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The secret to a six pack

So you want a six pack, or a nice flat stomach, that’s lean and looking good, then sit up and listen… or maybe not!

Remember those old Rocky movies with Rocky punching meat in the freezer, and downing a raw egg, or running in Converse trainers? How many of you guys have adapted these practices into your workout routines? No! Why not? Rocky did it, right? Well, I guess you would say they are all stupid outdated ideas and that science, training, and dietary methods have moved on.

The funny thing is, there is one exercise that Rocky did - it’s very old fashioned, and people are stuck on doing this exercise even if they have heard that this particular type of exercise can do them long term damage or even immediate damage. It seems that doesn’t matter, they just carry on ignoring all the science and research.

I am talking about the sit up, the full blown sit up and oblique sit up. It’s just like punching meat with no boxing gloves on in a freezer - there are much better things you can do.

When you perform a sit up, you end up putting a lot of force through the spine and the abdomen. Over time, this can cause damage to the invertebral discs which lie between your vertebrae, as well in extreme cases, sit ups have been known to cause internal injuries like hernias.

When performing a sit up, you are actually also using your hip flexor muscles, which attach to the spine and flex the hip. If we perform too many sit ups and the hip flexor becomes tight, this could cause or add to lower back pain as well shut down the glute, which then may cause a whole range of biomechanical problems which may also result in the deep core muscles going into spasm, which means less core stability.

Too many sit ups also mess up your chances of having a good looking butt, as by over working the hip flexors you may also begin to shut down your glute/ butt muscles. Therefore, when you perform squats and glute work with glute muscles which are in spasm and are not functioning properly, you don’t get the desired impact - it all makes no sense.

Also, abs are made in the kitchen! We all have abs and if we want a flat, lean stomach, it’s about consuming the correct diet and lowering our body fat percentage. No amount of sit ups will burn the fat off your stomach.

So ideally you would want to be biomechanically correct before performing any advanced core work, so we know your core is functioning first. If not, then at least mix things up instead of only focusing on the abdominals and oblique muscles which will only cause imbalances.

You may feel like you still want to do something to sculpt those abs, If so, crunches are a much better option, although it still makes no sense to just work these core muscles only!

So if not sit ups then what is a better option? Here are a few alternative core exercises, with links from my upcoming plan: 12 Rounds To A Knockout Body.

Remember, there is a science to looking lean. Just doing an occasional training session with some core work thrown in once in a while will not get you the results you are after.

You need to work with a well-planned strategy and only then will you start to see the results.


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