The traditional crunch is one of the most dynamic abdominal exercises.
It is known for its ability to engage the entire abdomen as well as the obliques. It will allow you to both burn belly fat and build up your muscles.
It’s Crunch Time
To do a crunch, first, lie on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are flat and parallel with your hips. Put your hands behind your head so that your fingers are touching and your thumbs are by your ears. This should let you engage in a comfortable elbow bend, not too tight and slightly rounded.
To then start the rep, tilt your chin up, but do not curl it toward your chest. To do this, primarily engage your abdominals and use them to pivot the rest of your body. This should let your neck, shoulders, and head all lift up simultaneously. Hold this pose, and then lower your head and shoulders back down to the floor in a controlled fashion. Make sure that you are aware of your abdominal muscles, and by focusing on them, prevent yourself from curving your back.
Variations and Alterations
The crunch is a classic exercise that has been used all over the world to strengthen the abdomen. There are many variations to the crunch that make it more dynamic and target specific areas. One of the many variations involves using a balance ball. It utilizes the same general form as the traditional crunch; however, your shoulders should be balanced on the ball. This is for those with already developed core strength, as it encourages the abdomen to support itself without the support of the floor.
Another variation is the bicycle crunch, in which you bring one knee, posed at a 90-degree angle, to the opposite elbow while engaging in the traditional crunch form. Then, you alternate in bicycle-like fashion. This exercise engages the obliques even more, as well as both sides of your abs.
During and After the Crunch
It is critical to always warm-up for your workout. An excellent way to warm up for the traditional crunch is to stretch in a way that engages your abs and pushes your flexibility. You can warm up by using the stationary bike or even engaging in a slow jog. This will get your entire body ready to stack on reps.
The traditional crunch has a wide range of benefits. It can improve posture, as it strengthens muscles that are key for posture support. Of course, it also will strengthen your core muscles and has proven to be one of the most dynamic. It also has been known to increase mobility and flexibility. Many people who have bad backs are recommended to do crunches as by strengthening their trunk they are simultaneously strengthening their back support.
If the traditional crunch has proven too easy, try a variation or add weight. You can add weight by holding a plate behind your head, however, make sure that you are still sticking to the form as the form is the most critical part of building up muscle.
Traditional Crunch is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic ab exercises, and one of the oldest. Its many benefits will make it a critical part of any workout.