The Best Guide On Crunches (+17 Variations That Work Your Abs Better)

Ultimate Guide to Crunches

If you ever ask those women flaunting their sexy flat abs about their usual ab-workout routine, Crunches will definitely take a place in the list.

Yes, fitness fanatics consider Crunches as one of the Best Belly Fat Exercises.

If the deadlift is the best workout for your back and squats for your thighs, nothing does more good to your core than Crunches.

Understanding the crunch better will help you own great looking abs sooner.

Well, why should we put more focus on Crunches which are still old-school and uses only our own body weight rather than going to today’s modern machines and tools that can make the job easier?

The answer may seem sceptical. But, Yes, Crunches are that powerful.

In fact, the American Council of Exercise (ACE) performed research to determine the effectiveness of almost all the popular ab-workout exercises and the ab-workout equipment in comparison to the traditional crunch.

Guess, who won there?

It was the Traditional Crunches.

In the same words as from the post on the ACE site – “Researchers determined that none of the exercises elicited greater muscle activation than the traditional crunch.” (Source)

And in this post, we will talk everything related to Crunches – starting from the many different variations of crunches, the benefits to the common mistakes that we commit while practising crunches.

So, let’s get started.


CRUNCHES

Crunches

Crunches are often confused with sit-ups.

And Crunches versus Sit-Ups and which is the best has always been the debatable topics among those who love fitness.

To let you know in very simple terms, Sit-ups are multi-muscle focusing exercise while Crunches focus only on your abdominal muscles.

This is the very reason as to why crunches are the rage among geeks who aspire to achieve six-pack abs

As said, Crunches hit the bullseye of your RECTUS ABDOMINIS.

The rectus abdominis is our beloved six-pack muscle.

By strengthening these muscles incorporating crunches in your workout routine, you are also establishing a powerful core that is aesthetic and stable.

But remember, only crunches won’t help you get six-pack abs.

Crunches just build the rectus abdominis muscles which in combination with lower body fat can only tick all the boxes for six-pack abs.

Let’s now know all the benefits of crunches.


benefits of CRUNCHES

Benefits of Crunches

Below mentioned are the perks of including crunches in your workout routine:

  1. 1
    TONES AND STRENGTHENS CORE

Having read above, you must know that Crunches are great for your core.

Crunches flex the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles and binds them.

As a result, these tone and strengthen your core muscles thereby builds mass there.

  1. 2
    IMPROVES POSTURE AND FLEXIBILITY OF MUSCLES

Not just the core, crunches also help your overall body.

But, How?

Crunches maintain balance in your mid-section.

This helps you retain a perfect body posture which in turn helps you in lifting heavy objects and twist your body easily.

  1. 3
    ENHANCES ABDOMINAL MUSCLE ENDURANCE

Crunches also improve abdominal muscle endurance.

What is this so-called Abdominal Muscle Endurance?

It is the ability of the abdominal muscle fibres to withstand and act against the resistance for a long period of time.

Practice the Crunches for just one day a week and it aids in the endurance of the abdominal muscles. (Source)


how to do abdominal crunches

How to do Abdominal Crunches
  • Hold on to the back of your thighs and lie flat on the floor.
  • Now, bend your knees with your feet still flat on the ground. Knees can be either hip-distance apart or close together according to your comfort.
  • Support your head using your fingertips.
  • With your chin slightly lifted, elbows wide and chest open, exhale and engage your core by crunching up slowly. Let the focus point be right above the kneecap.
  • Come back down slowly as you inhale to complete one rep.
  • Repeat the repetitions to fatigue if you are just starting out. As you practice, keep your rep counts to the possibility of 15 for each set.
  • Do 3-4 sets with 90-120 seconds rest time between the sets.

types of crunches

Types of Crunches

Doing crunches alone won’t help you get the six packs.

In fact, no one exercise can give you the desired results.

However, adjusting the exercise to activate and work the muscles around your abdomen can speed up the process as per your comfort.

This is why, fitness enthusiasts, over the days, either introduced minor changes or added fitness equipment to the crunches and came up with different types of crunches.

We will see all of those variations of crunches in this section below.

