How to do crunches

6 Types Of Crunches And Their Benefits Fathima Abdul Kader Stylecraze September 6, 2017

Crunches are exercises you need to do if you want great abs and core. It works the rectus abdominis muscle. The crunches are mainly just a core working exercise and burns less calories comparatively, but they move in a controlled manner, flexing and releasing the core muscles thus helping to build the abs. The many variations of crunches have been developed to focus on different muscle groups in the same area other than the rectus abdominis that is the only muscle focused on by regular crunches.

Since crunches exercise is more controlled, it can help you improve your focus on your exercise routine. And as it does not use any equipment, you can do it anywhere. This exercise can also improve your muscle strength and flexibility.

Here are some types of crunches, how to do it and its benefits.

1. The Basic Crunch:

The basic crunch is done by lying flat on your back with your knees bend and your hands behind your head, then you rise up to meet your pelvis using the shoulders and the core to maintain and propel you forward. Injuries can be caused if you pull yourself forward using the strength of your hands on your neck or your head.

2. Reverse Crunch:

The reverse crunch is done by lying flat on your back and putting your leg up at 90 degree. Place your hands facing the ground on either side of your body. If you are starting out, you can place the hands behind your hip for added support. Then, using your core muscles in a controlled manner; pull up your legs and hips towards the ceiling while bringing your knees towards your chest. Then return to start position. During this exercise, try not to use too much momentum or to do it so fast that you hurt yourself. Repeat as many times as you can.

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To do this crunch, lie flat on your back with your arms straight. Lift your leg together and heels’ facing the ceiling till it is directly above your hips. Then raise your arms to almost touch the feet with your fingers while pulling in your belly button to stabilize your position using your ab muscles. Your torso will look almost like a U shape. Breathe slowly, control the movement and repeat for 8-15 reps.

4. Long Arm Crunches:

To do this crunch, lie flat on your back with your knees propped up. If you want more resistance you can keep your legs straight out. Your arms should be above your head. Clasp them together. Using your core muscles, lift the upper part of your body. Make sure not to strain your neck. Repeat it for 8-15 times.

5. Bicycle Crunch:

This workout not only worked the rectus abdominis, but also works the upper abs. You can do this work out by lying flat on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift your knees off the floor towards your chest. First rotate to the right and try to meet the left knee with the right elbow while you extend the right leg straight out and then do the opposite side by trying to meet the right knee with the left elbow.

6. Double Crunches:

This is a basic crunch and reverse crunch exercise together. Just lie on your back with your knees at a 90 degree angle and hands behind your head. Lift up your hips off the floor like in a crunch and lift up the shoulder blades off the floor like in a basic crunch. Try to squeeze the core and control the position. Then return back to start position.

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[ Read: Spinning Workout ]

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How To Do Crunch With Hands Overhead (Flat Abs) – Stylecraze Fitness

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Performing the basic crunch

Follow these steps to perform crunches:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.

  2. Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears.

    Don’t lace your fingers together.

  3. Hold your elbows out to the sides but rounded slightly in.

  4. Tilt your chin slightly, leaving a few inches of space between your chin and your chest.

  5. Gently pull your abdominals inward.

  6. Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor.

  7. Hold for a moment at the top of the movement and then lower slowly back down.

    Curl up to work on your abs. [Credit: Photograph by Sunstreak Productions, Inc.] Curl up to work on your abs.

Tips for doing crunches

Keep the following tips in mind as you perform this exercise:

  • Keep your abdominals pulled in so you feel more tension in your abs and so you don’t overarch your lower back.

  • Don’t pull on your neck with your hands or draw your elbows in.

  • Do curl as well as lift. In other words, don’t yank your head, neck, and shoulder blades off the floor; you also need to curl forward, as if you’re doubling over. Think of bringing your ribs to your pelvis and exhale as you crunch up; inhale as you lower back down, keeping your belly button drawn in.

  • Perform crunches very slowly and with control, doing 12 reps.

Gym alternative: Ball crunch

You can use a large plastic exercise ball (sometimes called a physioball) as an alternative to the basic crunch described above. Follow these steps:

  1. Sit on a physioball and roll your torso down so that your back — from your shoulder blades down to your tailbone — is resting on the curve of the ball and your head, neck, and shoulders are above the ball.

    Your knees are bent, and your feet are planted on the floor, hip-width apart.

  2. Perform the same abdominal curling movement as you do for the basic crunch.

    You have to move slowly and keep your abdominal muscles fully engaged to keep yourself from wiggling around on the ball or rolling off of it.

    You can perform the basic-crunch movement on a physioball as an alternative to the traditional exer You can perform the basic-crunch movement on a physioball as an alternative to the traditional exercise.

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