full article here Tensing, Bracing, and Stiffening: The Core Contraction Continuum
The abs are one of the more highly researched, studied, obsessed over areas of the body in the fitness industry. Everyone wants to get the chiseled and cut six pack, have the core strength to heave massive weight without ripping a disc, and they’ll do almost anything to get there. Info-mercial hock the latest ab blasting machine that has science-y sounding terminology behind it and fancy animated graphics to show you how much more awesome their device is than the black-and-white “terrible life” segments that seem to be in every info-mercial.
Our culture is obsessed with abs on a superficial level. How else do you explain someone like The Situation having his own workout DVD? Not to be outdone, a quick look through any book store will show you a few DOZEN books, DVDs and small products to help you get the waist of your dreams, not to mention all the diet books that have the word “Abs” in their title.
As a result, you’ll find a lot of people who go hours on end doing ab-centric training like crunches, side crunches, hanging crunches, bent over crunches, crunch crunches, Captain Crunches, and any other version that I didn’t mention of crunches, is the quest to have sick abz for teh ladiez.