We estimated international/national temporal trends in sit-ups performance for children and adolescents, and examined relationships between national trends in sit-ups performance and national trends in health-related/sociodemographic indicators. Data were obtained by systematically searching studies reporting on temporal trends in sit-ups performance for apparently healthy 9-17 year-olds, and by examining nationally representative fitness datasets. Trends at the country-sex-age level were estimated by sample-weighted regression models relating the testing year to mean sit-ups performance. International/national trends were estimated by a post-stratified population-weighting procedure. Pearson's correlations quantified relationships between national trends in sit-ups performance and national trends in health-related/sociodemographic indicators. A total of 9,939,289 children and adolescents from 31 countries/special administrative regions between 1964 and 2017 collectively showed a large improvement of 38.4% (95% CI: 36.8 to 40.0) or 7.1% per decade (95% CI: 6.8 to 7.4). Large international improvements were experienced by all age and sex groups, with the rate of improvement slowing from 1964 to 2000, stabilizing near zero until 2010, before declining. Trends differed between countries, with national trends in vigorous physical activity a strong, positive correlate of national trends in sit-ups performance. More sit-ups data are needed from low- and middle-income countries to better monitor trends in muscular fitness. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42013003657.