1. twist crunches

Twist Crunches are just your basic abdominal crunches with a twist added to it as you come up.

Twist Crunches target the side abs - the obliques more than basic crunches.

HOW TO DO TWIST CRUNCHES:

  • Lie flat on your back on the exercise mat.
  • Support your head using your fingertips and widen-out your elbows.
  • Bend your knees with your feet still flat on the ground.
  • Keep your chest open and pull your belly button inwards. This marks your starting position.
  • From the starting position, exhale and contract your abdominals and bring your upper spine up off the ground. As you do so, simultaneously, twist your upper body to the left using your obliques so that your right shoulder and right elbow rotate to face your left knee.
  • From here lower your upper body down to the starting position by bringing your upper spine and right shoulders flat on the ground and elbows spread outwards.
  • Repeat the same crunch with a twist but this time bring your twist to the right where your left shoulder and elbow face the right knee.
  • Come back to the starting position and this marks your one complete repetition perfectly.
  • Perform 3 sets of Twist Crunches till fatigue in every set.

You can take the twisting crunch and improve the effectiveness by taking your legs off the floor.

Lift your legs so that your knees are at 90 degrees from your hips.

Place the legs on a small chair or a bench, so that your thighs are vertical and shin parallel to the ground. Consider this as the starting position and perform the Twist Crunch as per the steps above.

You can further multiply the intensity upon practice by getting rid of the leg support (chair or bench).


2. bicycle crunches

Without any second thought, Bicycle Crunches are the best form of crunches.

The American Council of Exercise (ACE) also confirms the same.

In 2001, ACE sponsored a study that revealed the best abdominal exercises. (Source)

13 exercises were studied and try to figure out the winner.

And as you speculated, it was the Bicycle Crunches.

The reason put forth was that the bicycle crunches hit the lower and upper abs and obliques like no other ab workouts.

If you are focusing on your ab definition, never shun bicycle crunches off your ab routine.

HOW TO DO bicycle CRUNCHES:

  • Lie on your back flat on the floor.
  • Bend your knees while your feet is still flat on the ground.
  • Support your head using your fingertips and widen-out your elbows fully.
  • Now, contract your abdominal muscles and gently lift your head till your shoulder blades are hovering off the floor.
  • Slowly lift your legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the hips and shin parallel to the ground.
  • Now go through the bicycle pedal motion - bring your left knee towards your left armpit and extend your right leg completely straight. Make sure that both the legs are above your hip level.
  • As you perform this motion, rotate your torso to the left so that your right elbow touches your left knee.
  • Change the twist by going with the bicycle pedal motion. Bring the right knee inwards and straighten your left knee. Twist your torso to the left to touch the right knee with your left elbow. This marks the completion of one perfect repetition.
  • As a beginner perform 8-12 reps for 3 sets.

It is not a compulsion to touch your opposite knee with your elbow during the twist.

Twist and just rotate as much as you can.

Don’t over-twist for the sake of touching your opposite knee.

It may stress your spine.


3. reverse crunches

Reverse Crunch is one of the best ab exercises to sculpt your lower abs.

Are you unable to get those details of the lower 2 packs in the six-pack abs?

Then, the reverse crunch is the best option.

Besides, reverse crunch also works on your complete rectus abdominis muscle group.

In addition to that, the exercise activates your obliques and the side muscles of your six-pack – the transverse abdominals.

Reverse crunch also adds strength to your spine and core by building the deep core muscles.

HOW TO DO REVERSE CRUNCHES:

  • Lie on your back flat on your exercise mat.
  • Rest your arms on the sides with the palms pressing the floor to create a balance while performing the crunches.
  • Now, bend your knees and lift your legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and shin parallel to the ground.
  • Pressing your palms and engaging your core by pulling in your belly button to the spine, lift your hips off the floor and drive your feet up until it faces the ceiling. The weights are now on your shoulder blades.
  • Hold for a count of one and return and extend your legs to the maximum in front of you slightly above the floor but not touching it. That’s one perfect rep of reverse crunch exercise.
  • Repeat. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions with 2-3 minutes break in between.

4. double crunches

Double crunches work both on your lower and upper abs.

Like all the other crunches, the muscle targeted while doing double crunches is the rectus abdominis.

