Modified V-Sit Exercise Guide
A similar movement lo the V-leg raise (opposite), this exercise requires greater core stability to perform as you do not have the support of the bench. Good form is crucial. Control the movement with your abdominals and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.
If the full V-sit (also known as jackknife knee to chest or jackknife sit-up) proves too hard, modified V-sit targets the same muscles without placing so much strain on your hamstrings and lower back. The modified V-sit is an intermediate level abdominal exercise that requires balancing on your sit bones while your torso and legs are lifted in the air. This is very effective abdominal exercise when performed correctly. The key is to fully engage your abdominal and upper back muscles for stability rather than relying on momentum. The jackknife name comes from the natural tendency of the legs to bend at the knee with the feet dropping to the hips presenting the shape of a jackknife.
Exercise Instructions – Correct Technique
This exercise begins by lying flat on the floor with your legs straight and together and your arms at your sides in order to provide better balance.
Your goal is to come up so your trunk and thighs form a V shape. The trick is lifting your trunk and legs at the same speed so they reach their end range of motion at the same moment. Bend your knees as you come up, and then straighten them as you lower yourself to the start position. Keep your arms parallel to the floor at all times. To make this difficult move even more challenging keep your heels and upper back off the floor between repetitions, or, try holding a light weight across your chest.
Exercise Key Points
- At the same time you raise your knees, bring your torso up slowly till the face and knees meet.
Modified V-Sit Video Demonstration
This short instructional video will show you how to perform the modified V-sits using perfect (correct) technique so you can get maximum results from this great upper & lower abdominal exercise.
Modified V-Sit Variation
Full V-Sit (Jackknife Knee to Chest)
Lie face-up on the floor. Start with your arms back over your head (fully extended). Come up with your arms, legs, and trunk simultaneously so your trunk forms a V with your legs, which remain straight. In other words, contract your abs to flex your spine, slowly drawing your legs and shoulders off the floor. Crunch hard until your feet and hands point at the ceiling and your body is in a V position (your legs and arms meet in a jackknife position). Slowly lower back to the starting position to complete each repetition. Keep your elbows and knees locked throughout the movement. You are an absolute stud if you can fold up your body so your arms and feet meet at a point straight up over the floor.
Full V-Sit Exercise Key Points
- Bring both legs and torso up at the same time without bending the knees or the arms.
- Keep the pace slow and steady and reach for your feet with your extended hands at the top of the arc.
- If possible, try to touch your feet, but this move can be tricky until your level of flexibility increases.
Muscles Engaged in Modified V-Sit / Full V-Sit
The V-sit is an effective abdominal and core exercise that works the rectus abdominis (upper and lower portion), the internal and external obliques and the deep-seated transversus abdominis. This exercise also engages the hip flexors. Secondary muscles that come into play are the middle and upper back as well as the quadriceps and hamstrings.