Whether a popular opinion or not, not many trainers support the idea of doing crunches for ab training. But why are so many experts against crunches?
Here are 9 reasons why you should reconsider doing crunches:
1. They can be dangerous.
Sure, if you do them with proper form crunches can be harmless. But most people are not doing them right.
Doing crunches in both a safe and effective manner require a good deal of body awareness and anatomical knowledge.
It’s far too easy to pull a muscle, slip some disc in your spine, or create more subtle (but unpleasant) problems that won’t show up immediately.
2. They wreak havoc on your spine.
Many instructors will tell you to “flatten” your spine to the floor when doing crunches. This makes sense to some degree because it protects you from major injury.
But unfortunately, it also trains your body to stay in that flattened position. The spine has curves for a reason. Any real core training will take into account those curves and find ways to support the spine without having to compromise the natural integrity of its form.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who don’t flatten their spine, but also don’t understand the transverse abdominus and its role in maintaining a neutral spine.
These people will often release the spine too much (over extending the curve of the lower back) which results in major issues (and points right back to reason #1).