It also works on your hip flexors and obliques.

It is indeed a combination of the two powerful abs exercises – the standard abdominal crunches and reverse crunches.

HOW TO DO double CRUNCHES:

  • Lie on your back flat on the exercise mat.
  • Bend your knees while the feet are still flat on the ground.
  • Support your head using the fingertips. This marks your starting position.
  • Now, engage your core by squeezing your abs in to lift your shoulder blades and upper back off of the ground.
  • While doing so, simultaneously lift your feet off the ground to bring your knees close to your elbows.
  • Exhale completely at the top of the crunch and crush your abs.
  • Hold on for a count of one and get back to the starting position as you inhale. This completes one perfect repetition of the double crunch.
  • Repeat. It is ideal to perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps for each set in the initial stages.

5. vertical leg crunches

Having mastered the basic crunch, are you looking for the immediate next upgrade to the routine?

If yes, then it must be the Vertical Leg Crunches.

Needless to say, this low-impact exercise is going to intensify the effectiveness of the crunch and shorter the period of owning a flatter and attention drawing abs.

Like a basic crunch, vertical leg crunch’s primary target muscle is the rectus abdominis.

It also works the lower back extensors (Extensors are the muscles that aids the functions of the spine), the transverse abdominals and the obliques (both internal and external).

So, you can say that the vertical leg crunch builds your complete core muscles.

As a result, you get to improve your balance and posture.

HOW TO DO vertical leg CRUNCHES:

  • Lie on your back flat on the ground on an exercise mat.
  • Support your head using your fingertips and elbows widened-out.
  • Lift your legs together slowly until they are perpendicular to the ground without even a slight bend in the knees. The legs are going to stay in the same position from the start to the end of each set. No swaying, no tilting.
  • Rest the lower spine flat on the ground and this marks your starting position.
  • Start the rep by contracting your abdominal muscles and as you exhale curl your upper body by lifting your shoulder blades above the ground.
  • Continue curling your upper body and flexing your core muscles to the maximum. 

While curling, make sure that you are not bending your neck down by tucking your chin in your chest.

Let the chin face upwards and forward.

Also, use your fingertips to support your head and not to put pressure on your head which will hurt your spine.

  • At the end of the curling motion, pause and hold the position for a count of one or two.
  • Start to inhale and lower your upper body slowly and steadily back to the starting position. This completes one rep.
  • Repeat and perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

6. oblique crunches

When most of the crunches focus on your rectus abdominis (also called six-pack muscles), Oblique crunch targets the side muscles of the core.

So, the muscles targeted while performing oblique crunch are primarily the oblique muscles itself.

Also, the ab exercise tones up the transverse abdominus and medial glute (one of the three gluteus muscles that make up your butt).

Hence, as you can see the oblique crunch provides you more than just toning the above mentioned muscles.

This is a result of the work it does on the obliques.

Obliques are, in fact, the main muscles that make up your core.

Strong and perfectly built up obliques means that you can bend and rotate your body sideward easily.

Also, toned up obliques provides the perfect definition to the eternally-prized six-pack abs.

And the easiest exercise that helps in reinforcing stability to the obliques is the oblique crunch. 

HOW TO DO oblique CRUNCHes:

  • Lie on your back flat on the ground on your exercise mat.
  • Support your head using your fingertips. Make sure your elbows are wide open, chin facing up and chest open.
  • Bend your knees with your feet still flat on the ground.
  • Now, turn to your right side with your legs lying over each other and knees still bent.
  • Pull your belly button in and engage the core. This marks your starting position.
  • Breathe in and as you exhale raise your left elbow up as you lift your upper torso during a standard crunch. Focus the squeeze in your obliques here and lift your torso as much as you can.
  • At the peak of the crunching motion, pause and hold on for a count of one or two.
  • Now as you inhale lower down and come back to the starting position which marks the completion of one rep.
  • Aim to perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
  • Once done with the 3 sets, change the sides over and perform 3 sets on the other side as well.

Oblique crunch is more of perfect execution and optimal speed.

So, practice it in the finest form by learning it correctly.

