Crunch Time!

Do you see how enough time people spend in the fitness center on to the floor doing crunches? Bobbing away, 10, 30 sometimes even 100’s of crunches. Funny how those people down on their backs seem to have the biggest bellies there! Crunches are the most overrated exercise, one of the most risky for your spine, useless for weight loss and worst of most they don’t even work your core musculature that well. No matter how much you want to believe it, doing thousands of crunches won’t remove any inches from your waist or fat from your stomach muscles. In a recent study 13 Male subjects did a complete of 5000 sit ups over 27 days.

At the finish of the study, biopsies examining the rate of change in fats cell diameters showed that the topics lost NO fat around their ab muscles. This dates back to the infamous fitness myth of spot reduction. You cannot spot reduce fat on your abs by doing sit ups, body fat is not utilised by the physical body in a localised manner. Basically working a specific muscle does not burn the fat around that muscle. Leg exercises wont remove fats directly from you’re your hip and legs, arm exercises wont remove excess fat straight from your arm and abdominal exercises wont move fats directly from your stomach muscles! Surely it can’t be all bad, crunches should do something?

Crunches provides a training stimulus for your stomach muscles to get more powerful and probably develop. A crunch is actually a weight training exercise for your abs, the same basic idea as doing a triceps expansion for the relative back again of your arm. The muscle has been worked by you, which will make it more powerful and make it grow eventually. Well this is an excellent thing isn’t it? Maybe not as recent research demonstrates the crunch may not be the safest exercise for your spine and lower back.

The growing body of research demonstrates a crunch is actually one of the most severe positions you can put your backbone in. Doing extreme levels of crunches would likely lead to imbalanced ab muscles and core development as well as potential back and spine pain. Your stomach muscles are meant to help out with the stabilization of your trunk/core musculature.

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In other words these are designed to simply keep your trunk in place as your arms and legs move and do work such as operating, jumping, lifting and throwing. Many of these motions shall work your stomach muscles without forcing you in to the possibly dangerous position of a crunch. What’s more they’ll work your other core muscles, oblique, TVA, and low muscles similarly well back.

Functionally the abdominal muscles are not meant to pull your body into a forceful curling or crunching position. Exercises have to have some practical carry over into sport or everyday routine, otherwise what’s the idea? A pull-up; for rock climbing, gymnastics or getting out of a pool. A squat; for a powerful karate kick, Jump power in golf ball or picking up a parcel on your doorstep. Is it possible to think of a practical or wearing situation where you should crunch?

Or because so many people do 20-200 repetition endurance crunches can you think of a predicament where you might need to crunch repeatedly over 50 times? Ok so I’m being a little silly now but the truth is people spend much too much time on ab specific training specially when someone’s definitive goal is weight loss. So how in the event you teach your primary muscles then? Perform exercises that work your core muscles in a pattern they are meant to be used in. Exercises such as planks, part planks, balance ball move outs, all kinds of push ups, medicine ball throwing, squatting, running, going swimming.

The list could go on, but I think you get the idea. All of these exercises will work the muscles of your core in a balanced manner (unlike crunches which do not work your oblique or your lower back muscles). So these exercises are certain to get rid of body fat around my belly and give me a thin waist or a 6-pack?

Well not necessarily, they shall reinforce your core in a functional manner, assist with postural showing off and positioning performance, however now we reach the bit you almost certainly didn’t want to hear. To eliminate that unwanted belly fat its simple, eat less food and burn more calories. Being able to visit a well defined six pack has nothing to do with doing any kind of ab exercises.