Stop doing sit-ups!

Let’s take a moment to talk about different reasons for wanting to include sit-ups in our training, and some cool alternatives!

Reason 1: “I want to lose my belly fat”

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to spot reduce fat in any one specific area of the body. In fact, if you do a ton of sit-ups and get a serious pump in your abs, it will actually distend the abdomen (and whatever visceral fat is on top of it), even further. The best way to lose stubborn belly fat (besides changiing diet), is to work the largest muscles in the body, that require the most calories to repair themselves, IE quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Working these muscles has the additional benefit of releasing more testosterone into the body and helping us burn fat more efficiently. Win-Win!

Reason 2: “I have back pain and I need to train my core to support my spine”

While this CAN be true for some people, for most people it’s an even worse idea. Here’s why; if you are seated for long periods of time, your hip flexors can actually shorten. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are weak, just that they are tight. Now if I had a ton of reps on an already tight muscle, it tightens even further. This can lead to (more) anterior pelvic tilt (AKA duck butt), which puts the spine in an even more extended position, and results in MORE back pain. Check out the video below at 2:00 and at 4:00 to see these two easy tests you can do to determine if the hip flexors are tight, or weak.

Reason 3: “I need to train my core for ____”

While sit-ups and other repetition based flexion exercises like toes to bar, GHD sit-ups etc can have their place in a good training program, there are a lot of other much more functional and useful ways to train the core.  For starters, the most basic being simply picking something heavy up and carrying it. This becomes even more challenging when we shift the load to one side of the body (unilateral). Being able to resist rotation is one of the MOST functional pieces of core training we can do for sport and life in general. The better your anti-rotational core strength is, the lower your chances of injury become.

The deadlift, squat, lunge etc are all excellent ways to develop a strong core, but you want to be careful with doing a ton of squats if your hip flexors are already wound up really tight, since squats work the hip flexors too. You can add a unilateral component to these (and many other movements) as well, for even more benefit IE Single Arm Dumbbell Front Squat. You can also play with this idea by doing planks with one arm raised, or one leg raised etc. Lots of fun ideas!

These variations might not give you sore abs where it hurts to laugh the next day, but rest assured they are still making you stronger and better, and if done correctly won’t make your tight hips tighter, your back hurt more, or your stomach stick out 🙂

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Matt Markiewicz


Matt began his journey into fitness playing football and rugby in high school. He truly fell in love with health and wellness after losing 150lbs and becoming a lifelong learner in all things movement. He pursued this love by going on to get his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Matt has experience in bodybuilding, powerlifting, athletic performance training, and yoga. He has also worked as a rehab technician in a Physical Therapy Clinic.Matt is excited to share his passion for living a healthy life and fitness with the CrossFit Rep community.


B.S. Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park (2016)
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
ACE Certified Health Coach
Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Functional Range Assessment (FRA)
200HR Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200)
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Ross Coskrey

Head Coach

Ross found CrossFit in 2017. After lifelong sports background, CrossFit was the perfect way to fill the competitive void that had been left in his life, and to feel like an athlete again!

Ross has been competing in CrossFit athlete the past few years but after an injury, he now finds himself enjoying just being active and building lifelong friendships through the fantastic community that CrossFit creates, epseically at REP!

Ross earned his Kinesiology degree from Texas State University and has been personal training and coaching for the last 7 years.

Jake Hill

Owner & Coach

Jake found CrossFit in Philadelphia in 2012, and immediately fell in love. He quickly began his internship at CrossFit Love, one of Philadelphia’s most esteemed gyms, and has been coaching for over 5 years now. He has a thirst for knowledge and truth that continues to drive the culture at REP.

Jake is Breakdancer of 15 years (also a Breakdance instructor), and has extensive gymnastics knowledge Jake believes that helping people improve their fitness and quality of life is his life’s work, and is thrilled to be doing so back in his hometown of Austin TX.


Box Programming General Manager
Box Programming Certified Coach
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
USAW Sports Performance
USAW Advanced Sports Performance
OPEX Assessment, Program Design, Nutrition, Lifestyle Coaching
CPR/AED Certified
StrongFit seminar – Julien Pineau
Freestyle Connection – Carl Paoli
Diploma Culinary Arts – Art Institute
B.A. Communications – Temple University


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