So it’s almost summer time again, which means it’s time to head out to the swimming pool or to go to the beach or to the lake. For some of us this is a time for fun and enjoyment, but for others, it is a dreaded time where we have to wear a bathing suit, and if we haven’t been preparing ourselves for the summer, it could become a nightmare.
For those of us who didn’t keep up the exercising over the winter and spring season, the first thing that comes to mind is to get ready! Start getting out to run and to the gym, and start. Worst of all, it’s time to start working on making that tummy flat again. This is the kicker for most of us.
Of course, when we think flat stomach, the first thing that comes to mind is crunches. That painful motion of compacting your stomach muscles while lying on your back. As much as many of us loathe this particular exercise, it has been accepted for a long time as a type of exercise that will work your stomach muscles in order for you to gain those washboard abs.
However, are now starting to say that crunches may in fact be something that we should stop doing as they are not only ultimately ineffective, but also can cause damage and strain that we simply do not need.
Crunches can actually put an unhealthy strain on your back at its weakest point. This is actually the section with the most nerves. Says Stuart M McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, “There are only so many bends or a ‘fatigue life’, if you keep flexing your spine and bending the disk over and over again, that nucleus slowly breaches the layers and causes a disk bulge, or a disk herniation.”
So all those sit ups may just be doing a lot more damage than you think they are. That being said, what you should we be doing? Well, instead of doing an exercise that simply focuses on one area of the body, elect instead to exercises that work the whole body so as to become fit overall, and above all practice a healthy diet.
I don’t really think anyone is really going to miss doing crunches, so why not save yourself the trouble, and opt to do other exercises instead?