How To Do A Butterfly Sit-Up

Man performing butterfly sit-up

The traditional sit-up may have fallen out fashion to an extent, but its close relation the butterfly sit-up is a common sight in CrossFit gyms. That’s largely because the sit-up is often performed poorly, with people failing to engage their abs and relying on their hip flexors instead, but the butterfly sit-up takes your hip flexors out of the equation. The result? A more focused abs hit. 

So should you swear off the sit-up forever? Not so fast, says Ryan Horton, a strength and conditioning coach and sports scientist with more than 20 years’ of experience, who we spoke to to get an expert take on promising abs exercise.

Is the butterfly sit-up better than the sit-up?

No, it’s complementary. Horton suggests you incorporate both the butterfly sit-up and the original movement in your routine and use it as a way to keep your training varied. 

“A butterfly sit-up is going to be a little less hip flexor, a little more groin, but I would use it as a variation,” says Horton, who programs both into workouts for his high-performance clients.

“Typically I’ll have one or two days a week where our athletes work their core with a bodyweight circuit. It’ll be four or five bodyweight movements and we knock them out back to back at the end of a workout. This is a movement I would add into that. 

“Or you could use it as a warm-up exercise. If you’re doing two rounds of six or seven moves to get ready for your workout, this is a great exercise to include for 10 reps. That way, you’ll get both the core and the groin warmed up.”

How To Do The Butterfly Sit-Up

Adam Smith is an accomplished individual who serves as an chief contributor at Healthify Magazine, a leading publication dedicated to promoting health and wellness. With a passion for empowering individuals to live healthier lives, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role.