Bye Bye Orlando…and why I avoid sit-ups/crunches

Ok, so the weather gods thought they would be funny after I compared Ottawa to Florida….and had me wake up to this Tuesday morning:

This is WITHOUT the windchill

But then I woke up this this, this morning…

…and suddenly I miss yesterday’s weather! LOL

Ok, totally random…whenever I watch this video, I crack up.

And I’ll admit, I dance a little in my chair (ok, a lot). How can you not?? LOL

Tempo Tuesday was yesterday – WOOHOO!! (Almost as good as Taco Tuesday…ok, maybe not…mmmmm, Tacos!)

Seriously, it is becoming a confidence booster for me. It’s always done at race pace (7:15 min/mile or 4:30 min/km) and while I’m still only at 3 miles, my heart rate is totally behaving itself. Next week it gets bumped up to 4 miles. Eeeeee!

I followed it up with one of my favorite plank combos which I know I have blogged about before. The way it works is…

1 minute Centre Plank

Then, without dropping your hips/knees, move into a side plank x 1 minute

Back to a centre plank (again without dropping hips or knees to ground)

And then move to the other side for a 1 minute plank

And finish off with one more centre plan x 1 minute (Total plank time: 5 minutes)

You might have noticed (or not) that I never do sit-ups/crunches – and maybe you’re wondering why (or not…more likely the answer). The reason for that is that the research out there is suggesting:

a) they’re not the most efficient way to strengthen abs and

b) they can actually be harmful to the spine – they reinforce poor posture and, through the spinal flexion (the movement that occurs during a crunch/sit-up), they can place too much pressure on the spine resulting in disc problems over time.

Doing 300 crunches a day will likely help strengthen our abs, but at what risk to our spine? AND, if we are doing them for the “washboard abs”, let’s remember that we can’t reduce body fat in specific areas with an exercise. Sooooo let’s stop putting in (I would go as far as to say wasting) so much time into ab exercises. Ok, it needed to be addressed but I shuddered writing that because, if you know me at all, I am SO NOT about weight loss, body fat loss, etc. I am about loving the body you have and wanting to take care of it – no matter what size or shape you are.

The point of all this is that, for me, I feel crunches might very well be harmful and there are much more efficient ways to strengthen my abs (taking only a couple of minutes per workout), starting with the basic plank. AND, although washboard abs will meet society’s expectations, my ultimate goal for doing my core work is to build a stronger mid-section which will result in more efficient arm and leg movement…kind of important in running…and every day life! 🙂

As I worked on this post last night, this was happening…

and…SQUIRREL!

Ok, to end on a ridiculous note (if Abby isn’t ridiculous enough)…I saw this last night on the news…

This guy was caught trying to smuggle 94 iPhones (!!!), strapped to his body, while going from Hong Kong to mainland China. They caught him when he was going through the metal detector (and walking like he had a suit of armor on!)…SHOCKING. LOL.

Happy Wednesday!!

12 thoughts on “Bye Bye Orlando…and why I avoid sit-ups/crunches

  1. Tom Leddy

    Totally agree about the ab exercises. I’ve always thought that sit-ups and crunches were bad for your back even when we had to do them all the way back in grade school P.E. LOL! That’s a cool plank combo – I’ll have to give that a try!

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  2. irtfyblog

    Hahaha…the weather really can’t stay this cold forever and it stinks how we’re being played by mother nature with one day being warm and the next being subzero.

    Also, crunches aren’t as bad as situps if you do them with the correct posture, but no one ever does. However, planks are better for your back and core no matter what. Looking good!!

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  3. Kristin

    Hey!! Great post! I absolutely love doing planks and agree with you about the crunches!! You look amazing while working out!! Love it!! Such strong, beautiful pics!! Great job on your workouts!! You’re rockin’ it!! XOXO

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