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Impact of Sit-Ups on the Entire Body


By Ryan Krane



The largest myth in the fitness world is that sit-ups are the best exercise to strengthen your core. Many individuals believe that sit-ups are an affective exercise because they isolate the rectus abdominus or six-pack muscles. For individuals with insufficient core strength a sit-up would not be a desirable exercise because of all the movement at the spine. These people need to begin with core stabilization to strengthen the transverse abdominus, obliques, lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor muscles, diaphragm, and transversospinalis (Clark and Lucett, 2008). When people have weak stabilizing muscles it increases the forces throughout the lumbo-pelvic hip complex that can potentially lead to low back pain and injuries. Therefore, to reduce the amount of injuries associated with performing sit-ups individuals need to start their core training with core stabilization exercises to provide adequate stability throughout the lumbo-pelvic hip complex.


A weak core can cause multiple problems throughout the entire kinetic chain. The core is the body's center of gravity and where all movement begins. A strong core is essential for maintaining optimal muscle balance throughout the entire kinetic chain. The core musculature is divided into two separate categories: the stabilization and movement systems. The stabilization system is responsible for stability of the lumbo-pelvic hip complex and the movement system is responsible for movement of the core (Clark and Lucett, 2008). Both systems work together as an integrated functional unit and when one system is not functioning properly the kinetic chain is altered creating various dysfunctions throughout the upper and lower body. Additionally, when people train the movement system before the stabilization system individuals would be susceptible movement compensations, synergistic dominance, and inefficient movements creating dysfunctions throughout the entire kinetic chain. Therefore, individuals need to strengthen their core properly by beginning with core stabilization to avoid dysfunctions throughout the upper and lower body.


Clark and Lucett 2008. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.



Ryan Krane is a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and one of the leading fitness consultants specializing in corrective exercises in the Los Angeles region. He is helping clients become healthier and pain free with his brand of corrective exercise called The Krane Training Method, which combines flexibility, posture and strength training movements to help clients remedy chronic ailments such as back pain, shoulder pain and other common body aches.


Ryan Krane
Ryan Krane, INC.
Corrective Exercise Specialist