Home Forums ARMY QUESTIONS Military Sit ups

7 replies, 6 voices Last updated by  Michael Slattery 1 year, 11 months ago
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    Ollie Thomas
    @Oscar Tango

    Hi guys, I’m currently having some trouble with unassisted sit ups to the Army/ADF standard.
    I’m able to bang out plenty of sit ups with my feet under something or supported by a weight, but when it comes to doing them without anything to anchor my feet I can barely get 2 and my upper body just moves slightly off the floor .Any help would be great

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Ollie Thomas.

    Reece Dewar

    Ollie, sounds like you need to work your core, try to incorporate blanks into your training, this will strengthen your core and give you the stability to do situps. In addition, start with your legs straight out, this will act as a counter balance. Once you get to 10 situps in this position move your feet slightly in, reducing counter balance, continue until you are in the correct BFA situp position, please let me know how you go with it. “Bang It In”


    Bram Connolly

    Reece, are “blanks” like “planks” 😂


    Bram Connolly

    Ollie, I was at a recruitment intake last month. There were two fitness tests being run, the PFA and the BFA. During the PFA candidates only had to do up to 60 sit ups to the instructed cadence and the same went for the BFA except up to 100. In both cases the candidates feet were held by another candidate.

    Many of us can’t do sit-ups without our feet being held, this is because we have tight abductor muscles, or the weight in our upper body far exceeds the weight in our legs.

    In crossfit they ask that you tun your feet and keep the soles of your feet facing each other and the feet tucked back in towards yourself, then you sit up and touch the end of your toes.

    Just some food for thought – and while incorporating planks will help strengthen your core, I don’t think you need to be super worried about the future


    Ollie Thomas
    @Oscar Tango

    Thanks Reece, I certainly do ,I neglected any core movements from a young age due to having low body fat percentage around my abs and was way more concerned with bodybuilding. something I do regret ! I will definitely start adding them in as often as I can it’s a big focus of mine along with all the body weight movements required for the Army.
    I’ll give “Bang it in” a shot 💀

    Great to know Bram I wasn’t sure about the feet being held, there is so much mixed information out there. I think that’s the case with my abductors, great to know I’m not the only one !
    The sit up you described sounds like a butterfly sit up. I’ll add them in as well.

    Thanks for advice, it puts my mind at rest.


    Aaron Bodycote

    I agree regarding the planks. I do a little workout two or three times a week to maintain core strength as I’m in a job at the moment where we do a lot of lifting (in awkward places, like lifting fat bastards off the floor etc.) and want to protect my back as much as possible. The first plank you do is resting on your forearms for 1 min (toes on the floor) and maintaining a straight spine. Contract your core muscles so that your belly button retracts towards your spine (these deep muscles near the spine are the ones you need to strengthen, not the 6 pack ones near the surface), after you finish that you go straight into another plank up on the palms of your hands (toes on the floor) for 1 min (no rest between the two exercises). The next exercise is 30 seconds and is working your obliques. Give yourself 5 seconds to move into position, right forearm on floor, right foot on the floor (outer edge of your foot flat on the floor) and left foot on top of the right (so that you are facing a right, lateral position). Keep your spine straight and hold that position for 30 seconds, then give yourself 5 seconds to move into a left, lateral position and hold that for 30 seconds.

    Then give yourself 5 seconds to move back into the original plank position and hold that for 30 seconds, then straight up into the plank position where your hands are flat on the floor and hold for 30 seconds. By the end, you should be feeling a pretty good burn. If you can’t hold for the specified times above, reduce them to a more comfortable time (but not too comfortable) and then extend the times out as you become used to it. If the times above are too easy, then extend them out. The workout only takes a few minutes and I’ve found it’s really helped me.

    Try and do 1 unsupported situp after the workout, and then once you can do 1 unsupported, the next time you do the plank workout, try for 2.

    Hope this helps, mate.



    Matthew Clements
    @Mike Charlie

    I reccomend doing hollow rocks. Youtube it. You wont be disappointed but your core will hate you if you are completing each rep correctly, i also found that this helped eliminate all back pain


    Michael Slattery


    One would hope you’ve gotten this issue sorted by now – with Reeces ‘Blanks’ being youre mainstay…

    All great options and information.

    Core work / mobility and strength is definitely a mainstay of most good, functional movement concepts – so simple stuff will work well.

    You don’t need to go flat out, straight out of the gate, but work towards the unassisted sit-ups, if they’re sorted assisted (held) are money for jam.

    2 sets of 10/15 reps of these:
    – Push through crunch
    – Toe touches
    – Oblique crunch
    – Lower ab – leg raises

    If you can achieve straight leg sit-ups – get on a dip bar / hang from a heave beam and try 5-10 straight leg raises (controlled). 5 – 10 sets.

    Keep at it.

    Kilo Out

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