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Passing my sit-ups during an APFT has always been more difficult for me. I always max out my push-ups and get a good score on my run, however, I always end up BARELY passing the sit-ups or maybe passing them by 5 or 6 reps. Even when I was in training and doing even more sit-ups on a daily basis leading up to an APFT, I always got a significantly lower score on my sit-ups than the other two events. I don’t carry extra weight especially around my abdomen so I don’t understand what the problem is. Are there a few core exercises I could do to increase my sit-ups?

We are happy to help! Yes, there are many core exercises that can help strengthen your core and improve your APFT score.

Before you begin core exercises, always remember to stretch before and after your workout. To warm up your core muscles, perform dynamic stretches, such as torso twists. A static stretch, such as the cobra move, will relax your core muscles after you finish exercising.

To work your core, try these exercises from our #WarriorReady Workout series to get you started:

  • Elbow plank
  • Spiderman plank
  • Mountain climbers
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Bent-leg raises
  • V-sits
  • Cross-punch sit-ups
  • Reverse crunches
  • Side crunches

Building a strong core also involves strengthening your back and pelvic muscles in addition to your ab muscles. Try some of these exercises to work your core from front to back.

Additionally, make sure you have proper form when doing sit-ups. Here are some tips:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Put your feet together or up to 12 inches apart.
  3. Keep the heel of your foot on the ground for the entire sit-up. Have someone hold your ankles with their hands, or tuck your feet under something like a bench bar or couch.
  4. Interlock your fingers behind your head, with the back of your hands touching the ground.

Don’t forget to take rest days between ab workouts. This allows your muscles to recover and get stronger. Also be sure to stay hydrated for peak performance during your core workouts. Calculate how much water you should be drinking every day with our hydration calculator.

Good luck on your next APFT!

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