Why We Plank…

Why We Plank…

Crunches and sit-ups are quickly becoming obsolete. More and more fitness coaches advise against them and exclude them from their exercise programs. You certainly won’t ever encounter them at Evolution Fitness. Why? Because they are terrible for your back. Over time, repeated exposure to sit-ups and crunches could lead to bulging or herniated discs, compressed vertebrae and nerve damage. The benefit to your abs is pretty much cancelled out by the damage to your spine.

Check out the picture to the right of Evolution Fitness co-owner Brian Kane in a crunch position when it’s flipped on its side. Looks like he is a person with terrible posture right? It makes you wonder why we ever thought sit-ups were a good idea. It certainly doesn’t seem like a terribly smart idea to force your body and spine into that position of flexion over and over and over.

The ab muscles are part of a larger group of muscles called the core, which includes all the muscles from our chest to our hips. The core’s purpose is to keep the body stable and in alignment, especially our spine. The purpose of our core is to prevent damaging flexion, not produce it.

Enter The Plank.

The plank is a wonderful core stabilizing and strengthening exercise that engages all the core muscles, including the abs. It is also safe for the back.   Once you’ve mastered the basic move, you can increase difficulty by adding instability, such as an exercise ball or TRX.

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