Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

11

Rippetoe & Kilgore describe in Practical Programming why many trainers--particularly strength trainers, and most particularly weightlifting trainers--eschew crunches: The lower back is supported from the anterior by the abs, and ab work done correctly, protects and assists lumbar stability. "Done correctly" means that the abs are strength-trained, as ...


9

Why would Vince be so anti-crunch? I wouldn't say Vince is anti-crunch so much as he is anti-novice. The distinction here is that Vince would assume if someone were to do crunches as part of their routine, then that person is a novice and does not belong in his gym. Is there any merit to this belief? Yes. Ask anyone in the world and chances are ...


9

Different rep schemes produce different effects on the body. If you use enough resistance so that you can only do 3-5 reps, you'll primarily develop strength and power. If you use a lot less resistance so you can do 30 reps, you are primarily developing muscular endurance, pain tolerance, etc. Moreover, you should track how many reps you can do and what ...


8

Adopt a combination of HIIT and strength training. Don't run 8km every day, it's completely useless and simply wears out your body for no good reason. You need to get your testosterone up to build muscle and reduce fat. I don't know if you're male or female, but it doesn't matter. The only way to do that is with exercise of very high intensity. Avoid ...


7

Abs can be sufficiently trained via isometric exercise. I believe the safest way to exercise the abdominals is to use them for their intended function (stabilization) under a progressively increasing load or difficulty. For example: The co-contraction of the abdominals with the spinal erectors that is required during heavy squats and deadlifts in order to ...


6

The rectus abdominus works to curl the torso, and bring the lower part of the ribcage forward and down. It is one muscle, and as such, any exercise that curls the body works the entire muscle. The "upper and lower" abdominal belief is pretty much a myth. Whether you curl down towards your legs or up towards your head, the entire muscle is contracting. The ...


6

Consider for a moment that a major job for your abs is not to pull your chest to your knees (crunch and sit up style), but to remain erect and not collapse like when doing a front squat: Crunches and sit ups don't have a large isometric component, as where something like front squats, deadlifts, and planks do. Most of what we want our backs to do in daily ...


6

Crunches CAN be an effective tool, however there comes a point where they do more toning and conditioning than they do size building. The function of the abdominals is to curl the torso "forward" and "in" (These are subjective to the position that you start in). If you take your lower ribcage and try to picture touching that to your hips, causing your upper ...


6

If you do them on the same day, your body has at least one full day of recovery between workouts. Running is largely a cardiovascular exercise once you're in good enough shape to do it effectively (which at 5K I would consider you to be). Effectively, it will get everything loosened up, warmed up, and slightly tired for you to have an extremely effective ...


5

It gives you a basis for comparing yourself to yourself. If you could only do 10 pushups for years, then tried a new exercise and all the sudden you can do 50 pushups, you might want to example that and see why there was a change. For weight lifting, you don't want to do too many reps. For example, don't more than 20 leg extensions means you're probably not ...


4

Regular situps, as most people do them, are not the best exercise for the abs. You should look for another exercise.


4

You'll probably want to do the crunch machine first. The machine uses a heavier weight than just your bodyweight per a sit-up (I assume you do more than 8-12 sit-ups during that set), so you really use that machine to build strength and the sit-ups for endurance. If you do the sit-ups first, you may have exhausted your muscles beyond the point where you can ...


4

I highly agree with the strength training responses. I'll also add here that strength training (squats, overhead press, pull ups, etc.) also works out your core a lot, since you need to engage your core to stabilize your body during many of the exercises. You also mention that you run 8k every morning and do burpees afterward. I think you should read this ...


4

You are probably weak. Strength training is the solution. The best option would be to learn to lift weights. Starting Strength, a 3-times-a-week barbell program, is a good option. StrongLifts 5x5 is also commonly recommended. (See this question.) If you can't get access to a gym or barbell, you could look into bodyweight strength training instead. These ...


3

Your muscles need recovery time. However, that varies from person to person. Person A may only be able to lift 3x a week, while Person B can lift everyday. You should probably incorporate 2 days a week with just some light lifting (or muscle groups you don't target) and some cardio, then lift the other days. You probably shouldn't lift the same muscle ...


