Exercise 101: Crunches

Exercise 101: Crunches

If you’re looking to improve, strengthen and define your abs, then the crunch is a great choice of exercise.

What will I need?

You basically need yourself and the floor. No equipment is necessary for this simple move. You might have seen those fancy rollers that claim to be abdominal exercisers, but really you just need your own bodyweight.

What are the benefits?

The abdominal muscle group, including the pectorals major, rectus abdominals, external obliques, internal obliques and transverse abdominals are all worked in a crunch exercise, which is mainly a core-strengthening move. Crunches can even help to improve your balance.

Who can do it?

Absolutely anyone can do at least some level of a crunch exercise. If you suffer from back pain then it might be better for you to perform the crunch on a gym ball, but it’s fairly straightforward move.

How do I do it?

Firstly lie flat on your back making sure your knees are bent and your feet are flat on the floor, hip width apart. Take your hands and place them either side of your head without locking your fingers or grabbing your head. Engage your abs by pushing the small of your back to the floor, then tilt your chin slightly and roll your shoulders off the floor, around 4 inches higher than the floor. Hold and then roll back down.

 


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura loves running, Pilates and Yoga, and is forever trying to find the time to fit these activities into her life around a busy family. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

Comments

Phillip H.
9 January 2016

Phillip H.

I tend to strain neck or back doing these but will try again with great care to follow the instructions.

craig t.
8 January 2016

craig t.

Crunches are boring,boring, but effective. I also like to keep things simple so crunches are the only specifically abdominal exercise I do.

Emma C.
6 January 2016

Emma C.

Crunchies are great but they give me backache if I do too many. I tend to do the plank for a minute or so to keep my stomach strong. Not sure if this works so well as crunchies but it feels a lot easier.

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