Crunches and situps flex the spine which puts stress on your lower back so its agreed that they are no good so what do you guys do for abdominal training? planks?
everything puts stress on your lower back, situps and crunches are fine.
H: 5'7" W:185
Goals: 495 -315 -585
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I'm with Cards. Since when is it unanimous that crunches and sit ups are bad?
6'2 - 105kg (231lb) - 14%bf
B: 137.5kg (303lb)
S: 172.5kg (380lb)
D: 227.5kg (502lb)
They are only bad if you use bad form like pulling your head to get up in a situp. Its important to train the core in different planes of motion: rotational, diaganol, sagittal plane, etc... Standard situps are fine but remember to really strengthen your core you need to do what the spine is made to do like rotate, extend, flex. One of the reasons people have low back issues is not doing diagonal or rotational movements and only doing sagittal plane (crunches, leg raises) which causes imbalance. Your core consistes of more than just your rectus abdominal (6 pack). You have your obliques, serratus, glutes, low back, transverse abdominal. ITs the center foundation of the body.
- High to Low cable or tubing chops
- SB step offs
- MB twist
- Contralateral Hand to Toe touch
- 2/3 pike holds on Bosu ball
I find chin ups, front squats and deadlifts work my "core" on all planes pretty hard... obviously its not direct work, but I don't think its quite like the often touted squats for biceps thing - supposedly EMG studies have shown maximum engagement of the core during these lifts, beyond that of more "traditional" moves.
How often depends on the volume you do in a day. 2 days a week id usually plenty doing 3-4 exercises. I have programs where core is done everyday but each day is a different plane of motion and the volume is less.
You can absolutely superset them. Even put as many as 8 back to back to create a metabolic conditioning circuit.
gymnasts have the best core strength
so if you want a very strong and useful core, do what they do
the other benefit to training the core like a gymnast is that you wont be asking "what is the latest......" these are "basic", "fundamental" movements that have been around forever.
Last edited by r2473; 07-06-2012 at 10:27 AM.
what are rainbows?
Thanks for that Allen I will give the rainbows a try. Can't do cable chops though as I workout at home.
Do you know of any other similar exercises that can be done with free weights? Just because I prefer weighted exercises as it is easier to gauge progression