The stomach crunch exercise is perhaps the most popular of all the abdominal toning movements. It seems as though the less a person knows about health & fitness, the more likely they are to view the exercise as being the ticket to a six-pack. Well, it’s been said before and I’ll say it again – crunches will not flatten your stomach. In order to have visible abdominals, you need to have a low level of body fat. This is accomplished through proper nutrition and an appropriate training program as a whole. In terms of exercises, believe it or not, deadlifts, power cleans and pretty much any multi-joint/compound movement will be more effective than crunches when it comes to shedding unwanted body fat. However, what crunches WILL do is strengthen and develop the abdominals so once you get those body fat levels down, your abs will look that much more impressive.
A couple key points
- If you can avoid it, don’t anchor your feet
- Perform an abdominal set prior to execution
- Don’t pull on your neck
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- Lie on your back and bend your knees to a 45 degree angle. Your heels should be in contact with the ground.
- Cross your arms over your chest so that your fingertips are touching the front of your shoulders.
- Perform an “abdominal set” by inhaling and slightly rotating the pelvis forward.
- Exhale, elevate and curl your upper body towards your thighs.
- Inhale and lower back down slowly. The back of your shoulders should not make contact with the floor in between repetitions.
- Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.