Oblique Exercises

For a long time, I was under the impression that sit ups and crunches are the same thing, until I actually visited the gym and worked out under an instructor! He politely cleared my misunderstanding, while surely (secretly) laughing on the amateurish nature of my knowledge! I am sure many of you guys, like me, may have been under the same illusion. There is a lot of difference between sit ups and crunches! This article is aimed at clearing out that illusion for all amateurs like me, by making an objective ‘Sit ups vs Crunches’ comparison.

Sit Ups vs Crunches: Risk
Crunches are safe exercises which can be easily performed by anybody. However, sit ups have an inherent risk of spine injury, due to the strain it puts on the lower back, if this exercise is pursued aggressively without considering one’s capacity. Medical research on the dynamics of a sit up has shown that the abdominal muscles are involved only in the first 30 degrees raise of shoulders, off the ground. The rest of the strain is totally taken up by the hip flexor muscles. That is why, crunches are more recommended as safer exercises.

Sit Ups vs Crunches: Calories Burnt
If you make a comparison between the two exercises, the sit ups burn more calories than the crunches, but they also create more strain on the back.

Sit Ups vs Crunches: Muscles
The next point of sit ups vs crunches comparison is the target muscles of the two exercises. Sit ups involve the hip flexor and abdominal muscles. Crunches only target the abdominal muscles including the ‘rectus abdominis’.

Sit Ups vs Crunches: Technique
Let us begin our sit ups vs crunches comparison, with the difference in technique between the two. First let us see how you do a proper sit up. Firstly, lie on your back on the floor. Next, bend your knees in a 90 degrees angle and place your feet flat on the ground. Raise your arms straight and keep them parallel to the ground and pointing towards your feet. While your feet and butt are resting on the floor, slowly raise your torso off the ground and towards the thighs. You can come up as far as you can. Then go reverse through all the motions and fall back again, on the back. Do the whole thing as slowly as you can, without any jerky movements. This constitutes one sit up!

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