Menu

Refactual

We publish EVERYTHING sent to publish@refactual.com

Want a stronger core? Skip the sit-ups

Planks are the gold standard for working your core, while classic sit-ups and crunches have fallen out of favor. Why the shift?

Focus on Fitness
ISSUE #1 OF 7 IN AN E-MAIL SERIES
Harvard Medical School

Want a stronger core? Skip the sit-ups

Sit-ups once ruled as the way to get tighter abs and a slimmer waistline, while “planks” were merely flooring. Now planks — exercises in which you assume a position and hold it — are the gold standard for working your core, while classic sit-ups and crunches have fallen out of favor. Why the shift?

One reason is that sit-ups are hard on your back — they push your curved spine against the floor. Sit-ups also work your hip flexors, the muscles that run from the thighs to the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back. When hip flexors are too strong or too tight, they tug on the lower spine which can be a source of lower back discomfort.

Core Exercises

Want to bring more power to athletic pursuits? Build up your balance and stability? Or are you simply hoping to make everyday acts like bending, turning, and reaching easier? A strong, flexible core underpins all these goals. Core muscles need to be strong, yet flexible, and core fitness should be part of every exercise program.

Read More

Second, planks recruit a better balance of muscles on the front, sides, and back of the body during exercise than sit-ups, which target just a few muscles. Remember, your core goes far beyond your abdominal muscles.

Finally, activities of daily living, as well as sports and recreational activities, call on your muscles to work together, not in isolation. Sit-ups or crunches strengthen just a few muscle groups. Through dynamic patterns of movement, a good core workout helps strengthen the entire set of core muscles — the muscles you rely on for daily activities as well as for sports and recreational activities.

For more on the benefits of strengthening your core, buy Core Exercises, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Share this story:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Featured in this issue

Product Page - Core Exercises Read More

Core Exercises

Featured content:

The importance of your core
Safety first
Posture, alignment, and angles: Striking the right pose
Getting started
Special Bonus Section: Setting goals and motivating yourself
•  … and more!

Click here to read more »

Harvard Medical School offers special reports on over 60 health topics.
Visit our website at http://www.health.harvard.edu to find reports of interest to you and your family.

PHONE ORDERS – please call our toll-free number: 1-877-6499457.


You are currently subscribed to Focus On as publish@refactual.com.

UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS FOCUS ON SERIES
SUBSCRIBE TO OTHER FOCUS ON SERIES
VIEW ARTICLE ARCHIVES

Visit our website at: www.health.harvard.edu
Email us at: healthbeat@health.harvard.edu

FOLLOW US ON:  Facebook Twitter

Copyright © 2018 by Harvard University.
Harvard Health Publishing, 4 Blackfan Circle, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02115, USA

* Please note, we do not provide responses to personal medical concerns, nor can we supply related medical information other than what is available in our print products or website. For specific, personalized medical advice we encourage you to contact your physician.

 

Comments

Hello my family member! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and come with
almost all important infos. I would like to look extra posts like
this .

Leave a Reply