Pack your bags, your ab workout is going places with suitcase sit-ups


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Photo: Stocksy/Ivan Gener

You can only do so many sit-ups before extreme boredom sets in. You’ll feel the burn, sure, but you’re not alone in wishing for a way to make your ab workout more interesting. The next time you hit the mat, mix up your regular routine by integrating some suitcase sit-ups, a super-challenging variation that will keep both you and your core engaged.

You know that moment of accomplishment when you finally get your suitcase to close and zip it shut tight? That’s essentially what you’re doing with your body during suitcase sit-ups. The exercise (which is an easier variation of a V-up) involves lying on the mat and raising your upper body and knees simultaneously so you’re folding up like a piece of luggage. The tuck in this move requires you to have full control of your entire body in order to keep that perfect form. And, you know it—that means they’re really hard.

How to do suitcase sit-ups

  1. Lie on your back with straight legs extended off the floor in front of you and your hands behind your head.
  2. At the same time, lift your upper body into a crunch and tuck your knees to your chest so they meet your elbows.
  3. Lower your upper body back onto the floor and extend your legs long so they’re hovering a few inches above the floor. Repeat.



Need a variation? Try knee tucks

If suitcase sit-ups are too challenging, ease your way into them by first mastering knee tucks. As demonstrated by celebrity trainer Charlee Atkins in the video below, sit at a 45-degree angle using your hands for support. Extend your legs in front of you, then tuck your knees toward your chest while crunching your abs.

Upgrade basic squats with a routine that will leave you sore for days. Then, try tempo training.

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