Sit Ups And Crunches Are Dangerous For Your Lower Back

Almost every bootcamp club or martial arts class you see do the old familiar sit-ups and crunches. What few people know is that these abdominal exercises are a heavy burden on the lower back. Read the reasons explained by Eye Of The Eagle that why you can better avoid these exercises and what you need to do to train your abdominal muscles.

Press your lower back

The disadvantage of these classic exercises is that the lower back is consciously bent under load when you come up. Research shows that the lower back receives a high pressure load (> 3000 N) in dynamic and static versions of the sit-up. It becomes even more annoying for the lower back if you combine this bend with a twist – like with the crunches where you bring the elbow to the opposite knee. This causes a pressure on the lower back so that athletes can suffer from:

lower back pain,
muscle tension,
spasm and

The chances of annoying injuries are increased if an athlete trains too many sit-ups and crunches too quickly, as a result of which the pressure increases because the performance is getting worse and your muscles can not handle the load as well. There is a risk that the lower back muscles become tired and irritated, as a result of which the pressure on your intervertebral discs increases. So you regularly see people grabbing their lower back, after a long set of ‘ abdominal exercises ‘.

No real core exercise

Another disadvantage of sit-ups is that it is really an isolation exercise. With the sit-up you mainly train the upper and lower abdominal muscles and not the deeper abdominal muscles. If you ask me, it is much better that athletes get started with core-stability exercises , such as the board and squat where you immediately speak to many more muscles.

It is not that you should always avoid the sit-up and crunch from now on. Just do not train these exercises too often and especially when you have a weak lower back.

What are good exercises for your abdominal muscles?

Shelf : this is one of the best exercises for strong core muscles.
Hanging crunches : this exercise uses the same muscles as the normal crunch, without putting pressure on the lower back .
Hip raises : with this exercise you do not develop tension on the lower back.

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