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Sit up or Crunch

Posted Feb 08 2010 12:00am
Back in the day, when we were in grade school, sit-ups were the norm.

Some time between high school and college something changed. Suddenly sit-up were deemed to be not as effective, crunches were all we needed to maintain hard tight abs. Then the Pilates and Yoga movement resurfaced and it wasn't even about crunches any longer- rock-hard abs were all about holding the pose.

 In Yoga- the plank , the mountain til t, the triangle pose . In Pilates- The Hundred , The Roll-Up , Rolling Like a Ball , The Teaser , Crisscrosses . Then there's Kickboxing with it's standing side bends and Capoeira and you never have to do another repetitive ab work-out again.  

I re-joined California Family Fitness last month. When you sign up, you automatically get three free sessions with a Personal Trainer. I decided to use my PT appointments not necessarily because I needed the help but they were offering a free gift and I am nothing if not a sucker for a free gift.

So I met with Bob- very nice man. A little older, almost paternal. He ran through his required questions. Looked at me askance when I told him I didn't want to know my measurements.

Part of the questionnaire was a series of physical tests. How long you can sit parallel against a wall (2 minutes), how many push-ups you can do in a minute (10), your fit number on the treadmill (20),and how many full-blown sit-ups in a minute (10), 10 standing squats with your arms in the air. My immediate take-away- Geez am I out of shape. Even with all the work I've done in the past month. Plus he informed me I had really weak back muscles. That was a huge surprise.

But the next day, oh, the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that, my abs were so sore I swear I could feel each individual muscles running from my groin all the way up the front of my body. Despite the fact I've done abs every single day this month!

So crunches and planks and might be all that but there is nothing wrong with a good old  fashioned sit-up once in awhile.
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