Yes, you read correctly.
Sit-ups are actually one of the worst exercises you can choose. Unless you are boxing, wrestling, or fighting MMA style, sit-ups don’t serve a single purpose. Sit-ups don’t help you lose fat around your belly, or carve out those ab muscles any better than other exercises. That’s right, you’ll come no closer to that six pack by performing hundreds of crunches.
So what exactly is the problem with sit-ups?
Firstly, they tighten the hip flexors, or muscles that help you bend at the hip. A full sit-up heavily involves the hip flexors, so you are teaching your hips to be bent, the same position you are in sitting down. Not good.
Next, you can develop an imbalance between the front and back sides of your body. Most people do crunches or sit-ups, but not many perform exercises to strengthen the lower back. By only doing crunches or sit-ups, the abdominal muscles and hip flexors pull your body forward, creating a hunched back and shoulders. This leads to decreased performance, low back, shoulder and neck pain.
Here are some basic starting points pretty most people can do. If you do have any pain or health concerns, consult a doctor before trying any exercises to be sure it is not a more serious problem:
- When it comes to training, performing exercises that are great for the core or midsection will strengthen the abdominals, as well as other body parts. This can help improve posture and decrease or possibly eliminate pain.
- Bridging exercises are great. They make you hold your body in proper alignment. Planks have you in a push-up like position, but with your forearms down. Hold the position, sucking the abs in hard and squeezing your glutes. Or, place your feet on something elevated, lift your hips and hold the position with your hips completely straight.
- Rotational exercises will help you, as we often twist during the day. Be sure to keep the abs tight and always be standing.
- Stretch! Stretch your hips in a lunge position, Stretch your hamstrings by sitting and reaching with legs straight. Stand up and pull a foot to your glute to stretch your quads.
This article was shared with the authors written permission. The original article can be seen on examiner.com.