Also as you roll over to the sides to start the exercise, roll over slowly until you feel that you are lying on the meaty part of your glutes.

Just being careful there!


7. long arm crunch

Long Arm Crunch is another variation of your traditional crunches.

This crunch exercise enhances the difficulty of the exercise as when you extend your arms above and behind your head, it increases the resistance level put forth on your abs.

As a result, it adds more challenge and takes the capability bar a level up.

Although long arm crunch targets the upper abdomen primarily it also employs the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominals, lower back extensors and the obliques.

Hence, if your top priority is the upper abs, then opt for a long arm crunch.

HOW TO DO long arm CRUNCH:

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor on your exercise mat.
  • Take your hands above your head and rest them flat on the ground with your palms facing upwards. You can also place the palms one over the other as per your comfort.
  • Bend your knees while your feet are flat on the ground.
  • Open your chest and lift your chin up. This marks your starting position.
  • Prepare for the crunch by contracting your core muscles.
  • Breathe in and as you exhale, curl your upper body off the floor slowly and lift your arms simultaneously.
  • Remember, not to lead the motion with your head.
  • At the end of the crunch, pause and hold the position for a count of one or two.
  • Now, slowly lower down your upper body along with your hands back to the starting position.
  • Repeat. Practice 3 sets of 10-12 reps for each set.

8. scissors crunch

Scissors crunch is a great variation to the traditional crunches.

It works on the lower abdomen muscles which are quite difficult to target. 

HOW TO DO scissors CRUNCH:

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor on your exercise mat.
  • Support your head and neck using your fingertips.
  • Lift your shoulder blades off the floor.
  • Now, lift both your legs vertically up until they are perpendicular to the ground.
  • Lower down your left leg until it is slightly above the floor.
  • Now as you lower down your right leg simultaneously lift your left leg - The scissor motion.
  • Repeat. Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps for each set.

9. v crunch

V Crunch works effectively on your upper and lower abs in the best way.

V Crunch is a little harder than the traditional crunches, but they are great at adding more strength to the core.

HOW TO DO v CRUNCH:

  • Lie flat on your back on the ground on your exercise mat.
  • Extend your hands behind your head and lift your legs slightly off the floor without any bend in the knees.
  • Open your chest and lift your chin up. This marks your starting position.
  • From the starting position, breathe in. As you breathe out, raise your legs until it is perpendicular to the floor with no bend in the knees.
  • As you lift your legs, raise your hands and upper body towards your feet to perform the crunch.
  • Pause and hold on to this position for a count of one or two.
  • Now, lower your legs, hands and upper body to come back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each set.

10. oblique v crunch

Oblique V Crunch is a standout variation of crunches to target your obliques.

The main focus of this amazing ab exercise is the side flexion of the obliques and the abdominal wall.

Altogether, the oblique v crunch does most of the good things to your abs, waist, back and enhances your body balance and flexibility.

Get ready to feel that perfect burn in your sides!

HOW TO DO oblique v CRUNCH:

  • Lie on your right side on the floor on your exercise mat.
  • Rest your legs one over the other without any bend in the knees and your right arm is extended in front of your chest with the palm pressing the ground.
  • Support your head using your left hand’s fingertips. This marks your starting position.
  • Contract your core and breathe in. As you breathe out, lift your torso by crushing your obliques muscles and simultaneously lift your legs to form an angled V shape.
  • Crunch to the maximum and pause and hold on to that position for a count of one.
  • Now, slowly lower down your torso and legs to come back to your starting position. That completes your first rep.
  • Repeat. Try to do 10-12 repetitions for 3 sets.

11. swiss ball crunch

Swiss Ball Crunch is very similar to the traditional crunches.

However, as you lie on the exercise ball to perform the exercise, it lengthens your rectus abdominis.

As a result, the range of the crunch movement increases to a greater extent.

This literally means that you put more effort and gain more muscles.

Not just that, you may also find that the exercise ball is unstable.

Hence, as your practice the ab workout you will see that you are actually taking more help from your core muscles and obliques to find that stability.

