sit-ups vs. crunches

Ceicei

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I can remember many years ago sit-ups was the way to go in sports and exercising. Now it seems that crunches have replaced sit-ups entirely.

It looks like people don't do sit-ups any more. What is so bad or harmful with sit-ups? Why is it better to do crunches? Is it ok to still do slow sit-ups along with crunches? Don't sit-ups use more of (and also stretch) the back and ab muscles?

Thank you.

- Ceicei
 

MJS

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Once you go past half way, you're using more of the back muscles than the ab muscles. Going no more than half way is going to focus more on the ab area. There are other exercises out there that will focus on the lower back area.

As for people not doing them anymore...Police agility tests still use the full sit up method. These are not done slowly, but rather quick as it is a timed event.

Mike
 

Zepp

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I hate crunches. They make me feel so spastic while doing them.

I believe they've become more popular than sit-ups because too many people have hurt their neck or back from doing sit-ups improperly, and because it's easier to do more reps of crunches (giving people a greater feeling of accomplishment). Other than that, I can't understand why anyone prefers crunches.

Some advice to anyone who can use it: Don't have anything or anyone holding your feet when doing sit-ups, and don't do them with your hands behind your neck or head.
 

MJS

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Zepp said:
I believe they've become more popular than sit-ups because too many people have hurt their neck or back from doing sit-ups improperly, and because it's easier to do more reps of crunches (giving people a greater feeling of accomplishment).

The old saying "Quality over Quantity" comes to mind here. I've seen people blast through set after set of crunches, but when you stop and think about it, how much focus is actually going into working the abs? Going at a slower pace will IMO give the abs a much better workout.

Mike
 

arnisador

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I've switched to crunches, but I'm not sure it was an educated decision, to be frank. Everyone was recommending them, and I just jad no strong feelings either way!
 

arnisador

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MJS said:
The old saying "Quality over Quantity" comes to mind here. I've seen people blast through set after set of crunches, but when you stop and think about it, how much focus is actually going into working the abs? Going at a slower pace will IMO give the abs a much better workout.
Wow, this is me. I keep telling myself to slow down, but I don't enjoy them and find myself speeding up if I'm not very careful.
 

MJS

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arnisador said:
Wow, this is me. I keep telling myself to slow down, but I don't enjoy them and find myself speeding up if I'm not very careful.

I have to agree, as it seems that crunches are probably one of the most hated exercises. It is hard to go slow and I'm guilty of speeding up also. I just have to keep saying over and over again...ssssssssllllllllllooooooooowwww!!!!! :ultracool

Mike
 

Bammx2

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when doing sit-ups,you only use a small portion of the ab muscle.

After going past the the "quarter way" mark,you start pulling with the hip-flexors and start pulling and straining the thoracolumbar facia which causes b problems in the lower back
Leg raises....same thing.Bad for the back.

Crunches isolate the abs only and pull nothing else.
Normal crucnches,reverse crunches and oblique crunches cover the entire mid section.
Oh yea...hyper extension too.
If people want to do crunches fast.....
do it for 60 seconds and keep constant tension on the abs.Don't go down beyond mid shoulder blade.Crank as fast as you can as long as you can!
If you wanna add a little extra....roll up a bath towel and put it your lower back area(cross ways!).The idea is to stretch your abs when in the down pisition.Adjust the towel as needed.

p.s....
sit ups just suck!
 

Shirt Ripper

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As Bammx2 said the crunch is sort of an isolation exercise. Which is absurd when you think of the practical/meaningful purpose for training the "trunk" of the body. Now if your purpose is to have nice looking abs then, by all means, pump them with crunches and your purpose will likely be met (not your best bet though). But if you would like strong abs and an overall stabile and powerfull "mid-section" then train in an athletic manner. This likely holds true to most practicing in the martial arts. The sit-up as a basic exercise is valuable simply because (as noted above) it employs more than the rectus abdominus. It trains the body in somewhat of a system approach, like overhead pressing, squatting, and pretty much all forms of striking. Also noted, there are many more effective means of training the truck of the body for strength and even "good looks."
 

Shirt Ripper

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"Crunches isolate the abs only and pull nothing else."

I had meant to reference this statement within my post. I actually am not to sure of what Bam said other than that. If the rest of it disagreed with what I said than well...whatever...that statement sums up in a vague sense my feelings on the topic. Being that crunches work (basically) one thing...the body is a system of things and should be trained as such for the most part.
 
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