Are your sit-ups and crunches actually doing you more harm than good? These exercises might put too much resistance directly on the lumbar spine. The result is excessive compressive force that could lead to back injuries (1-2). But sports scientists have identified numerous safe and effective alternatives to common abdominal exercises that tighten and tone without harming the back.
As far as workouts are concerned, it’s better to train your entire core rather than just your rectus abdominis, or your “six-pack.” Your core area includes exterior and deep interior muscles that wrap around your sides and travel up and down your back. These muscles not only help you look good, but help keep your posture upright and injury-free.