This is a very controversial subject about crunches, so we’ll try to be quick without stirring the pot too much. Ab crunches can give you back pain and the six-pack that you want, so it all comes down to whether the pain is worth it. Especially when you could do other workout moves to achieve the same results without the pain or harsh long-term effects. I know with this post, some trainers are going to shake their heads and feel like writing death threats to our office, but at the same time I’m sure many more trainers will stand up and give a standing ovation.

The Damage of Doing Crunches

By repeatedly doing crunches, you round your spine in a way that could cause a herniated disc. The reason why crutches are effective is because they activate your abdominal muscles, which excites everybody who wants to have a six-pack.

The Alternative to Crunches

In reality you can also work out your internal and external obliques along with your inner abdominal muscles by doing something like planks. By doing planks or side planks for 30 seconds to 60 seconds, you can be achieving great results for your abdominal muscles and obliques without having to worry about the risk of back injury or back pain the way that you would when doing crunches.

Why Planks Are Better Than Crunches

Ironically enough, while crunches is an abdominal exercise that can give you back pain – planks is actually something that can help build muscular endurance in your lower back to prevent back pain. For quite some time, crunches have been adored because they are simple enough to not screw up and you can do them anywhere. When you really think about it, though – the same can be said about planks. If you’re able to get better results while reducing the risk of injury, it should be a no-brainer for you.

The Takeaway

We very highly recommend getting on the floor to do planks rather than doing crunches. Lie on your side with your knees together and straight, then raise your upper body onto your forearm and brace your core. You can brace your core by contracting your abdominal muscles as you hold this position for 30 seconds which would be a success. From there, flip over and repeat the same on the other side to complete one full set. Eventually you can evolve from this exercise by making your feet elevated onto a bench or stability ball.