How To Do A Crunch Exercise Properly At Home
Today, many people have been recommended by health experts to do different exercises because this greatly helps to keep someone looking strong and healthy. Crunches are among the many exercises recommended and this is because they are very easy to do and also allow someone to achieve a flat stomach, hard-rock abs and obliques. Those of you who want to achieve six-pack abs, try crunches and you will see how great you will look. On the other hand, crunches are similar to sit-ups except that with them you don’t have to lift your entire back off the floor but instead you only lift the upper back section. This actually isolates the abs muscles from the rest of the muscles in the lower sections of your back like hips.
However there are several ways of doing crunches but i will feature them in 3 major categories plus the steps involved when these crunches and you will probably pick atleast one crunch style that you feel comfortable with.
- BASIC CRUNCH: (HOW TO DO A BASIC CRUNCH)
- Start by lying on your back over the floor: grab something that is more comfortable like a mat or carpeted surface and place on the floor but try to ensure that it does not have too much cushioning. Lie flat over the mat or carpet before proceeding to the next step. However, to achieve more resistance, you may try the crunches on a declined bench and even some people prefer doing the crunches on a stability ball.
- Bend the knees: while bending your knees, the feet can be left to lie flat on the floor or you can keep them a little bit suspended in the air as you do the crunches inorder to achieve thorough workout experience.
- Cross the arms in-front of your chest: place the arms on your chest in a diagonal way or you may even place the hands behind the neck or head but this is not usually recommended because people tend to pull the head or neck up during the crunches and this places extra strain on your spine. so if you decide to place the hands behind the head, try to ensure that it is just resting over the hands. Likewise, for increased resistance, try to hold a weight over your chest or behind your head so that you can achieve a thorough workout.
- Lift the shoulders towards the ceiling while using abdominal muscles and then pause at the peak: it is advised not to lift your entire back off the floor when doing crunches because this can cause back strain and even that extended movement doesn’t help in the development of 6-pack abs any faster. However, when the shoulders are lifted off the ground, pause and hold that position for a second or more.
- Ease your back down and slowly as you inhale: do not just drop your back down but try to go back down gently and slowly because the control you apply on your way down helps to work your abs muscles as well. Also try to relax your abs before going for another crunch.
- REVERSE CRUNCH: (HOW TO DO A REVERSE CRUNCH)
- Begin by lying on your back on the floor: place anything comfortable on the floor like a carpet or mat then lie gently over it. try to place palms down on the sides or you can just put your hands over stomach or chest.
- Lift the feet off the floor: these can be done by either having your knees bent at a 90-degree angle or by pointing the feet in the air with your legs made straight as much as can get them.
- Lift the hips off the ground by using your abs: while lifting the hips, try not to push down your hands, head or back. Incase you fail to lift the hips while using just your abs, then you will probably need to build-up more strength by doing regular crunches. Otherwise, you will just be wasting energy since other parts your body do the work.
- HOW TO DO CRUNCHES THROUGH OTHER VARIATIONS:
- Try a twist crunch: with this type of crunching, you will have to follow the steps of any regular crunch but instead of lifting both your shoulders off the ground equally, just lift one of the shoulders towards the opposite direction like the left shoulder towards right or right-shoulder towards the left and do this while alternating your shoulders. This actually targets the obliques or the muscles on the sides.
- Go for a side crunch: still you have to follow the steps required when doing regular crunches but you will have to lean both your legs to one side close to the floor with the knees bent. Then, lift both shoulders off the ground simultaneously like when doing a regular crunch. With this crunch, your torso is twisted and you even feel it on the side. in fact, you will have to do several crunches on one side and then move the legs over and repeat the same process on the other side for best results.
- Do the cable crunch: this type of crunching is literally different from the rest whereby for it you will have to stand and hold onto a cable and then pull the weight down by gently curling your back while engaging your abs. the cable crunch is very effective and will give you that six pack quickly but it requires someone who is stronger.
TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN DOING CRUNCHES:
It is can be tempting to move the head forward when doing crunches because it makes you feel like you are lifting further but actually you are not. This is actually a bad habit because it increases on the chances of getting injured and the only way to prevent it is by trying to always look up at the ceiling as you exercise.
Incase you place the hands behind the neck or head, don’t allow the elbows to closer or together because this encourages the head to tilt forward. Always try to keep them at the same level with your ears.
Try to always exhale and contract the abs as you go up and vice versa inorder to achieve a thorough crunching experience.
women should consider providing extra back support when doing crunches inorder to avoid pressing the lower back section unnaturally flat onto the floor. This can be done by placing a rolled-up towel or pillow under their backs at the point of greatest arch.
WARNINGS OR PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHEN DOING CRUNCHES:
Immediately cease doing crunches in case you feel pain in the neck section and try to consult a physiotherapist or chiropractor for advice.