Sit ups produce poor posture, injure the spine and weaken the core
By: Robert Linkul, Strength & Fitness Director
I have this talk with at least one client per week inquiring why we don’t perform sit ups in our semi-private group training classes. I answer their question with this statement: Sit ups do strengthen the abdominal muscles however; performing the sit up movement tightens the abdominal muscles and pulls the sternum (chest) down toward the pelvis. This produces a “hunchback” posture. As more sit ups are performed the “hunchback” posture gets worse. As the abdominals get tighter so does the muscles in the neck which, over time, produces a “forward head” tilt.
The “hunchback” and “forward head” posture produces massive pressure on the lumbar spine (lower back). As more sit ups are performed the anterior end of the vertebra in the lumbar spine are pushed closer together slowly forcing the disc between the vertebra in the other direction. This, over time, causes a herniated and/or ruptured disc. As all of these poor posture positions are repeated the abdominal wall (abdominal muscles all the way around the torso of the body) become drastically over and under developed creating a very unstable core. To read more, check out our Blog!
Long story short, you are damaging yourself performing sit ups. The best way to increase your core’s strength is with perfect posture while performing weight lifting exercises or isometric exercises such as planks and wall sits. If you would like more information regarding this topic or if you are interested in working with an Arden Hills personal trainer please contact Arden Hills’ Strength & Fitness Director to schedule a personal training at Rlinkul@ardenhills.net.