The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    NEW ARTICLE - Situps Are Dead

    As a member of the Naval Special Operations Force developing the entire anterior core for optimal joint alignment and function was crucial. Nothing they did was for solely cosmetic reasons, although they developed lean and muscular bodies as a byproduct.

    Craig explains why sit-ups and crunches can be dangerous and shares some of his favorite exercises for helping to achieve a tight, well-balanced midsection, along with the sought after six pack.

    You have no reason to do situps or crunches ever again….and your spine will thank you.

    READ HERE - Situps Are Dead
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  3. #2
    Wannabebig New Member
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    great stuff

    Excellent work, Craig!

    Haven't done the lever in a while, so I think I give them a try this week.

    For you readers out there, Craig has written another great article on this theme called "Why crunches suck". One of my favorite article on abs. Check it out on his website.

    Jack

  4. #3
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Doesn't this lend validity to "Just squat and deadlift without a belt?"
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  5. #4
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    ..........
    Last edited by r2473; 01-21-2011 at 10:49 AM.

  6. #5
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    great article
    Work hard. Stay humble.

  7. #6
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    Very good article. Thoroughly enjoyed.

  8. #7
    Wannabebig Member
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    Craig, this was some good stuff. I especially liked the "Foot Drops".

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Doesn't this lend validity to "Just squat and deadlift without a belt?"
    Only partially. In those movements the abs (as part of an intricate relationship with the diaphragm and several other deep stabilizer muscles) serve to stabilize the spine by increasing intra-abdominal pressure and assisting the glutes (and the rest of the lower posterior chain) in posterior pelvic tilt. From a proprioceptive standpoint they'll fire to prevent lateral flexion in either direction.

    Other than that you've still got to train the abs for anti extension, anti-lateral flexion and anti rotation. Then, you'll want to consider the role the abs and core play in controlling the pelvis unilaterally in movements like dead bugs, sprinting or weighted carries.

    Anti extension and lateral flexion are to some extent trained with squats and deads but they are done so in a complex kinetic chain of knee extension, hip extension, a degree of ankle plantarflexion and heavy input from lumbar and thoracic erectors. It is often necessary to isolate a particular movement pattern from that chain in order to develop it to a greater degree than would be possible within the full chain, and without inducing undue stress on the rest of the body.

    If your abs are a weak link in your deadlift, trying to develop them or improve your deadlift by just deadlifting more is not going to work very well. You need to strengthen the weak pattern in isolation and then re-integrate it back into the full movement.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Weller View Post
    Only partially. In those movements the abs (as part of an intricate relationship with the diaphragm and several other deep stabilizer muscles) serve to stabilize the spine by increasing intra-abdominal pressure and assisting the glutes (and the rest of the lower posterior chain) in posterior pelvic tilt. From a proprioceptive standpoint they'll fire to prevent lateral flexion in either direction.

    Other than that you've still got to train the abs for anti extension, anti-lateral flexion and anti rotation. Then, you'll want to consider the role the abs and core play in controlling the pelvis unilaterally in movements like dead bugs, sprinting or weighted carries.

    Anti extension and lateral flexion are to some extent trained with squats and deads but they are done so in a complex kinetic chain of knee extension, hip extension, a degree of ankle plantarflexion and heavy input from lumbar and thoracic erectors. It is often necessary to isolate a particular movement pattern from that chain in order to develop it to a greater degree than would be possible within the full chain, and without inducing undue stress on the rest of the body.

    If your abs are a weak link in your deadlift, trying to develop them or improve your deadlift by just deadlifting more is not going to work very well. You need to strengthen the weak pattern in isolation and then re-integrate it back into the full movement.
    Seriously. I don't know how much weight my opinion holds around here, but that is fantastic advice. Listen to what this man has to say.

  11. #10
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Thanks for dropping in Craig, appreciate it!
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  12. #11
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Sit-ups Are Dead! Yay!

    These are a great bunch of exercises for strong core/abs. I can see how this is the most important part of being and functioning fit. How would you divide them up into workouts? Thank You.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by minotaur47 View Post
    These are a great bunch of exercises for strong core/abs. I can see how this is the most important part of being and functioning fit. How would you divide them up into workouts? Thank You.
    Try to hit anti extension, anti rotation and anti lateral flexion once per week each at a minimum and ideally in each workout.

    Consider what role your abs played in each workout and then add the supplemental stuff to hit all three patterns.

    So, if your workout had a bunch of pushups or bilateral overhead pressing your abs just had plenty of input on anti-extension work so you won't need to add that. Finish the workout with anti lateral flexion and rotation stuff.

    If your workout hit unilateral upper body vertical movements like single arm overhead presses, waiter's walks or suitcase deadlifts you've already hit anti-lateral flexion and some anti extension as well so you'd want to finish the workout with supplemental anti-rotation work.

    If you did single arm dumbbell bench presses, standing single arm rows or most anything from a split stance or with a grappler or landmine device, you'd just hit anti-rotation throughout your workout so you'd supplement anti-extension work.

    Also include a specific hip flexion movement with a posterior pelvic tilt and unilateral high hip flexion emphasis like dead bugs or any variation thereof at least once per week.

  14. #13
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    Every lift is dangerous in some way or another... Im sure squats and deadlifts put amazing stress on certain parts of your body... The truth is, you do a sit up when you get out of bed in the morning, your body is designed to move like that... I would only ever be worried when your are trying to do a movement which goes against what your limits are, however thats why cartilidge is there and when you try and move a joint in a direction it doesnt like, you know about it!
    Last edited by Norwich Muscles; 01-07-2011 at 02:02 PM.
    Im new here, please be kind.

  15. #14
    Become Unbreakable Mark!'s Avatar
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    Really like this article, gives me tons of other things to do other than sit ups. As a fat man, I do hate me some sit ups...
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  16. #15
    Legend Ness's Avatar
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    This was a nice read. Thanks for the information. I'm new to weight lifting, but I'm trying to get as much insight as possible. It seemed like the videos of the exercises that were in the article were performed usually be two people. Can these mostly be performed by one person however? If not, are there other alternatives that would be a big substitute for crunches/situps?
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  17. #16
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    I certainly don't disagree with any of the "do's" in this article, or the vast majority of the advice given.

    What is not clear to me is how dynamic exercises compromise isometric strength. That would certainly be a revelation to me. And to the human body, for that matter.

    Certainly dynamic exercises exclusively is not good (again, I agree with the overall gist of the article, and tremendous importance you place on these various movements), but I fail to see how an exercise in which the ribcage/pelvis distance changes will negatively impact posture and static strength.

    I see a very strong, well presented, and accurate case for your theory overall, but disagree with the secondary assertion (The "don't). In fact, this statement: "These movements loosen the lumbar spine and diminish the mobility of the upper spine" is a true non sequiteur- there's no link provided between the first statement and the conclusion that follows. (Not to mention that the mechanics of a bullwhip are incorrect, though I understand the purpose of the analogy.. a single uniform length of braided leather will be able to generate a crack- I have an argentinian gaucho's whip with that same design).

    I'm certainly open to the idea, and am assuming for the sake of brevity (and to avoid writing a treatise), you've paraphrased and simplified the theory somewhat. I'd be interested to see the rest of the argument.

    Cheers.
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