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Crunches: are they Bad?

What puts more pressure on the pelvic floor - an Abdominal Crunch or Standing up from a chair?

Did you know that an abdominal crunch, lifting a new born child above your head, climbing stairs and walking on a treadmill (4-5km per hr.) are all less pressure on the pelvic floor than simply standing up from a chair?

And how many new mothers have been told NOT to do crunches or avoid excessive lifting of their toddler/child because of pelvic floor issues, but continue to go from sitting to standing at home….

First, let's decide what makes an exercise “riskier” for the pelvic floor or puts undue pressure on a fragile postnatal core. The table below shows the different pressure transmissions in the pelvis and in the abdomen during different exercises. The lower the pressure values, the less "risky" the exercise is to the pelvic floor or abdominals.

Exercise Intra-vaginal Pressure Intra-Abdominal Pressure

Lying down at rest 5 -

Lying down on your back &

doing weights 10 -

Crunches - breathing 12 68

Crunches – holding

breath 24 68

Standing at rest 24 39

Sitting at rest 25 -

Stair climbing - 70

Walking 26 76

Stand from chair - 79

Supine low bicycle 32 -