Sit-ups and crunches…Two exercises that I’ve done without for years!! I learned a very long time ago that there are much safer ways to train the core. Ask any client or team I train. Have they ever done a sit-up while training with me? I don’t think so. Does their core get worked? Of course!
Sit-ups and crunches flex your spine into a position that’s not really beneficial for the body. Bad posture from sitting too long at a desk at work or in the classroom, which puts us in spinal flexion, and then engaging in physical activity that puts the body in that flexion again is not ideal. Famous trainer, Mike Boyle says, "Is all flexion bad? Probably not, but we still don't crunch!"
While standing up, try putting yourself into the crunch position. All hunched over, rounded shoulders, flexion throughout your back and so on. It's not too hard to see that you are not in the ideal position.
Why put yourself in that position repeatedly? You're not injured now, but this movement puts you in a position where you could do damage. There are so many exercises that work the core, not only better, but keep you spine healthy!!
Dr. Stuart McGill had an article from MacLeans magazine back in 2010. In the article, Dr. McGill asks, “What happens when you perform a sit-up? The spine is flexed into the position at which it damages sooner.” His research found that crunches or sit-up generate approximately 3350 neutrons of compressive force on the spine (the equivalent of 340 kg) and the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states that anything above 3,300 neutrons is unsafe.
Instead of crunches or sit-ups….Try the huge variety of planks, bird dogs, deadbugs, roll outs, paloff presses, band rotations, etc. If you don't know these, or are unsure of how to do the, visit with me at WIN Health Solutions and I’d be happy to help.