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The Abdominal Exercise Myths – Part 2 or “What do you mean I stand funny and have a big @SS !” July 18, 2009

Posted by fitmontclair in Abdominal Training, Fat Loss, Fitness in Montclair, Group Exercise, Health & Exercise, Injury Prevention, Women's Health.


I can’t believe how many of you are reading my blog!!!

If you don’t fix your posture and learn CORRECT exercise & nutrition – THIS COULD BE YOU!

Thanks for the support!! Please feel free to leave some comments and questions on the blog page, it will help attract more readers and generate more community awareness & involvement.

I promise to keep writing the truth and telling you what the media and commercial fitness industry don’t want  you to know!

Remember all my info is based on science & medical fact NOT fitness fiction and I can always provide references (peer reviewed science references NOT fitness magazines, which for the most part are best used to line cat litter boxes and start fireplaces).

FIRST I need to put up a disclaimer – This post outlines only 1 approach based on a common postural distortion, THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT types of postural syndromes that can cause a protruding abdomen. This is why EVERY person who decides to engage in an exercise program needs an individualized assessment before they begin the program!!!  If you do the wrong exercises & stretches you can DO MORE HARM THEN GOOD, at best you will have no results. Think of it this way: “Exercise is like a drug, the right one cures, the wrong one can kill!” .

A fitness & exercise program NOT based on a physical assessment of you is like taking a prescription drug without being examined by a doctor first! The only difference is the drug can hurt you immediately and the exercises cause a build up of damage and injuries over time!

One of my all time favorite quotes “The treatment can only be AS GOOD AS THE EXAMINATION!” James Cyriax, M.D.

So to start fixing the mess we call an abdomen we need to look at the main causes of the problem. The first one is posture! Why posture – for the simple reason , we all become our posture. Bad posture = bad movements,which leads to bad exercise form and eventually pain and injury!

“Posture is the beginning and end of all movements” – Dr. Mike Clark , National Academy of Sports Medicine

Probably the most common postural distortion that is associated with a protruding abdomen is the “lower crossed syndrome” characterized by an anterior tilt of the pelvis. This is a syndrome where the lower back & hips get tight and the lower portion of the abdomen and the glutes & hamstrings get weak. This allows the pelvis to tip forward and the stomach to be pushed outward! Think of it this way, “Pelvis” is Latin for “basin” or “bowl” think of the pelvis as the bowl your stomach sits in, if you tilt the bowl forward the stomach falls out!!!  Now you can begin to understand why crunches and sit-ups CAN’T flatten the abdomen and ACTUALLY MAKE THE PROTRUSION OF THE STOMACH FORWARD WORSE – THEY TILT  THE PELVIS FORWARD WHICH PUSHES THE STOMACH OUT FURTHER!!! (This includes all the USELESS Ab & crunch machines in the gym –THEY ARE ALSO A MAJOR SOURCE OF LOW BACK PAIN & INJURY!!)

BRILLIANT Physican – Valdimir Janda, M.D., Dsc.

To learn more about the science behind the lower crossed syndrome & inhibition i.e weakening of muscles click on:

The work of Vladimir Janda, M.D., Dsc.

Back to the FITMONTCLAIR blog:

A “2 for 1 deal” that NOBODY  WANTS!

An anterior (forward) tilt of the pelvis also causes a weakening of the gluteal muscles (i.e. your butt) resulting in a WEAK, SOFT, FLABBY BUTT  that will spread and get larger due to less muscle tone. This process is a valid scientific fact – it is known as “Sherrington’s law of Reciprocal Inhibition (or Sherrington’s 2nd law)” and resulted in a Nobel Prize in medicine for  Sir Charles Scott Sherrington in 1932. Sherrington’s law shows that if a  muscle group is constantly activated, the opposing muscles are inhibited and become weak.

