How to Do Crunches

If you want to develop well-toned abdominal muscles, then crunches are one exercise that you can’t afford to ignore. Read on to know why crunches are the best abdominal exercise and how you should do them.

For most people, looking good is a huge priority. To achieve this goal, some diet, while others exercise. While there may be still some debate about which is the best method to lose abdominal fat, there is absolutely no doubt that abdominal fat is the most difficult to lose.

To lose fat around your waist, you need to follow an exercise regime that has the right mix of cardiovascular exercises and abdominal exercises. Earlier, the popular belief was that sit ups are the best exercise for abdominal muscles.

This has all changed now. Today, the verdict is unanimous on crunches being the most effective abdominal exercise.

Although very similar to sit ups, crunches have many distinct advantages over the latter. For starters, unlike sit ups, crunches don’t require you to life your entire back. This, in turn, minimizes the risk of back injuries. Also, as you only lift your upper back during crunches, the entire effect is felt on the abdominal muscles. In sit ups, both the abdominal and hip muscles are engaged.

When doing crunches, it is imperative that you follow the proper technique, otherwise the effect of the exercise will reduce. Also, you may pick up an injury if you do crunches incorrectly.

How to do crunches

 

The best thing about crunches is that this exercise allows you to develop perfect abs without going to the gym. You can burn fat and tone your abdominal muscles without leaving the comfort of your home. An exercise mat or a carpeted surface is all you need to do crunches.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to do crunches:

  • Lie flat on the floor with your back touching the floor. Bend your knees so that your feet are resting firmly on the ground. Your feet must be shoulder width apart.
  • Place your hands behind your head with your fingers barely touching each other. This is your starting position. Remember not to pull your head when performing crunches, as this will cause extra strain on your spine.
  • Now, slowly lift your upper back toward the ceiling. For crunches to be effective, it is absolutely necessary that you lift yourself toward the ceiling and not toward your knees. Only your abdominal muscles are used when you lift yourself toward the ceiling, so remember to perform this step as described.
  • Do not lift your entire back while performing crunches, as doing so increases your chances of developing a back strain. Also do not bring your elbows close together as you lift your upper back off the ground.
  • Breathe out and contract your abdominal muscles as you lift yourself up.
  • Breathe in as you go back to your starting position. Remember to slowly bring your body down to the starting position.
  • Stay in the starting position for a second and then repeat the exercise.

How to do crunches using an exercise ball

Doing crunches on an exercise ball is an effective way to tone your abdominal muscles while also burning calories. Just as in the case of floor crunches, exercise ball workouts too can be done at home.

Here are the step-by-step instructions you need to follow to do crunches using an exercise ball:

  • Rest your lower back on the ball and your face facing the ceiling. If you find it difficult to balance yourself this way, place your mid-back on the ball.
  • Rest your feet on the floor with a shoulder width distance between them.
  • Place your hands behind your head. This is your starting position.
  • Raise your back toward the ceiling and exhale as you move upwards.
  • Slowly move back to your starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat the exercise after resting for a second in the starting position.

To avoid injuries and derive maximum benefits from of your workout, it is imperative that you follow the aforementioned instructions. Combine a cardio workout with crunches to quickly lose the extra fat around your waist. Also remember to do stretching exercises for 5-10 minutes before starting your workout regime.

Crunches indeed are the most effective tummy fat burning and ab toning exercise. Include a few minutes of crunches in your workout regime for a slimmer waist and great abs.