Many people perform sit-ups in an attempt to strengthen the core and, in turn, strengthen and support the lower back. After all, it sounds logical.
But contrary to popular belief, sit-ups may exacerbate or worsen lower back pain by placing undue stress on the lower back as they pull you into a seated position from the waist. It’s asking the lower back to do something it wasn’t designed for.
What to do instead?
Partial crunches. Unlike standard sit-ups, partial crunches can help to strengthen the core and back.
How to do it?
Lie with knees bent and feet flat on the floor or mat. Place your hands behind your neck or cross your arms over your chest (avoid using your arms to pull your neck or head off the floor). Tighten stomach muscles and raise your shoulders off the floor, breathing out as you ascend. Hold for a second before slowly lowering all the way. Repeat 8 to 12 times. To prevent placing undue stress on your low back, keep your feet, tailbone, and lower back in contact with the mat throughout.
If you are experiencing persistent or worsening low back pain, consult a musculoskeletal healthcare professional before performing any exercise! #keepsoaring .