A decline situp bench positions your upper body at an angle so that it’s lower than your hips and thighs. This positioning causes your body to work harder, since you have to work against gravity and through a wider range of motion.

Decline situps are an effective core exercise to add to your fitness routine. They improve core strength, prevent injury, and help to stabilize your body.

These benefits can have a positive effect on your fitness routine and daily physical activities, making it easier to twist, bend, and extend your body.

Read on to discover how to do decline situps, the specific muscles you’ll strengthen, and alternative abdominal exercises.

You can adjust the angle of the bench to increase or decrease the difficulty of the situp. As the angle of the decline bench increases, so does the difficulty of the exercise.

When doing a decline situp, be sure to tuck your chin into your chest to protect your neck. For comfort, support, and to avoid injury, choose a decline bench with a thick backrest.

Without weights

This video demonstrates the proper form and highlights the targeted muscles:

With weights

For a challenge, hold a weight to increase resistance and engage more muscles. Watch this video for a quick demonstration:

Without a bench

Use a stability ball in place of a decline bench to support the natural curve of your lower back and minimize pressure on your spine.

Take a look at this video to get a feel for the exercise:

Decline situps increase spinal flexion and work the core muscles around the torso, thighs, and pelvis. These include the rectus abdominis, obliques, and rectus femoris.

They also strengthen the back, chest, and hip flexors, which are the inner hip muscles that bring the abdomen toward the thighs as you lift.

The movement allows your hips, low back, and core to work together to improve balance, stability, and posture. All of these benefits help to reduce low back pain, prevent injury, and make all types of movements easier.

Decline situps and decline crunches are both beneficial in building muscle and developing core strength, though they have slightly different benefits.

Decline crunches are beneficial as an isolation exercise if you’re working on building a “six-pack.” One of the main muscles worked during decline crunches is the rectus abdominis, known as the six-pack muscle.

Decline situps work more muscle groups and build overall core stability that helps with many types of movement.

Both types of exercises have the potential to cause pain and injury. You can focus on one exercise if there are specific results you’d like to achieve or if your body responds better to one over the other. Otherwise, adding both to your fitness program will yield the best results.

There are several exercises that work the same muscles as decline situps. You can do these exercises in place of or in addition to the situps.

Plank and side plank

This energizing exercise aligns your body and supports good posture. It works your core, upper body, back, and legs.

To move into a side plank, place your left hand in the center so it’s in line with your left foot.

Bridge pose

This classic backbend and inversion targets your abs, back, and glutes. To hold the pose for an extended period, place a block or support under your low back.

Decline situps are an effective way to work your core, back, and hip flexors. Since you’ll be working against gravity as you lift, your muscles will have to work harder than during traditional situps.

This movement strengthens your core, which helps you to develop good posture, balance, and stability. You may find that it’s easier and more comfortable to perform all types of activities.

Add these situps to your fitness routine that includes plenty of other strengthening exercises, aerobic activity, and stretching.