3

You're probably not maintaining a neutral spine as you attempt to perform your crunches. Be mindful of what you're doing with your head and upper back/cervical spine as you execute the movement. Filming yourself while you perform this exercise (from the side would probably be most beneficial) and looking at your spinal flexion will help you determine whether ...


3

The main differences I've seen between the two: Crunches: Shorter range of motion, abs are more isolated, little to no lower back movement. Sit-ups: Longer range of motion (more time under tension), involves hip flexors, may involve rounding of the lumbar spine, easier to load with resistance. Of the two, I feel crunches are a better option as there may ...


3

More muscles are used in a sit up but crunches seem to focus on the abdominal muscles more. For myself I can do 2-3 times as many crunches, and always do some crunches after sit ups to continue working some of the muscles. The main group of muscles neglected in crunches seem to be the back and legs. In the military you get 2 minutes to do as many as ...


3

Crunches overdevelop the top 4 ( or crown ) of your 8 pack abdominal muscles, unless you are compensating by doing a lot of lower abdominal exercises. A sit up is also not the best abdominal exercise for core strength. Try V-Ups, Jack knifes, Leg Raises, Weighted Planks, Front Levers, etc.


3

In addition to the reasons mentioned by @sparafusile, I would also add that counting, especially out loud, encourages you to BREATHE while you do your situps. And breathing while doing crunches helps you to do more crunches.


3

It depends on many thing and I would recommend consulting a doctor before continuing on. Having said that crunches are meant to do this Remember what superman said no pain no gain :) Make sure not to drink too much water or eat too much food before exercise. I am not asking to dehydrate yourself at all but stay away from excess water during exercise and ...


3

It's hard for me to believe after running daily and doing a bunch of burpees, that your core is actually weak. And at 6'1" and 165 lbs, you are also not at all overweight. My guess is that at best you need to stand up straight and all of your belly fat problems will be solved. At worst, you are expressing negative body image issues that don't reflect your ...


2

You are getting older and need to augment your muscle mass to compensate for a slowing metabolism and/or extra weight carried from your youth. The body will adapt too well to any routine, and you've already hit a plateau with your cardio burpee routine. Focus on building some lean mass, which means you need some strength training (lift weights). ...


2

I think you can only get so much work out of doing crunches and sit ups. To truly engage your core you should lift heavy things over head. Lifting heavy weights correctly forces you to use your Abs to stabilize. One of the best workouts I have found for abs is the Overhead Squat.


2

If they are fun, they are more effective because you are more likely to do them. As far as them being more effective in actual muscle building, it all depends on form. If form is correct, then they are not any more or less effective than any other ab isolation exercise done with correct form (With the caveat that cable crunches are often easier to do with ...


2

Crunches won't destroy your spine, situps will. This isn't hearsay or 'broscience', this is based on the extensive research of Dr. Stuart McGill who has made his living studying abdominal movements from the frail to elite sports people. Situps require an unnatural flexing of the spine under tension that dramatically increases the risk of spinal damage. ...


2

Where are you doing this exercise? On the bar or bench. I suggest you doing it on the bench like the second picture because when you hang from the bar you swing back and forth and thats not good for core strengthening. You see that woman is stable because she found multiple bars, so she is not swinging. Doing it like her is okay highly recommended. Upper ...


1

Pain can be an indication that something is wrong. It is not normal to have pain in your spine during or after crunches. Abdominal muscle soreness could be normal, but not back pain. Upper back pain from doing crunches may be caused by jerking or pulling on the head and neck with your hands to lift the head. If you tend to pull on the head, try changing ...


1

I've had great success lifting every day. However you need to give your body time to adapt. You can't start lifting as hard as you can every day, you will only hurt yourself. Start with 4 days then slowly add another day as you get used to the stress. Be mindful that your diet and sleeping are on point, they become much more important when you exert ...


1

I would suggest that in addition to regulating the muscle groups accordingly you make sure you warm up properly and stretch too, very important so you do not get hurt. Otherwise lifting weights is good for you. Have a look at muscleandfitness.com for some good workouts and do them carefully and safely. Good luck



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible