Buddy ball sit-ups

Sit-ups and crunches are among the most well-known and boring of exercises. What’s more, working out alone can be tedious and it can be difficult to self-motivate. Here we offer another installment in our series on partner training that reinvents the basic and boring, yet necessary, exercises. We call them buddy exercises and they’re made to be fun and challenging.

In today’s video, Tema Esberg of Potentia Personal Training shows you how to turn boring old sit-ups into fun buddy sit-ups, with the added challenges of using a ball and also exchanging whose feet are supported and who works harder.

We call these “Buddy Ball Sit-Ups.” All you need is a buddy and a ball. On today’s video Tema and her buddy, Maya, are using a light weight ball; but if you need more of a challenge, go ahead and grab a heavier ball. Let’s get started.

Buddy ball sit-ups: Starting Position

To get into position for buddy ball sit-ups, you and your partner will both sit on the floor with feet flat and knees bent, facing one another. One partner will have their feet together and the other partner’s feet will be “hugging” them from the outside. (See video for details). You will do one set of ball sit-ups with feet either inside or outside, and then switch with your partner and do another set with feet in the opposite position.

The purpose of the foot hug is that the buddy whose feet are on the inside gets a little bit of support as their buddy’s feet hugs them in place. And conversely, the partner whose feet are on the outside gets a little bit more of a workout.

How to do it

  • Start with both partners lying on their backs with arms extended over their heads. One partner will be holding the ball.
  • Be sure to push your back into the floor, or pull your navel toward your spine to keep good posture throughout the exercise.
  • On the count of one, both of you site up and the ball is passed in the middle, upright position from one partner to the other.
  • Both partners will then lie back down, the opposite partner now has the ball above her head.
  • As you sit up, the ball will again switch hands in the middle.

Reps and sets

Go for a count of five sit-ups and then switch foot position. If you were on the inside being supported, you now move your feet to the outside of your partners and support them. Do this for another count of five.

There you have it, buddy ball sit-ups. It is a great workout developing our core abdominals and we’re doing it with a friend to keep us motivated.

Beginners can start with 10 sit-ups once per week. If you are a bit more fit, try for 10 sit-ups three times per week. And for a really good core practice, go ahead and do two-to-three sets of these, two-to-three days per week. Give it a try, work up to more and more, and see how fun and fit your days can be.

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.