A few weeks ago we posted a blog singing the praises of the loaded carry. Welp, there’s a pretty core benefit that we neglected to mention, which is building core strength WITHOUT needing to do flexion based core work.
Why is this important? Everyone and their mom knows that core strength is vital, BUT the common wisdom is that core strength should be built by doing a million crunches, windshield wipers, GHD sit-ups etc. So what are the problems with this approach?
- When we sit all day, the hip flexors are shortened. We are tightening them even more when we do excessive flexion based core work. Also worth noting, if you sleep in the fetal position you’re shortening that muscle group even further.
- Your core is not just your abs (anterior), but also posterior chain as well! If you only focus on a muscle group on one side of the body, you create imbalance very quickly. Short, tight hip flexors create anterior pelvic tilt, which puts pressure on the lumbar spine and exacerbates forward head posture as well.
- There aren’t many scenarios in everyday life I can think of that required flexion based muscle endurance of the core, but I can think of lots that require isometric stabilization across multiple planes of motion.
- For those who think they’re ale to spot reduce belly fat by doing sit-ups, that’s not how our bodies work, you can’t spot reduce fat by using specific exercises. In fact you’ll probably end up creating the opposite aesthetic of what you’re after, by building muscle mass underneath fat deposits that only exaggerates them more.
So drop the situps and pick-up the carries!