Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
April 23, 2021

The Best Ab Exercise
by CriticalBench.com Author John Alvino

The Best Ab Exercise

For years now, sit ups have gotten a bad rap by many fitness “experts” who tout that the sit up is damaging to your spine. Where did this persuasive opinion come from? The way the sit up has been ostracized by the fitness community; you would suspect that thousands of six pack abs seekers have permanently damaged their backs while performing this “dangerous” exercise! Luckily, that’s not the case…not even close.

The “never do sit ups during an ab workout” mantra that is chanted throughout gyms from coast to coast actually started in the lab. EMG studies have shown that sit ups do stress the spine more so than crunches do. So what? Lying on a bed of cotton balls stresses the spine less than crunches! Does this mean that lying on cotton balls is a better exercise than crunches is? Where do we draw the line? Remember, every exercise is a form of stress to the body. It is that very stress that causes our body to get stronger and adapt, thus eliciting a positive training effect.

Let’s take a second to investigate the sit up a little further. The reason why the critics say sit-ups stress the spine more than crunches is because of the involvement of the hip flexors during a sit up motion. They state that this hip flexor activation leads to compressive forces in the spine, and therefore, should be avoided. Is this a gross overreaction, or do they have a valid point?

Well considering that athletes and fitness enthusiasts have been performing sit ups safely for decades, it should be glaringly obvious that this “fear” is unsubstantiated in the real world. In fact, after being in the fitness industry for over 16 years, I can say with confidence that I have NEVER seen a single back injury result from performing a set of sit ups.

The Best Ab Exercise

I know that some trainers are saying, “Alright, you convinced me that sit ups are not as dangerous as the “experts” claim, but since crunches work the abs just as well as sit ups do, why should I bother doing sit ups, anyway?” Let me explain why this is not the correct way of thinking.

It is true that during a sit-up, your abs are only directly responsible for the bottom portion of the movement. Once the spine is flexed (when you have finished the “crunch” part of the sit up), the hip flexors predominately take over to finish the movement. What is often overlooked is that even though the hip flexors provide most of the movement during top range of a sit up, the abs are still working hard isometrically (contracting without producing movement). This contraction absolutely does contribute to a positive abdominal training effect.

Another great “side effect” of the sit up is the caloric deficit that it creates. The sit up requires you to move through a large range of motion and incorporates the hip flexors as well as the abdominal musculature. Thus, a sit up burns a significantly greater number of calories than a crunch does. If you want six pack abs, burning calories and losing body fat are of the utmost importance.

I personally recommend sit ups to any individual who fits the “sit up” criteria. The criteria are simple: no pre-existing back problems, and a solid base of abdominal strength. Couple that with proper form, and you will not have any problems!

John Alvino's eBook

How To Get Ripped AbsHow To Get Ripped Abs

Everything I’ve learned over the past 16 years about how to lose fat rapidly and permanently while carving out the perfect set of abs is in here.

-Top Secret Training Methods
-Underground Nutritional Techniques
-Unparalleled Results

This revolutionary manual also contains your Personal Body Assessment. I will show you how easy it is to adjust the “base program”, personalize it to meet your needs, so you can hit the ground running and start seeing results in DAYS… instead of weeks!

Get Your eBook HERE



More Articles By John Alvino

More Strength Training Articles


Natural Bodybuilding | Growth Factor-1 | Discount Bodybuilding Supplements | Gain Weight Fast | Big Arms | How To Get Ripped
Weight Lifting Programs | Weight Lifting Equipment | Weight Training Articles | Weight Lifting Workouts | Workout Routines
Bench Press Routine | Bench Press Workout | Increase Bench Press | Bench Press Records | Bench Press Chart
Lean Body Mass | How To Run Faster | Bodybuilding Tips | Athlete Celebrity Interviews | Muscle Growth Stories
Muscular System | Healthy Bodybuilding Recipes | Muscle Man | Female Bodybuilders | Weight Lifting Exercises
Powerlifting | Dumbbell Exercise | Muscle Bodybuilding T Shirts | Vince Gironda | Vince Delmonte | Jennifer Nicole Lee
Weight Lifting Accessory | Football Strength Workout | Weight Lifting Belts | Mike Geary
Bench Press | Fitness Links | How To Gain Weight Fast | Strength Blog | Build Muscle Fast | Workout Reviews | Workout Videos
Weight Lifting & Weight Training Tips For Building Muscle Strength
Fitness Models | Strongman | Muscle Building Nutrition | Muscle Growth | Muscle Building Experts

Supplements: Testosterone Booster | Super Fat Burner | Beta Alanine | Creatine Caps | Nitric Oxide NO2 | Muscle Building Supplements | Post Workout Supplement

Articles: Bench Press Tips | Supplement Reviews | Muscular Strength | Bodybuilding Nutrition | Fitness Health | Muscle Building
Fat Loss Tips