In incremental sheet forming (ISF) strains can be obtained well above the forming limit curve (FLC) that is applicable to common sheet forming operations like deep drawing and stretching. This paper presents an overview of mechanisms that have been suggested to explain the enhanced formability. The difference between fracture limit and necking limit in sheet metal forming is discussed. The necking limit represents a localized geometrical instability. Localized deformation is an essential characteristic of ISF and proposed mechanisms should stabilize the localization before it leads to fracture. In literature six mechanisms are mentioned in relation to ISF: contact stress; bending-under-tension; shear; cyclic straining; geometrical inability to grow and hydrostatic stress. The first three are able to localize deformation and all but the last, are found to be able to postpone unstable growth of a neck. Hydrostatic pressure may influence the final failure, but cannot explain stability above the FLC.