Traditional core exercises are still the go-to move to train our stomach. You may recognize them as:
- Russian Twists
- oblique crunches or side twists
- reverse crunches, etc.
But what you should know is these moves may be causing your body more harm than good.
The reason - they're only working the exterior, superficial abdominal muscles and weakening your internal core team.
There is a difference between training your core for looks and training your core for function.
Our goal should be to train our true core, as it is responsible for movement and stability. In turn, you will still achieve an aesthetically pleasing mid-section, but in a way that promotes core health and eliminates pain and dysfunction associated with a weak core system.
Let's take a closure look at the impact of crunches. In the video below, I perform crunches like most people would. I also show you the difference when I use core breath and core activation before performing a crunch. When you're done watching the video, keeping reading below as I've got more info for you!
Analyzing Crunches Video: 3:27 minutes.
Ok, now that you have a visual, I hope you can see the effort it takes for me to perform a crunch that doesn't completely compromise my internal core system.
Now, let me summarize the 3 reasons why traditional crunches can cause your body more harm than good:
It puts an excessive amount of compressive force on your spine.
If you're already experiencing low back pain, hip pain or soreness in your neck; crunches will only aggravate this further.
You're only working the superficial abdominal muscles.
Crunches focus on the rectus abdominal muscles (6-pack); they also shorten and tighten hip flexor muscles.
Because of the amount of sitting we do, these muscles are already short and tight. It then creates long, weak glutes (butt) and tight hamstrings (upper back leg). The result - low back and hip pain.
Furthermore, crunches do not work the internal core system of muscles. In fact, the upper pressure on the abdominal connective tissues does the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve - it creates a poochy tummy!
Weakens the pelvic floor muscles and puts our core team out of alignment.
The downward pressure of our internal organs created by a crunch, puts pressure on our pelvic floor muscles. Crunches also put our core team out of alignment, so our pelvic floor muscles can't activate and support the pressure. The eventual outcome on an already weak core system - incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Fortunately there is a way to build true core strength, and get a flat tummy without crunches!
To do so, your training process should look like this:
Step 1: learn what makes up your internal core system of muscles
Step 2: reconnect and retrain your internal core system of muscles to work properly in movement
Step 3: add strength building exercises that support your internal core team of muscles
And I have Step 1 covered for you! Grab a copy of my FREE Top 5 Core Facts, and learn about your internal core system. For a more detailed look, grab a copy of my eBook - 'Finding Your Core Strength, What Every Woman Needs to Know'.
Plus, I've got a FREE BONUS for you!!! Included with the facts sheet is a 12 CORE EXERCISE WORKSHEET you can start using right now! These are the go-to exercises I use to progress my clients' strength. So swap out those crunches, and start building true core strength today!
One last thing!
If you want to learn how to reconnect and retrain your internal core system in movement, build true core strength that supports your body in movement, and safely work towards a tight tummy - stick with me!
My online program is launching in a few months, and I've got lots more information to keep you educated until then!
Ok, one more P.S.: For a video discussion on this topic watch my Facebook Live broadcast below.