Why crunches are not the answer
Fitness enthusiasts invented crunches in the 70s and 80s as an attempt to strengthen the abdominal muscles. The theory was that when you shorten a muscle (pulling your lower and upper portions of the abdominals together), you strengthen the muscle. Other similar exercises were also invented in an
attempt to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
The problem with this theory is that the abdominal muscles are unlike any other muscle in the body. Connective tissue runs down the center of the abdominal wall, and connective tissue responds quite differently than muscle. Instead of tightening when the muscle flexes, the connective tissue stretches and
eventually bulges, damaging the core and leading to back pain, muscle imbalance, and internal organ issues.
Traditional core exercises (such as crunches and sit-ups) and their repetition are not part of the body’s normal function. Our bodies were designed to spend most of their time in upright positions – standing, walking, and being active – with our entire core and back engaged and stable. In order to work the recti
from the middle, we need to work the transverse muscle, but not with traditional ab exercises. The Tummy Team begins with daily functional core strength activities and then we transition you into tummy-safe fitness where every exercise you do will reinforce and increase your core strength.
The Connective Tissue Issue:
• Every time we do a crunch, we put forward, forceful pressure on the linea alba (the connective tissue that connects the sides of our abdominals).
• The stress that the crunch puts on the muscle causes the top and bottom portions of the muscle to shorten, but the middle portion to separate, or bulge.
• At first, it creates micro-tears in the connective tissue, but over time and with increasing intensity and strain, crunches can create the separation known as diastasis recti.