With an anterior tilt / “lower crossed” syndrome, the muscles in the front of the hips get too tight from: sitting all day at work, poor exercise choice, not enough stretching or  proper movement. The hips stay in a state of contraction and due to Sherrington’s law the opposing muscles in the gluteals are inhibited from contracting. The result: A  BIG, SOFT, FLABBY BUTT! This also why SEATED, MACHINE BASED exercises can’t strengthen and tone the muscles in hips and butt – THESE MUSCLES ARE AUTOMATICALLY TURNED OFF WHEN YOU SIT DOWN!!!  (to fix the problem you need upright, i.e standing, three – dimensional exercises)

So you can see that the seated workplace, computers & video games, and modern, seated exercise machines “give you 2 problems: a protruding, distended abdomen AND a big, flabby ass  for 1 dysfunction, the anterior pelvic tilt”

Usually people who are overweight, women who wear high-heels, and pregnant and recently pregnant women have an anterior tilt to the pelvis. i.e if you look / stand like “Donald Duck or Oprah” you probably have an anterior tilt and a lower crossed syndrome. There are tests and measurements that should be done to confirm this and determine the APPROPRIATE exercise prescription.

Notice the anterior pelvic tilt

Big pelvic tilt = BIG BUTT!

The basic concept to correct the problem would be to stretch the muscles that have become short & tight and strengthen the opposing muscles that have become weak and inhibited, thus restoring normal alignment to the hips and pelvis. Restoring normal pelvic alignment and control also helps to prevent and relieve: foot, knee, hip, low back, and neck pain – because the pelvis controls the alignment of all the joints above and below it! In the “Lower Crossed” Syndrome the hip & low back usually are tight and the lower abdomen and glutes & hamstrings are weak. Although not every person has the exact same muscle imbalances and that is why a generic program cannot work and may CAUSE INJURIES!


Click on each link for a short video demo:

Hip Stretch

Low back stretch

Glute Bridge exercise

Lower Abdomen exercise

Remember the above exercises are only examples, they can aggravate existing problems if done wrong, too often or are incorrect for you!

The other important components to fix your posture are: time, gravity and ergonomics. i.e  gravity is always pulling down and forward so you need on average 2-3x MORE extension exercises then flexion. This means TO STOP OVERTRAINING THE MIRROR MUSCLES (WHAT WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK IN THE MIRROR) AND DO MORE FOR THE MUSCLES THE BACKSIDE OF THE BODY!!! This will help pull the body back into an upright alignment. You also need to have proper desk ergonomics and if you wear high heels – DON’T!!! (except on VERY special occasions)

If you do not correct the desk ergonomics, footwear, and daily posture then your exercise program will be useless!!! It goes back to the influence of  time and gravity on the body, in that the longer we are in a posture, we become it!!  40+ hours a week of bad posture i.e hunched over a desk or in front of a computer CANNOT BE FIXED BY 3 – 5 HOURS  A WEEK OF EXERCISE, ESPECIALLY,IF IT IS SEATED, MACHINE BASED EXERCISE !!

To learn about proper desk ergonomics, Read: the book: “Sitting on the Job” – Scott W. Donkin, D.C.

To learn how high heels damage the feet, knees, low back, and neck – Read the book: “Posture Makes Perfect” – Victor Barker, M.D.

Next Up – Part 3 : SAFE & EFFECTIVE alternatives to crunches and sit-ups to use once the posture is corrected!

Thanks for Visiting!


Remember anyone who wants information like this in more detail and LIVE and IN-PERSON My workshops & seminars are free and DELIVER 10 x MORE- GUARANTEED!!


Follow all of the “Abdominal Myths Series”- Just click the links below:

The Abdominal Exercise Myths or “I do 200 crunches a day and I’m still fat, and now my neck hurts?” – Part 1

The Abdominal Exercise Myths – Part 2 or “What do you mean I stand funny and have a big @$S !”

The “Abdominal Myths – Part 3A ” What do you mean ‘The crunch machine’ at the gym is useless and causing my back pain?”

The Abdominal Exercise Myths – 3B “Crunch-FREE Exercises for Rock Hard Abs & a Solid Steel Spine!”

The Abdominal Exercise Myths-Part 4A “You can’t make chicken salad from chicken s#it!” – The role of nutrition in abdominal function

The Abdominal Exercise Myths 4B- ” So what the hell can I eat?? – Tips for fast, effective label reading & shopping!”

The Abdominal Myths 4C- Why Soy is NOT a health food! or “The DANGERS OF SOY and why my SON has BREASTS!!!!”

The Abdominal Myths 4D – The Problem with Pasteurized dairy, food allergies & addictions OR Why we need RAW Dairy in N.J.



1. Joseph Chance Watkins - May 15, 2015

Lol at the Donald Duck. Thanks for the article, it was very interesting; Jesus Christ Bless! 🙂

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