Stop doing crunches and sit ups as your primary core/ab exercises.
I see it all the time and I was guilty of doing this as well for years and years, generally sit ups and crunches do more damage than they do good.
For many years while lifting weights and doing martial arts I would do countless sit ups and crunches, sometimes a thousand a day. Then in 2000 I herniated a disc and my back and training was never the same again.
According to Dr. Stuart McGill, if you do enough sit-ups you’re going to hurt your back. Our backs only have so many bending cycles in them–everyone is different based on genetics–but our backs are like wire coat hangers. Bend that coat hanger back & forth so many times and it’s going to weaken & finally break.
So instead of doing crunches and sit ups and chasing after “The Burn” start focusing on learning to contract your core by focusing on bracing and anti rotation type exercises.
Do these exercises instead.
1. Plank, Side Plank and Plank Variations
Weighted Planks With Chains One of my favorite core exercises are weighted planks. This is a fairly advanced plank variation. If you are new to planks don’t start with this one :). The weight on your back will force your core to stay tight. A few pointers on weighted planks – Keep your core tight – Avoid letting your lower back/hips sag – Open your feet up for a solid base – Don’t go to failure, always keep good form. Happy Planking! Coach Rob #Wonenwholiftweights, #heavyweights, #planks , #core , #abs
2. Stir The Pot
Stir The Pot This is one of the best core exercises you can do. I learned this from Dr. Stu McGill years ago and it really helped with my lower back rehab. Keep the core tight, control the movement and don’t let the hips/lower back dip. Brace hard, squeeze the glutes. This is much harder than it looks. #heavyweights , #core , #abs, #abtraining
3. Paloff Hold & Press
Be sure to check out Dr. Stu McGill’s books HERE.
When it comes to training your core/abs ditch the sit ups and focus on planks, side planks, stir the pot and single arm carries. Sit ups and crunches are sometimes ok, but for most people these are doing more harm than good.
Give these exercises a try and let me know how you find them.
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Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.