We are trained to believe that “I need to strengthen my core!” is synonymous with “I must do sit ups!” Sorry to break it to you, this is NOT TRUE!

Sit ups may be helpful for some things, such as strengthening your Rectus Abdominus (aka your “Six Pack Muscle”) or helping you break a sweat during your workout. However, if you have low back pain, the sit up may not be for you.


  1. That “Six Pack Muscle” is NOT your primary spinal stabilizer.
  2. Our best spine stabilizers perform actions that RESIST motion, such as a plank, versus CREATE motion, such as a sit up.
  3. Halfway through the sit up action, your hip flexors kick in. One specific hip flexor, the Iliopsoas may already be tense or dominant over your abdominals if you have low back pain. Working out your hip flexor muscle through sit ups can add more stress to your back instead of relieving stress.
  4. Like to stabilize your feet during the sit up? This actually increases your hip flexor activation even more!
  5. The sit up can add more pressure to your low back overall.

What We Recommend Instead?

Bird Dogs

Pallof Press


Or Crunches if you still want to work on that Six Pack!

Connect with us if you have any questions.