I read some of the most DISTURBING information the other day. Could my crunches and sit ups really be making my tummy protrude? Could I have been sabotaging myself AND torturing myself at the same time? It seems so.
Now, I know that the transversus abdominis muscles are the ones that hold in your torso and stabilize your spine. They pull in your middle like a corset and support your back! I even posted about them in Lose your belly.
Now, what I DIDN'T know is that the muscles you're working when you do crunches or the classic sit up - the rectus abdominis and the external obliques - share a similarity to your muscles in your arms, legs, or back - namely, they're all made of muscle fibers that sit near the surface. And just as countless biceps curls will result in larger biceps, countless sit ups will result in larger, not smaller, abs. Then, if you happen to have a large layer of fat on top of those outer muscles, the muscle will push the flab forward. YIKES!
I read this in Look Better Naked and when I read it, it was like a light bulb went off. No wonder some super thin and fit women have the muscle pooch!
So, work the transverse muscles and leave the crunches for the six pack abs once you've lost the fat!