Monday, August 2, 2010

How I lost faith in situps and crunches

If I could re-do or not do something (fitness-related) which I didn't do or did before.. it would be not to waste my precious time and risk injury by doing countless sit-ups and crunches and focus more on compund exercises, and doing more planks and side-planks.

When I first read about how situps and crunches are pretty much useless in improving core strength, I was skeptical. The traditionalist in me was thinking how could that be when situps and crunches have been the most basic of exercises.

But another side of me was relieved. I was tired of the backaches and neckaches often associated with those two main exercises. So how do I satisfy both sides? I did an experiment, of course.

I did situps and crunches at the gym on one day. And the next time I went to the gym I did stability ball jackknives and spiderman crawls.

Yup, you guessed it. The gym session sans situps and crunches left my tummy sore while the gym session with situps and crunches left my back and neck sore but my tummy felt nothing. That convinced me to ditch them altogether.

Nowadays, I happily go without those two 'killer ab exercises' choosing instead to just concentrate on compound exercises and perhaps end (or begin) with doing planks.

Don't believe me? Here's a little challenge for you.

Try doing 300 situps one day (I did this).

The next time you hit the gym, try doing squats or deadlifts. See which one makes your core hurt more.

Comment about your experience here if you'd like. I'd definitely appreciate it.


FatLouie said...

yeap. You've said it correctly.

I remember my very first time having a PT and he actually asked me to do crunches, which actually, to my surprise that time, my neck hurts more than my abs. I remember feeling so uneasy during the crunches that I actually felt dizzy after doing so. Not to mention the pain in the neck.

Since then, he never asked me do crunches anymore.

Aizan Suhaira said...

Finally, a smart trainer! :P