake, or a pound of bacon with some bacon grease fried eggs. Another thing was, when I eat a nice tri-tip sandwich, and I eating it for the bread or the meat, which do I like more. Would I rather eat more meat or less meat with bread. I found that I didn’t really care for bread much at all compared to the other items.

      Another thing is I’ve found that I’ve been craving milk as of late, so I decided to give into the cravings and just drink milk whenever I feel like it and I think it’s doing me quite well. I’m actually drinking close to a gallon of milk a day without really trying and I’m not seeing any increase in body fat. Milk’s macro-nutrient profile is great. It has a nice ratio of fat, protein and carbs. Additionally it has a lot of other great vitamins and minerals to support strong bones and muscles. Some people can’t drink milk though, which is unfortunate I guess. There is a diet called GOMAD, where you drink a gallon of milk every day, I’m not really trying to do it, but I do drink close to a gallon of milk a day. I’ll make a post about the diet.

      I ended up switching back to a structured workout program because I was having trouble getting further on my own and I feared my determination was increasing risk of injury. Right now I’m doing SimpleFit + C25K, and occasionally throwing in some planche training, one-hand push-ups, and some tabata burpees. I ran out of ideas of things to write about for a little bit, but I just composed a new list of topics that readers could benefit from so I I’ll have more info posts coming out this week (starting today).

  5. Geir says:

    I just wanted to write a little feedback:-)

    I’ve been training with calisthenics since May/June (when I first dropped in to this site) and my progress have been really awesome. As for now I’m capable of doing stuff I’ve never done before in my life, including assisted handstand pushups, one leg squats, bridges using the neck/head instead of hands, fingertip pushups and resently even the L-sit (with terrible form I guess, but it’s pretty much there).

    My next goal is one handed pushups, but it’s way to hard at the moment. When I first started doing this I thought it would be easier than it turned out to be. Anyway I owe you a big thank you for your articles 🙂 They really opened my eyes to bodyweight exercises and now I’m hooked on calisthenics. My bodyweight is now 89kg (used to be 86 kg), but it’s OK because I’m more toned than I used to be.

    Another great thing is that I quit smoking about 4 weeks ago, whenever I experience cravings; I just take 10 pushups instead of lighting up 🙂


    • Alex says:


      I’m really glad I could help. Your progress is amazing, I know you first wrote this comment a few months ago, and I apologize for it taking this long for me to get back to you, and I apologize for the lack of posts. I got tied up with personal things and I neglected this site for the past few months. I’ve got a lot more free-time now though and a BIG list of things I’d like to write about, I hope you’re still doing calisthenics and I’d love to hear some up-to-date accomplishments you’ve reached in my absence. It’s a great feeling being able to do things you’ve never thought you’d be able to do and I’m glad my writing has helped you experience this as well. Looking forward to hearing back from you!


  6. Geir says:

    Glad you’re back 🙂
    I’m still working out and recently started with Pilates (thanks to my wife). And I found it to be great combined with calisthenics. I can tell you this; Pilates actually works, and there are many hot whomen on the classes:-) My posture is much better than it used to be and I feel just great.

    My one handed pushups are also closing in. My chest is just 10 cm (4″) from the floor with good form. My weight is now 92 kg (200 pounds).
    I’m really looking forward to read more from you and I will check in on a weekly basis. Calisthenics really is the sh*t. Compared to lifting weights, I have no pain what so ever in my knees and shoulders, wich is why I quit weightlifting a few years ago. Compared to weights I think calisthenics is more gentle with the body and I don’t feel sore after a workout.

    PS: I know my english is bad, but I’m scandinavian.


    • Alex says:


      Glad to see you’re still around! Pilates is definitely effective. Glad to hear your posture has improved. Today I’m going to be publishing an article related to improving posture, it may suit your interests (let me know). Great job on the progress you’ve made, Calisthenics can definitely be more gentle on the body if you’re being smart with it.

      Your English is fine, don’t worry.


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