How Do I Make Ab Crunches Work Better?

Question:

I want to flatten my stomach. How do I make abdominal crunches work better for me?

I don't really feel them very much in my abs and I'm not sure I'm doing them right.



Answer:

The Abdominal Crunch is an exercise for the abdominal muscles in the midsection of the body. The crunch is an extremely common exercise that, being quite honest, isn't really the best way to work your abs and get a flatter stomach.

That being said, it CAN be a decent exercise when done correctly and for the right reasons.

Here are some pointers to make it work better for you.

  • Keep your head and neck in line with the spine. The best way to remember this is to not let your chin touch your chest. This error takes the focus off the abs and can strain your neck.

  • To maximize the feeling on the abs, try and reach straight up in the air as though trying to push your palms up onto the ceiling. This will make your abdominals work harder.
Revitalizing the abdominal crunch.
  • Most people forget the negative or lowering part of the crunch. Fight gravity on the way down from the top of the crunch to really get a burn.
  • Never anchor your feet (e.g. have someone hold them down or wedge them under something) when you're doing any kind of ab work. This will activate muscles known as the hip flexors (muscles that function to bring the thigh towards the midsection). You want to isolate your abdominals and minimize hip flexor involvement for best results.

  • Don't hold your breath when doing ab work. The abdominals play an important role in breathing. By limiting breathing, you will be limiting the work on your abs. The best way to breathe is to exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down.

 

 


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