David Parise on Crunches op FB:
The actual “crunch” part of crunches, the stick twist, side bends with weights (what a waste) – puts an unhealthy strain on your back at its weakest point. The section with the most nerves (and most potential for nerve damage) is in the back of the spine, which is the very part that bends and strains during a sit-up, and all theses patterns (moves)
“There are only so many crimps, bends or a ‘stress life’,” in your spinal disks. “If you keep flexing your spine and bending the disk over and over again, that nucleus (jelly in the donut) slowly breaches the layers and causes a disk bulge, or a disk herniation.” A herniated disk won’t show through your bikini ladies, or your shorts men.
Think of this a sit-up is nothing ,more than a back bend done in a lying position. “When people are doing curl up over gym balls and sit-ups, and this kind of thing, they are replicating a very potent injury mechanism on their back,” “Every time you bend your one repetition closer to damaging the disk.”
People do crunches, they rarely stop at one or two: in the quest for flat abs, they’ll churn out dozens at a time, bringing them ever closer to “flex stress”—if you don't have major back pain, you will! Oh and guess what you will never have a flat stomach, or a six pack by doing any of the following- feet connected while sitting up. a crunch on ground, a stick twist, a side bend, a rotation machine you rotate in, the ab bench, a crunch on a ball, hanging monkey straps, a kings chair, leg lifts, sucking in your gut, eating pizza...lol
But what about the Rectus Abdominus and the Obliques? The exercises I mentioned develop are for the transverse abdominus which works as a stabilizer in all movements supporting the viscera in place.
Ok I see where this is going…a little update for everyone…
It was mentioned in one of my posts…..that planks, side planks (done correctly) suitcase walks, cross body cable chops kneeling, or just adding a challenge (load, or tension) to a stabilizing posture directly related to engaging the core / ab region… we can’t leave out spinal flexion, or sit-ups…because they are directly related to the long flat superficial muscle like the rectus, or the (hands in pocket) muscle external, internal oblique’s. We actually need to flex or rotate the spine to activate these muscles.
First of all I ask you this…if you were to hold a dumbbell and elbow flex to 90% (perfect bend right angle) and hold that tension for 60-90 seconds…would your bicep be stimulated as a volume knob at 9-10? YES! Would you be strong at each and every level? NO! But it will have enough stimuli to build. Strength may be defined as the maximum force or tension generated by a muscle. Hypertrophy is a local adaptation to the demand placed on muscle and is the result of overload training…can it hold a position or posture.
So we can say that hypertrophy is a local adaptation to the demand placed on muscle and is the result of overload. Holding a plank (without your butt in the air!) will activate the “abs” to hold the position.
The global and local stability muscles of the lumbar spine, for example obliquus, abdominus, and spinalis, generate force as they are challenged.
What creates the six pack look? The thickness of the fasicia tissue…called tendonis inscriptures…)if you wrap straps around your ab area the skin bulges through “presto quick abs” blocks are not created by crunches…
The visceral fulcrum theory is a counter force generated by the visceral when the TVA contracts and provides a functional cylinder around the spine. This creates an internal weight belt that acts like a hoop and sends a column of support from the pelvic basin to the diaphragm. (Cant train the visceral it’s a function…sorry!
Ok a sit up works the hip flexors, psoas, illiachis, rectus femoris, all the muscles you don’t want to work. (its called trunk flexion) Crunches only have a compression effect…like an accordion…why? It will increase spinal dysfunction, and set the stage for a host of muscular and spinal imbalances.
I’m just saying!