Many fitness trainers have explained to people that sit ups are damaging the spine. But how did they get that idea? You would imagine that you see many crippled athletes with great abs. Do you see so many people like that, with great abs but damaged backs? I haven’t seen those people.
Actually, I have done some research and I found out that “never do sit ups on the ab workout” saying was developed in a lab. The EMG studies showed that sit ups are stressing the spine more than the crunches. But what does that mean? Just because it is harder to do and it involves a bigger stress we have to sit on cotton balls and forget about sit ups? How do we know the truth? Isn’t it right that every sport exercise is stressing the body? Isn’t that what sports is all about?
I think that sports are about stressing your entire body so that it pushes the muscles and the spine and everything else, in order to stay fit. There are no easy workouts because just by lifting one hand and then the other you will not lose weight or stay in shape. You need to make an effort. The stress you apply on the body, within safety limits, is the one that gets your body stronger and fit.
Let’s investigate the sit ups more. The involvement of the hip flexors in the sit up motion is the thing that makes some people say that sit ups are bad. They also suggest that this activation leads to compressive forces on the spine. They say the movement should be avoided by I think that is just an overreaction.
Athletes and fitness people have been doing sit ups for ages now and they have reached amazing goals. In all the history of the fitness industry, for over 16 years, there isn’t a single case where sit ups have caused back injuries.
Some trainers also say: “since the crunches do not affect the spine, why not use only the crunches and forget about the sit ups?” But eliminating a perfectly good move is not the correct way of thinking.
In a sit up, the abs are responsible for the bottom part of the whole movement. The spine is flexed after the “crunch” part of that movement and the flexors take over at the end. This I when the hip flexors provide most of that movement but during that time the abs are working isometrically and the contraction is contributing to the positive training effect.
Also, sit ups are great because they create a caloric deficit. In a sit up you need to move through a large part of the motion and that burns calories. A sit up burns many more calories than the crunches do. If you want those great 6 pack abs, sit ups are the way to do it and not crunches. They will help you lose that unwanted fat in no time because they use more muscle groups and in a more efficient way.
Due to this, all the research that I have done, and all my experience in the fitness area, I sternly recommend push ups as a simple, efficient and great way to shape your body and those six pack abs. So go ahead and do sit ups and have a beautiful body.
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