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What are crunches?

Elvis Elvis

Crunches is arguably the most well known of all ab exercises.

The technique is very straight forward, and the exercise yields excellent results. Better yet, it can be done almost anywhere that you can lie down.

Sounds like the perfect ab exercise, right? Well, it could be, but many people use incorrect technique when performing the exercise. This yields less than optimal performance and results.

Perhaps you’ve tried to perform crunches, and after a while, you decided that they didn’t work, so you gave them up. If this is so, then you most likely were using incorrect form.

That’s OK, because I’m about to teach you how to do the exercise the right way, so you can get the best results possible!

The correct way to perform crunches:

In order to effectively perform this exercise, you’ll need something which you can comfortably lie on.You can lie on a bench, or you can place a mat or towel on the floor, whichever works best for you.

What are crunches?

Once you have your “equipment”, you’re ready to go…

  • Step 1- Lay flat on your back, then pick your knees up so that they’re perpendicular to the floor, as shown in the illustration.
  • Step 2- Cross your arms over your chest, or place them behind your head for support. I prefer crossing my arms over my chest because it keeps me from cheating.
  • Step 3- Slowly begin to raise your upper torso off the floor, while keeping your lower back flat on the floor. Exhale naturally as you rise up. This is the top of the motion. Hold this position for a second.
  • Step 4- Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position, inhaling naturally. DO NOT release the tension from your abs!
  • Step 5- You’ve just completed 1 rep. Repeat steps 1-4 for the desired number of repetitions.

Some things to keep in mind:

I feel that there are some extraspecial points which I need to illustrate to ensure that you effectively perform crunches.

  • If you’re using the “hands behind head” method, then don’t use your hands to pull your head up. This only places strain on your neck.
  • Keep your lower back on the floor. Trying to lift your entire torso is often the most common error.
  • At the top of the motion, squeeze your abs tightly to ensure a full contraction. This will keep your abs involved throughout the entire motion.

As your abs become stronger, you’ll want to make your crunches more difficult.

To increase the difficulty of the exercise hold a small dumbbell or weight plate on your chest while crunching. Just BE CAREFUL!!

Conclusion

Alright, my friend, that covers abdominal crunches.

You now know how to perform them the right way, so if you gave up on them before, then try them this way, and I’m sure you’ll find that they work much better for you!

Remember, when performed effectively, this is one of the most effective abdominal exercises which you can do. You’ve got to try them if you haven’t already!

Good luck!