Crunches and sit-ups manage to find their way into almost every ‘ab blast’ workout on social media. But are these crunches and sit-ups massively overrated and in fact, quite a poor exercise recommendation for most?
At 360, we believe so. Specialising in Physiotherapy and small group coaching enables us to help a vast range of people – many with a range of injuries, imbalances and postural problems.
An extremely common cause of many of these postural issues root from being seated over a desk; whether that be in an office, a cafe or at home. Extensive time sat at a desk often causes us to slouch, creating a rounding of our upper back.
With clients suffering from this, we ensure that throughout our Personal Training sessions, that clients spend time during the warmup and workout itself focusing on retraction exercises in an attempt to help undo the many years of poor posture that sitting over a desk has caused.
So how does this tie into sit-ups and crunches?
Well, if you consider the movement in these two exercises, you’ll notice how your chest is brought towards your hips, creating a rounding of the upper back, replicating that slouching position. So with a crunch or sit up, you’re essentially moving your torso through many repetitions of the exact same slouching position that has subconsciously been developed over years at a desk – the very thing many of us are trying to reduce and revert.
Additionally, although crunches and sit-ups are core based exercise, they actually only target only one of the many components of the core.
Instead, try to incorporate exercises such as a hollow hold or a plank to work your core muscles, as not only do they work the core in a more wholesome way, but it’s also more effective and safer for you do to!