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Abs Workout (2) – Basic Crunches

December 2nd, 2008 · 10 Comments ·
 
 

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Many people have weak abdominal and lower back, two muscle groups which are commonly neglected. Crunches strengthen and tone these muscles. There are many variations of crunch, but let’s look at the basic crunch this time. Basic crunch may look easy, but some people are doing it in poor form and making the workout less effective.

Steps To Do Crunch Correctly:

  1. Lie on your back on an exercise mat or carpeted surface. Bend your knees with your feet to provide necessary support for your lower back. Your feet is planted firmly on the surface. Cross your arms over your chest.
  2. Using the strength of your abdominal muscles, slowly lift your upper torso off the floor toward your thighs. This range of movement should be very short. Your shoulders should not be more than 30 degrees above the ground. Do not try to touch your thighs, as this can overstress your lower back.
  3. Pause for a second once you reach the top of the crunch. Exhale.
  4. Keep constant tension on your abdominal muscles throughout the exercise.
  5. With a controlled motion, return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 10 to 20 repetitions.

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Tips:

  • Do not try to 100 crunches at one go. What is more important is the quality. Make sure you do them correctly.
  • Your lower back should remain flat on the ground at all times.
  • Some people place their hands behind their heads. I do not recommend you to do so because many tend to pull on the neck, and not using abs, to complete the workout. If you still want to do put your hands behind, make sure your finger tips touch lightly your ears.
  • There are many ways you can make this exercise more advanced. I will share with you two of the common ways:
    • One is to use weights for extra load. Hold a weight plate or light dumbbell in front of your chest for extra resistance as you perform the crunch.
    • The other way is to do your crunches on a stability ball. Using a ball forces your abdominals to work harder just to stabilize you atop the ball.

    basic-crunches-on-stability-ball.jpg

  • Lie back on the stability ball so that it supports your lower back
  • Keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • As you do in the regular Crunch, cross your arms over your chest (or have them over your head) and slowly raise your shoulders to no more than a 45-degree angle from the horizontal. Hold, then lower slowly. You can make this version even more difficult by moving your feet closer together.

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You can do 100,000 repetition of crunches yet do not see your six-pack. Why? Because it is covered in fat. So, you still need to watch your diet and do cardiovascular exercise to burn that fat. Once that “jelly belly” is gone, it is time to show off your wash board flat abs in your swimsuit.

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Category: Abs


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10 responses so far ↓
  • Tom Parker // Dec 2, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Thanks for the post Mun. With all the abdominal exercises out there it’s quite easy to forget how effective the basic crunch can be.

  • Tom // Dec 3, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Good post. Its all about the basics, our bodies do not need the latest trends, but proven exercises.

  • foongpc // Dec 4, 2008 at 3:15 AM

    I like the abs crunch on the stability ball – really work the abs!

  • Karin // Dec 4, 2008 at 1:21 PM

    Great post! Am doing some of the exercises in my yogalates class. You will really feel it in your abodomen when you are doing it correctly even if the movement is very small.

  • Fitness Blogger // Dec 5, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Thanks for the great post. i think once done correctly, the sit up is as good an exercise as you will find.

  • anthmyers // Dec 9, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    I’m becoming more and more a fan of hanging leg raises as opposed to the basic crunch, it helped me get the lower abs (which are the hardest to get) finally appear

    great article, thanks for sharing.

  • Clinton Walker III // Dec 10, 2008 at 3:37 AM

    The basic crunch is a very underated exercise. Those looking for the 6 pack look must first do the cardiovascular exercises to lose the fat.

  • sam // Dec 30, 2008 at 11:29 PM

    Hi

    I have been having problems with my upper abs or ab should i say for myself!. I have trained on and off the past few years, although when i was younger and none the wiser all i used to do was normal crunches (probabaly wrong!) and I now have problems getting the seperation in uppers abs, its like in the diagram attached, the top and next section down, i have 1 slab on esch side instead of 2 rows of abs, I hope you know what i mean? I no longer do normal crunches as i find my upper abs (slab) gets massive compared to the rest and there is no seperation happening. I now do leg raises, etc etc, side crunches, but would be grateful if anyone knew of any exercises to get this upper ab seperation, maybe its genetics or that my rib cage may stick out a bit. But the past year, I have noticed a slight line appearing on the upper section but only on one side, and to be honest i train 6 times per week including cardio and good ab workouts and watch what i eat etc so it cant be a case of getting the fat down. without sounding big headed i get comments from people in the gyms frequently saying how good i look and people asking me for advice but even still i am not 100% happy with my upper abs!
    i know it is more than likely a case of the way my abs are shaped genetically but surely there is exercises to hit this section without caning the upper abs so they get massive.

  • joel // Mar 10, 2009 at 8:16 AM

    i find that putting a pillow or too under your lower back and then doing crunches works better than flat crunches

  • Bartez // Nov 2, 2009 at 2:01 AM

    I think that stomach crunches are the core of all stomach exercises. And can be considered as basic exercises. We should think about them as a part of our normal training program. We can do them at the beginning of you training or at the end. The important thing is to be systematic.

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