In the Spring of 2009 I did a study with my High School Classes. Although we didn't follow an exact testing criteria, the outcome made my point. For years now I have been educating and advocating that stable core(Bridge Variations, Carry Variations, etc.) and anit-rotary training is a better approach than flexing, extending and rotating to train the core. McGill, Sahrmann and many others in the industry have published a wealth of information supporting proper movement and strength training. With all this said, sometimes it's impossible to convince a High School Student or should I say, "Meat Head" about proper exercise selection.
So back in the Spring of 2009 I did a study with 2 of my classes. To preface things, I haven't programed any crunches or had my students or clients perform any sit up tests in, I don't know how many years. However, I needed a baseline. So I had each class perform a 60 second sit up test. We recorded the number of sit ups each student performed in 60 seconds. Over the next 30 days, One class was instructed to to follow my exercise prescription as designed in my program. All variations of stable core training of course. The other class was instructed to perform whatever core exercises that they could come up with. You can only imagine. I had to sensor a few. I meet with my kids every day, so we had a total of 12 training sessions that month. At the end of the 30 days we performed that 60 second sit up test again. We compared pre scores with post scores on the sit up test. Guess which group performed better? You got it. The stable core training class out performed the flexion group. Point Made. Or did I?
As a follow up to this month long class experiment. I talked extensively with my classes about proper exercise selection and muscle function. How do the muscles truly work and how can we progress them in a safe and effective manner to assist and enhance performance. More is definitely not better. But natural human movement has to be implemented to continue down the progressive exercise continuum.
At MVP Performance Training, 906 NE 11th Street , here in McMinnville, OR we pride ourselves in providing our clients with the most up to date, research based information. ensuring that they attain thier fitness and performance goals.