HOW TO DO swiss ball CRUNCH:

  • Lie on the exercise ball so that your lower back curvature is perfectly in contact with the curvature of the exercise ball on the top.
  • Let your upper body hang off the top of the ball.
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground and knee bent to balance the position.
  • Keep your hands crossed across your body.
  • Open your chest and lift your chin up. This marks your starting position.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and breathe in once. Now, as you breathe out, flex the abs by crushing your abdominal muscles and curl up your upper body and lift your shoulder blades.
  • The lower back is completely in contact with the ball and the hips are perfectly stationary.
  • Go for the maximum contraction of the core muscles and hold on to the position for a count of one or two.
  • Now, as you breathe in, slowly come back to the starting position by lowering your upper body. This completes one rep of the Swiss Ball Crunch.
  • Repeat the crunch exercise for 10-12 repetitions for 3 sets.

12. side plank crunch

Side Plank Crunch is another crunch variation that works on your obliques.

Not just the obliques, Side Plank Crunch also bolsters your upper body and shoulders.

You must have heard of the Plank exercise and how powerful it is for the core muscle toning.

Combining the plank with crunches, you get double-benefit of the agility from the plank and extra muscle contraction and strength from the crunches.

Side Plank Crunch also stabilizes your core and improve overall body balance.

HOW TO DO side plank CRUNCH:

  • Start off with the side elbow plank which will be your starting position.
  • Lie on the left side with your left hand beneath your left shoulder and palms pressed on the floor.
  • Rest your right fingertips behind the head as a support.
  • Place your left foot right in front of your right foot.
  • Engage your abs and press down your left hand to lift your body to a side plank position. Your body is now in a diagonal line right from your head to the heels.
  • Breathe in once in this side plank position and as you breathe out, lift your right leg with your right knee bent to touch your right elbow and perform the crunch.
  • Pause and hold on to this position for a count of one or two.
  • Now, slowly lower down the right leg back to the starting position. This marks one complete rep.
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetition for each set.

Once done on the left side, lie on your right side and complete the 3 sets of side plank crunch.


13. runner's crunch

Runner’s crunch adds dynamics to the traditional crunch.

It is a great cardio exercise that works on your six-pack muscles intensely.

HOW TO DO runner's CRUNCH:

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor on your exercise mat.
  • Rest your hands on the side of your body with the elbows at 90-degree angle to the floor.
  • Lift your legs slightly off the ground without any bend in the knees. This marks your starting position.
  • Now, engage your core and lift your upper torso to almost the sitting position. Breathe in.
  • As you breathe out, bend your right leg to touch your left elbow with the right knee.
  • Hold the position for a count of one.
  • Now, as you breathe in, lower your upper torso simultaneously as you lower the right leg to come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the same movement but this time with your left leg touching your right elbow and lower back again to the starting position. That completes one perfect rep for you!
  • Aim to complete 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each set.

14. bird dog crunch

The Bird Dog Crunch is another crunch variation that combines the aesthetic plank exercise and powerful crunch exercise.

The Bird dog crunch strengthens your lower back and enhances the balance and stability.

So, the target muscles as you perform the bird dog crunch are the abdominal muscles, lower back, butt and thighs.

As it activates both the core and back muscles, it is considered as a good exercise to recover from a back injury.

HOW TO DO bird dog CRUNCH:

  • Kneel down with your knees hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands in front of you at shoulder-width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • With the spine completely straight, lift your right hand and left leg slightly off the floor to test the balance.
  • Once you feel good with the balance, engage the core and breathe in.
  • As you breathe out, extend your right hand completely in front of you and extend your left leg behind you.
  • At this position, you should see that with your hips squared to the ground, you form a straight line from hand to foot.
  • Hold on to this position for a count of one or two.
  • If you feel that as you lift your legs behind, your lower back begins to dip, don’t lift your legs too much. Lift your leg only as much as possible so that your spine is always straight throughout the workout.
  • Now, as you start breathing in, lower down your hand and leg to come back to the starting position.
  • Aim to complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions (6 reps on each side) for each set.

Keep the engagement of the core muscles valid for the entire span of the workout and try to avoid any additional movements in your hips during the crunch.


15. pull-over crunch

The Pull-Over Crunch works on your upper abs.

As it is usually done with the weights, the resistance during the crunch is more and strengthens your core muscles fast.

