To sit-up or not to sit-up?

By November 16th, 2018Movement & Fitness

One conversation that I have many times with our clients is regarding sit
ups and crunches. Many people say they do them but don’t like or enjoy doing them. That would
indicate to me that there are lot of people doing these two exercises because they feel they should.

For the people who walk through the doors here at Optimum 3, and do not enjoy or like sit ups
and crunches there’s some good news. In our studio there are two exercises that will never appear
as part of a program we design, sit ups and crunches! Why? I hear some of you ask.

As I’ve mentioned in some of our previous blogs, one of our main focuses is being functional. For me
these two exercises aren’t that functional. Our ab muscles are designed to move in three different
ways (flexing & extending, side bending, and twisting). So when you think about pounding out
sit ups and crunches, we’re moving in one plane of movement which means overworking those
muscles, as well as isolating and neglecting the other muscles that want to help you move properly
on a day to day basis. The result? By overworking those upper ab muscles with a sit up, you just start
creating a postural imbalance which will have an effect on the rest of your body when it wants to
move, risking muscular stress but also injury. I know for a fact there are better exercises that utilise
more body parts, get you moving properly with good posture and technique, and still provide the
end goal of great abs.

Our clients have never touched a sit up or a crunch whilst training with us and continue to see
awesome results with their abs!

It’s important to stress at this stage, that before you start killing yourself with any ab exercises in
the gym, there is one thing that should be given a close look – Your diet! For example, if you have a
diet that isn’t working for you this can significantly restrict your success with exercise and specifically
your abs. Let me expand on what we mean by ‘not working for you’. Do you eat food and shortly
after eating feel bloated? If you do there’s a good chance you’re putting something in your body that
it doesn’t like and the bloated feeling is your body’s way of telling you it isn’t happy, this is what is
known to be an intolerance. Now, if you’re feeling bloated or causing some inflammation through
what you eat, where do your abs go? Simple, they start hiding away underneath. It’s really important
to find the foods that work for you as an individual. What works for your family member or friend
doesn’t automatically mean it will work for you!

So, find the foods that work for YOU and remember, Great Abs Start in the Kitchen! Watch out for
our next blog on how to go about identifying those foods.

Above all else, no sit ups or crunches!

Move Well!


James Brereton

Author James Brereton

More posts by James Brereton

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Jackie says:

    As a chiropractor I am a massive advocate of core strength. There are so many ways to achieve this though, you don’t have to be counting out the sit ups. Sometimes people concentrate on sit ups because they want great looking abs but neglect the back. This creates an imbalance that could lead to problems later on. I agree with James, functional work that includes muscle groups that normally work together is the healthiest way to build.

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