Want a great core exercise you can do anywhere to help you tighten up that midsection before Summer is officially here? The butterfly sit-up is one of my favorites! Here are a few reasons why this is not your average sit-up:

  • They actually help with your squat, deadlift, and lunge. Why? By positioning the knees apart, butterfly sit-ups remove much of the hip flexor activation that normal sit-ups require. Many people already have tight hip flexors as a result of sitting at a desk all day. The opening of your knees forces your hip muscles into a stretched position instead of flexing. Loosening this area, mobilizing your groin and opening up your hip rotators makes the above mentioned exercise easier to perform!
  • When doing a normal sit-up, your thighs actually stop you from fully flexing your torso. With butterfly sit-ups, the range of motion is much greater, which allows for a full contraction of the abs. Full contraction + greater ROM = more strength and muscle growth.
  • The greater range of motion and spinal flexion that you get with butterfly sit-ups provides a big stretch for your lower back muscles. By stretching these muscles, you can provide more support for your spine. Considering a tight lower back increases the risk of injury and poor form, stretching these muscles and providing more support is not a bad idea.

How To Do Them:

  • Lie flat on your back and place the soles of your feet flat together and bring them as close to your butt as you can.
  • Let your knees fall to the sides as you open your legs and hips.
  • The back of your head and shoulders should be touching the ground and the tips of your fingers should be touching the ground on the sides of your ears.
  • Now sit up by tensing your abdominal muscles to bring your upper body off of the ground.
  • Keeping your feet on the ground, reach your hands toward your feet and touch your toes. Your torso should be between your thighs.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Watch the short video below to see how to do butterfly sit-ups correctly ??


Online Fitness Coach Brian DonovanBrian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.


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