Currently, fitness professionals are moving away from the standard crunch style of core training and are being better trained to know what type of core exercises should to be doing/ and not doing with customers.
I'll provide you with an example I see daily:
-Works in an office at a desk all day
-Always on phone and computer/Always sitting
-Bad posture, rounded shoulders
-Experiencing low back pain/tight neck and trap muscle/cramping
Loading the Spine or Spinal Flexion
The first question to ask is: What is the function of the core? Would it make sense to wind this guy any tighter or continue to put extra load on his back and neck??
Answer: The answer is obviously no. The function is to stabilize the spine……so why would we repeatedly do crunches and sit-up variations that put the spine into flexion?
The traditional sit-up imposes about 730 pounds of compression on the spine. This means that every time you do a sit-up, knees bent with feet on the ground, sitting up to vertical, that amount of pressure is crushing your discs.
Application: Work the core as it was meant to function. Lot's of front support, side support, chops, lifts, and anti-extension exercises with a healthy dose of full body compound exercises. Plank variations, side plank variations, cable stabilization exercises, core roll-outs, dynamic medicine ball training and cable chops and lifts.
**We need to promote good postural habits and doing crunches put our body in poor position for good posture. So we need to progress his core and work it in a different way**
Core Exercises and Progressions
Customer must be able to perform an exercise properly for the entire set before advancing with exercises!
- TA activation - supine draw in
- Supine leg drop series
- Glute series, quadruped series
- Plank holds and progressions (front plank, side plank, side plank hip drops, front plank variations, swiss ball plank, roll-outs)
- Rotational core (cable chops, lifts, medball throws,etc)
- Unstable surface work (exercises performed on kneeling/standing/seated on bosu ball)
**I'm not saying that we can’t do any sit-ups/crunches but we should really be trying to limit how much we are doing**
If you want a "6-pack," change your diet. I can give you as much core info as you can take, but it takes a regimented eating plan, combined with exercise, to get that look