How to do Crunches
The crunch - It's one of those seemingly "simple" exercises that turns out to be not so simple after all. Far too many people do them incorrectly, which leads to dramatically decreased results and the possibility of injury. It's not how many crunches you do that matters but rather how well you do each and every one. The focus should be on the quality of the movement, not the quantity. So stop wasting your time performing an endless number of ineffective crunches - Here are a few of the top "secrets" to making your crunches count:
How to do a crunch properly:
- Lie down on the floor.
- Bend your legs towards your body to find a position where your feet can rest flat on the ground.
- Place your hands either across your chest so that your hands are touching the front of each opposite shoulder, or place them behind your head for a little more of a challenge.
- Slowly lift your upper torso towards your knees using your abdominal muscles, squeezing the muscles while lifting, and stop when your abdominal muscles feel fully flexed. You should have around half of your back elevated off the ground. Any more than that and you are going too far.
- Slowly return your upper torso to the starting position on the ground.
Key tips and techniques to remember to achieve proper form:
- Don't go too fast. Going slow works the muscle harder.
- Don't try to use momentum, or swing your body up using your legs. This is cheating your ab muscles out of a workout.
- Don't bend too far forward. You don't need to go very far in order to fully engage the abdominal muscles. This will also help keep stress off your lower back.
- Flex your abs as you are doing your crunches to fully engage the muscles.
Did these tips help you perfect your crunch form? Let us know in the comments below.