In one simple word – NO.
In fact I will let you into a secret. You may think I randomly chose the ab exercises used in the bootcamps without much evaluation – well if you really know me (and I know most of you do), the exercises are very purposefully selected.
I do 30 minute boot camps because I believe in doing the minimum effort for the maximum gain and my choice of ab exercises are no different.
Let me explain..
When we wire up the abdominals (specifically the rectus abdominus or 6 pack muscle as its known) to an EMG (measures muscle activation) we find that not all ab exercises are created equal.
Here is the percentages of abdominal muscle use against the good old crunches:
- Doubles 248% more muscle activation than the traditional ab crunch
- Hanging Chair 212%
- Reaches 129%
- V Sits 129%
- Reverse Crunch 109% (for those who cannot do the hanging chair)
- Sit Up/Crunches 100%
How about the fact that equipment sold on the internet can be some of the poorest activators (notice the rocker sits in the corner of the gym UNUSED!
Ab Rocker 29% (basically a waste of time)
So how many of the above exercises do you recognize from my bootcamp? Doubles, Reaches, V Sits are our choice of supine ab work..
But we don’t stop there … In addition when we throw in RB resistance (bands) we create further demand from the core as it works aggressively to keep your center of gravity over your base of support (the RB pull alone works the abs 92% compared to the crunch and we are not even targeting them directly!). Add in the planks and you can rest assured the abs have done their work without a single ‘sit up’ in sight.
“Bring it on’” do I hear you say 😉