A pelvic floor physical therapist has spoken out about the one exercise in your ab routine that could be hurting your sex life: crunches.
According to Dr. Karla Wente, who works at DPT Sport in Illinois, crunches could strain your pelvic floor and also cause pain during sex for women. She spoke to Marie Claire US about why she never prescribes crunches for her patients.
"Too much strength in these muscles can make penetration more difficult and, in some cases, painful."
'But how does this work?', you might ask. Apparently women who have strong pelvic floors and do crunches can risk over-building the area, making penetration more difficult.
Dr Wente added that she doesn't want women to abandon ab exercises altogether.
"Of course I want to promote physical activity and movement," she says, "but as a physical therapist we are in the business of optimising movement."
Instead, she suggests working on the deep transverse abdominis by doing planks. It also cinches your waist because you are working on the deeper muscles in the area.