Crunches are an effective form of an abdominal execise–but only if you are performing them correctly. Crunches work the rectus abdominis obliques, transverse abdominis, and even back muscles–yeah, crunches are legit. One of the best things about a crunch is that you can literally perform them anywhere. Which means you can achieve a lean midsection by creating muscle fatigue to create change and perform then anywhere! If you think crunches are for beginners or don’t think they are very effective, we ask that you check yourself on these three mistakes before reaching a final conclusion.
Performing Them Too Fast
The idea behind crunches is to do them slow and controlled. The more you take time to keep the muscles engaged, the quicker they will fatigue. And with more fatigue comes faster progress in creating lean and defined muscles within your core. Practice by engaging your abs to lift your head, neck, and shoulders off of the ground, take a moment to pause at the top with an extra squeeze and then slowly lower back down. Keeping a slower pace will have your abs burning in no time.
You’re Rounding Too Much
A common mistake a lot of people do when performing a crunch is to roll forward, which makes your body cave in. The idea with a crunch though is to actually lift up towards the sky rather than in towards your knees. Make sure your elbows stay pointed to the side (no need to have them touch your knees) and your chest open and reaching up.
You’re Pulling Your Neck
Often times, people like to perform crunches with their hands behind their neck. There isn’t anything technically wrong with this, however, it can put a lot of strain on your neck if you are actually pulling with your hands to lift your shoulders off of the ground. A way to make sure you aren’t doing this is to cross your hands across your chest instead.
Now crunches aren’t the ultimate exercise for creating the best abs on the planet. Just like with all exercises you need to create a well-rounded workout composed of many different types of exercises to achieve your fitness goals.