Once upon a time in a faraway land, sit-ups were the standard for strengthening and tightening your core. Six-pack abs were made in the kitchen yes, but also with sit-ups.
Well things have changed and the sit-ups are so last year and they’ve been banished, never to return. According to livestrong.com sit-ups are now in the hot seat, with many trainers and experts claiming they are inefficient and cause more harm than good.
Back and spine expert Dr Stuart McGill through years of surgery, according to the University of Waterloo in Canada, “found that crunches and traditional sit-ups place 340kg of compressive force on the spine when bent in flexion. These forces can squeeze a bent disc’s nucleus to the point that it bulges – pressing on nerves and causing back pain and potentially leading to a herniated disc.”
The Harvard Medical Health Journal suggests planking instead of sit-ups to strengthen and tighten your core, which includes more than just your stomach.
“Plank exercises recruit a better balance of muscles on the front, sides and back of the body during exercise than do sit-ups, which target just a few muscles. Through dynamic patterns of movement, a good core workout like plank exercises helps strengthen the entire set of core muscles you use every day” the journal states.