A question we get asked a lot at Sub30 Core™ is whether crunches and sit-ups are good or bad for you? Do a google search on the subject and you’ll be even more confused. You’ll find industry experts telling you crunches and sit-ups are a good abdominal strengthening exercise while others say to avoid them. Basically, it really depends on who you speak to or what article you read.
So, who is right and who is wrong?
Our response has always been that both the "pro-crunch" and "anti-crunch" camps are both technically right and both put forward very valid reasons to support their argument.
At Sub30 Core™ we are pro crunch, but that comes with several caveats.
The anti-crunch camp point to a number of scientific researches
recommending people avoid frequent crunches and sit-ups due to the potential impact that could cause back pain, disc issues and in-turn give you round back posture. The "pro-crunch camp" will tell you it’s a very effective exercise to define the abdominal muscles as well as strengthening your back, and pelvis as long as it’s not overused.
You have probably noticed both that camps do have one thing in common, they highlight the importance of frequency.
Moderation is the key!
Too many crunches/sit-ups too often can lead to some serious issues and muscular imbalances. But they can also be an effective core building exercise when used wisely. Use it as part of a core workout that incorporates all the muscles in that area (your back, obliques, and other parts of your abdominals.)
Proper technique is the key to performing an effective and safe crunch/sit-up. The number of people who perform this exercise incorrectly is extremely high. Like most exercises, poor technique will eventually lead to injury and long-term damage and the crunch/sit-up is no different.