Get with the Program, Crunches are Out Baby

abs

How many of you are still doing crunches?  Uhhh, didn’t anyone tell you? Crunches are outta style.  It just ain’t hip anymore… literally.

Check out Men’s Health’s opinion on crunches and situps:

Yes, it’s true. These two standard ab exercises can actually be murder on your low back.

Why? Because they involve spinal flexion (rounding your lower back to allow you to bend forward at the waist). But according to research, that’s the exact mechanism that causes a herniated disc in your lower back. After all, most people “throw their back out” bending over to pick something off the ground.

I consider crunches traditional, and there is a proper way to do crunches.  Most people do not do crunches with proper form, so ultimately… it can cause damage just as any exercise would. Here’s a Bodybuilding.com video that shows a proper way to do crunches.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/crunches

If you have back issues to begin with, don’t do them.

That being said, there are plenty of ab exercise alternatives to crunches.

The Plank…. I know people plank for sport, planking in various places  with photos, but here’s just a normal plank:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/plank

In’s and Out’s…. and I don’t mean the hamburger joint:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHzjjCGUarA&feature=kp

Cable Crunch… it’s not a cereal

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/main/popup/name/cable-crunch

Bicycle Crunches

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/air-bike

Stomach Vacuum

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/stomach-vacuum

Ball pull-in

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/exercise-ball-pull-in

Hey, btw… all the crunches in the world won’t help if you don’t get that body fat low.  For men, 9% and women 15%.2

 

So no McD’s, donuts, cakes or ice cream… and pay attention to those macros.  After all, you are what you eat!

 

 

 

 

1. Ballantyne, C. (2007, February 27). Why Crunches & Situp Are Bad For Your Back. . Retrieved July 6, 2014, from http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/why-crunches-situp-are-bad-for-your-back

2. Samuels, M. (2014, February 2). Body Fat Percentage for Abs. . Retrieved July 6, 2014, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/119867-body-fat-percentage-abs/

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