Why Doing Crunches or Sit-Ups Can Give You an Abdominal Pouch
According to Muscle and Fitness Magazine, if you want a lean, flat belly, the absolute worst thing you can do is force yourself to do sit-ups and crunches! Reason: Although sit-ups and crunches strengthen the rectus abdominus muscle, they also lengthen the transverse abdominus (girdle)muscles, causing your lower abdominals to pouch.
But that’s not all. Crunches and sit-ups can push your head out of alignment and cause tension in your shoulders. They can also damage your spine. Practice chin retractions and navel pulls each day. This will stretch the posterior neck musculature and work the transverse abdominus. This will help stabilize and decompress the spine. Try to hold each one for 5 seconds and do 15 repetitions twice a day.