Should Skinny Guys Do Sit-Ups?

When you’re searching for the best ab exercises that you can do, you probably hear sit-ups mentioned a lot. It’s the exercise that stands at the pinnacle of all ab exercises simply due to its simplicity, and the solid burn that you can get from doing it. They are performed by laying on your back and lifting your upper body by engaging your abs and core muscles. With that being said, are these exercises good for skinny guys? In other words, should skinny guys do sit-ups?

Sit-ups or any other type of abdominal exercise aren’t necessary for skinny guys. Training your abs or obliques as a skinny guy will only make your waist larger and prevent you from having a v-shape look. These muscle groups are naturally trained by compound movements such as deadlifts and squats. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the only time when skinny guys should do sit-ups, their benefits, as well as their different variations.

Should Skinny Guy Do Sit-Ups?

To answer this question, let’s take a look at my 3-year body transformation.

Ectomorph body transformation

As you can see, I was super-skinny but I made some pretty decent progress and managed to overcome my everlasting struggle of building muscles and gaining weight. It was a challenging journey, but definitely, a rewarding one where I learned a lot about myself and my body. So it’s safe to say that I know a thing or two about working out and the things that actually work for skinny guys. 

If you look at my abs, you may think that I used to do 100 reps of sit-ups or crunches every single day. Well, guess what? During my 3-year fitness journey, I never trained my abs. It may come as a surprise for you but it worked for me. I knew from the moment I started training that hitting abs wouldn’t be an efficient use of my time. That’s why I instead invested all of it towards compound movements and full-body exercises that naturally engage the abs and the core. I guarantee you that if I constantly trained my abs during this time, I would have a large waist by now and no v-shape look. 

But still, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t train them at all. On the contrary, if you enjoy sit-ups, then go ahead and do them, they have a lot of benefits which we’ll talk about in the next section. Just make sure not to perform them on a daily basis and keep in mind that you don’t really need them and your time can be invested in other exercises that are gonna be way more efficient and beneficial for your fitness journey.

Benefits Of Sit-Ups For Skinny Guys

buff guy doing sit-ups

Although sit-ups and all kinds of ab exercises aren’t necessary for skinny people, if you still wish to perform them, here are some benefits that come with them:

They Define Abs

This is the most obvious benefit. Sit-ups will help you define your abs, but as I mentioned in the beginning, that comes with a price of a large waist and no v-shape look. If you don’t mind that, then sit-ups will make your abs pop out more and more defined. It’s true that the shape and the size of your six-pack will vary from one person to another depending on their genetics, but you can definitely influence that using sit-ups and other ab exercises.

They Strengthen The Core

This is also another great benefit that comes with sit-ups. It’s true that there are many other types of exercises that naturally train the core as I mentioned at the beginning and that are more efficient for skinny guys, but doing sit-ups is also a great way to strengthen the core and improve its flexibility and control which can make your six-pack appear and can also facilitate many types of movements in the gym or even while doing daily activities.

They Prevent Back Pain

Sit-ups strengthen the core’s stability which as a result prevents back pain. According to a study done by the Pakistan Journal Of Medical Science, core stabilization exercises are far more effective than the usual physical therapy exercises when it comes to back pain. The more stabilized your core is, the more it’s gonna support the spine which promotes better posture and less muscle aching and pain. 

Best Variations Of Sit-Ups For Skinny Guys

Besides the regular form of sit-ups, there are many other variations that you can perform to either raise or lower its difficulty and to hit different parts of the core:


This is the easiest ab exercise that you can perform since you don’t do the full range of motion like sit-ups. When performed correctly, you’ll definitely feel a pretty good burn in your abdominal region and you’ll highly strengthen your core.

Declined Sit-Ups:

This is pretty much the same as the usual sit-up, but instead of laying on a flat surface, you use some sort of a declined bench. This makes it significantly harder since you’re resisting gravity with your movements.

Elbow To Knee Sit-Ups:

This is also a solid ab exercise. It’s slightly more difficult than the usual sit-up since it also involves lifting your knees instead of just your torso. You can either do it with both your knees at the same time or by alternating between them.


Even though sit-ups present a lot of benefits and are easy to do, I don’t really recommend them for skinny guys. Instead, you should focus all your time and energy on working all your other muscle groups using full-body workouts, split workouts, and compound movements. When you do that, six-pack abs will come naturally and you’ll be glad that you didn’t waste time doing ab exercises just like what happened to me in my fitness journey.

But of course, if you enjoy sit-ups, then go ahead and do them! Just make sure that it doesn’t take most of your time during your workout session and perform them only 1 to 2 times per week.

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