From the messy desk of Mike Westerdal, CPT, RKC
The sit-up or more specifically the “crunch” has been an exercise staple since the 1940s recommended by late night TV commercials, magazines and wanna-be fitness gurus at the gym.
For nearly as long the REAL fitness experts have been saying…”No, no no the crunch is not the best way to build a strong athletic well defined mid-section and can in fact be harmful.”
Here are the Top 3 Reasons Strength & Conditioning Coaches in the United States Have Abandoned the Sit-Up or Crunch Long Ago & Why You Should Too.
This is a problem for two reasons. First, this creates an imbalance between weak and strong muscles with the most important muscles—the inner ones—being overlooked. And while the outer muscles may look good, they do nothing to protect the stability or integrity of the spinal column. Additionally, strong outer muscles covering weak core muscles provide a false sense of security, significantly increasing the risk of back injury.
Secondly, our bodies are designed to work “most effectively” as a single unit of strength and power.
It is ALWAYS in our best interest to challenge our abdominal muscles with larger, more strenuous movements, minimizing our time with isolation exercises, resulting in the desired outcome…a chiseled and hardened exterior.
This type of approach, also known as working the chain, demands our network of ab muscles to generate far more power, burning more calories and creating a true balance of strength in all aspects of the abdominal wall.
The bonus is that you don’t have to diet so hard to obtain that impressive midsection. The most important requirement is consistency and forcing your abs to respond by fully engaging and developing all the muscles of your core at once, instead of just a few some of the time.
Nerve damage is another potential consequence of too many crunches. The crunch movement puts an unhealthy strain on the back right at its weakest point, which coincidentally is the section that contains the most nerves.
Damage to this weak area of the spine can result in serious, chronic pain that can last a lifetime and inhibit mobility and flexibility.
Lastly, crunches repeatedly flex and extend the spine, which is comprised of a series of interconnected discs. Much like any piece of complicated machinery, the spinal discs are subject to wear and tear—in other words, they are only able to support a certain number of bending motions over the course of a lifetime.
Subjecting the spinal discs to the excessive wear and tear of crunches can reduce the ‘shelf life’ of spinal discs and result in nerve damage, a disc bulge or disc herniation, all of which are difficult to treat.
The majority of us sit in the “crunched” forward position all day long. Driving to work. Sitting at our desks. Meetings, Meals and Watching TV on the couch. It’s nuts how much we sit.
Please don’t add to it at the gym by mimicking the exact same position you’ve just spent hours upon hours in when training abs.
Instead use exercises from our Crunchless Abs program that strengthen both your inner and outer abs along with your entire core in a safe effective manner.
Chris Wilson, HSC, RKC the Head Strength Coach here at Critical Bench has put together an amazing 3 Phase Program that includes over 30 abdominal exercises you can perform without doing any potentially dangerous crunching. You are going to love this follow along online DVD as you completely transform your abs in just 30-days from the inside out.
When you train the abs as a unit involving other muscles rather than isolating the outer abs, you’ll burn more calories and get a much greater return on the time and energy you spend working out. Your abs will still look chiseled plus they’ll be stable, solid and strong. In other words, they’ll function and help the body move and perform while looking beach ready at the same time!
You can use the exercises as a plug-in. This means you don’t have to quit your current workout. Just add the exercises in on either your “Off Days” when you don’t train with weights or on your “Light Days” where you’re not going super heavy.
Each phase progresses and leads into the next so you can do this program regardless of your current fitness level. There’s plenty of variety and you’ll train your core anywhere from 3-5 days per week depending what phase you’re in.
Guarantee #1: We are so confident and believe in this program that we are taking all the risk. If you are not 100% satisfied with your $17 investment in “Crunchless Abs” after trying it within the 60 days of making your purchase, simply email our support team and you will get a no questions asked refund.
Guarantee #2: If you try the exercises from the videos and do not feel we delivered on our promise, then we will pay for your next program by allowing you to pick from one of our other products. We are committed to helping you and want you to achieve success at the highest level.
A review of the facts shows that indeed, crunches can be very bad for the back. While they do have some benefits, the risks of injury and back pain far outweighs any potential gains. If they’re still part of your workout plan it’s time to immediately replace them with the exercises from Crunchless Abs.
If your goal is develop six-pack abdominals while strengthening your core in the fastest way possible all without enduring the inevitable aches and pains associated with crunching, this is your big chance to join the thousands upon thousand of other elite athletes and coaches that have been keeping this closely guarded secret to themselves.
Keep training hard,
Mike Westerdal, CPT, HCT, RKC
criticabench1 at gmail.com
P.S. – Look, if you have not been able to build the ripped and muscular physique or have not gotten the results you feel you deserve, then Crunchless Abs will help you achieve your goal, ending your frustrations once and for all. Even if just a handful of exercises from this video series helps you develop shredded abs the investment would be totally worth it.
P.P.S. The price is less than 20 bucks for a limited time and will help you much much more than a jug of protein powder.
Coburn, Jared W., Moh H. Malek. Essentials of Personal Training. 2nd ed. Human Kinetics Publishers, 2011. Print.
Cosgrove, Alwyn. Men’s Health: The Best Abs Workout You’ve Never Done. Dec. 10, 2008. Article
Hammill, Robert R. PhD. CSCS, Core Training for the Deep Abdominal Muscles. NSCA. Article
Smith, Christopher. CSCS. Plank Variations: Master the Most Underrated Core Blaster. Bodybuilding.com. April 19, 2013. Article
MF Editors. How to do a Plank: A Single Move for Stronger Abs. Men’s Fitness.com . Article
PLEASE NOTE: Crunchless Abs is a completely downloadable set of mp4 videos. No physical product will be shipped. After you order, you’ll get INSTANT ACCESS to download product onto your computer. The format for all manuals, workbooks, checklists, etc, is mp4, which can be viewed on Mac or PC.
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