While doing my research for my book, Sit-Ups Are Stupid & Crunches Are Crap, I was blown away at how important it is for people to get a flat stomach, and not just for looks! The New England Journal of Medicine published a study of 360,000 Europeans in November 2008 stating that people with the most belly fat have twice the risk of premature death! Other than drinking and smoking, belly size is the largest indicator or premature death. Additional studies reveal that belly size is the leading predictor of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Large bellies also raise the risk of dementia by three times.
Given these factors, and my experience with core imbalance’s contribution to back pain, I decided to help individuals safely flatten their stomachs and balance their cores. Myth 1 of my Six Myths on Getting A Six Pack in 3 Weeks To A Better Back is "Strong Abs Mean A Strong Back."The key to a strong back is balanced abdominal muscles, which means working your core equally with other muscles in your body. As I discussed in Balance Your Core And Reduce Back Pain, core imbalance is the condition of excessive compression, resulting in the spine curving forward. It can also be self-imposed on your quest for six-pack abs by doing crunches or other improper core training.
After showing and convincing my patients that sit-ups and crunches are harmful, I got the idea to write Sit-Ups Are Stupid & Crunches Are Crap. In fact, sit-ups and crunches cause your back to hunch over, resulting in back pain. What you really want to do is practice exercises that strengthen your core while still opening your spine. Shocked, my patients would always ask, “then how do I work on my abs?”
Tips For Losing Your Gut And Balancing Your Core
Doing the right core exercises will help you lose your gut and strengthen and balance your core. Integrating the correct exercises in moderation, including the Backbridge extension, will not only help you fight core imbalance, but also will help you get a firm and fit stomach. A few exercises can be found in Exercises To Balance Your Core And Reduce Back Pain, and a full set of intermediate and advanced exercises can be found in 3 Weeks to A Better Back and Sit-Ups Are Stupid & Crunches Are Crap.
Approximately 42% of people in the US are considered obese, and 2/3 are considered overweight. The solution to making a change is not only doing the right abdominal exercises. The solution lies in making small, consistent changes in your life by increasing your aerobic exercising, reducing your portion sizes, and making healthier food and drink choices. Studies show that if you lose your gut and balance your core, you’ll be less likely to have back pain and may earn more money, get a job more easily, and have more sex!