HOW TO DO pull-over CRUNCH:

  • Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell or a medicine ball or a barbell as per your comfort and availability.
  • Lie flat on your back on the ground on the exercise mat.
  • Let your hands holding the medicine ball (as an example) be extended fully behind your head.
  • Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell or a medicine ball or a barbell as per your comfort and availability.
  • Lie flat on your back on the ground on the exercise mat.
  • Let your hands holding the medicine ball (as an example) be extended fully behind your head.
  • Bend your knees with your feet still flat on the floor. This marks your starting position.
  • Now, engage your core by contracting the abdominal muscles and breathe in once.
  • As you breathe out, lift your hand straight above your head.
  • Continue the movement and raise your shoulder blades off the floor and perform the crunch. At this position, your hands holding the medicine ball is pointing somewhere above the knee.
  • Hold the crunch for a count of one or two.
  • Now as you inhale lower down your upper body and come back to the starting position. This completes one perfect rep of the pull-over crunch.
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each set.

16. jackknife crunch

Jackknife crunch is quite a bit advanced variation of crunches.

Using only your body weight with no equipment coupled with an intense movement, the burn that you feel after this core exercise is second to none.

The primary target muscle of the jackknife crunch is the rectus abdominis.

However, it also engages your obliques, inner thigh muscles, hip flexors and glutes.

HOW TO DO jackknife CRUNCH:

  • Lie flat on your back on the ground on your exercise mat.
  • Extend your hands completely behind your head and also extend your legs completely straight without any bend in your knees. This marks your starting position of the workout.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and breathe in deep once.
  • Now, as you exhale, bend at your waist by simultaneously lifting your legs and raising your shoulder blades along with your hands parallel to the legs in a Jackknife position. As a tip, lift your legs at approximately 30-45 degrees from the floor.
  • Note that your upper body is off the floor at this point.
  • Hold on to this position for the count of one or two.
  • As you inhale again, lower your legs and hands together to come back to the starting position. That is one rep.
  • Try to practice 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each set.

As you practice and really very comfortable you can bring the medicine ball into play and perform the ab routine to level up the difficulty.


17. crunch clap

Well, this will be the last variation of crunches that we will discuss in this post.

We can refer crunch clap as a modified version of bicycle crunch that we covered above.

Crunch clap also targets your rectus abdominis muscles primarily but also works on your obliques as well.

Ultimately, it is going to do a good job in strengthening and toning your abs.

HOW TO DO CRUNCH clap:

  • First, lie flat on your back on the ground on your exercise mat.
  • Now, lift your legs up bent at your knees and your knees are approximately 35-45 degrees while the shin is parallel to the floor.
  • Engage your core and raise your shoulder blades off the floor.
  • Lift your upper torso to reach a crunch position and your hands on either side of your thighs. This marks your starting position.
  • From the position, breathe in. As you breathe out, bring your left leg inwards towards your chest and clap underneath the left leg. Quick inhale and come back to the starting position.
  • Quickly exhale while you bring your right leg inwards this time and clap underneath your right leg. Quick inhale and back to the starting position. That’s one perfect rep for you.
  • Aim to complete 3 sets of 15 repetitions for each set.

common mistakes to avoid

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Crunches are easier ab exercises at a first look.

However, in practice, you may tend to commit some of the very common mistakes.

Below mentioned are the most common mistakes that many tend to do while doing crunches.

Avoiding these mistakes is a necessity so that you don’t injure your body. 

  1. 1
    LEADING WITH THE HEAD

Ughhh, this is the most common mistake that you can commit - Leading the crunches with your head and pulling your neck.

This is wrong.

Absolutely wrong!

Eventually, you are going to sprain your neck immediately or going to develop bigger neck trouble in the longer term.

The fix:

Source your crunch from the contraction in the core muscles.

And focus on your neck by keeping it straight in line with your spine.

Easy thing is to keep your chin up without tucking it in your chest.

  1. 2
    CRUNCHING TOO HIGH

When you crunch too high, it is not really a crunch. It becomes sit-ups.

Also, you are completely dumping the benefits of the crunches.

The fix:

Remember, the Crunch is a very faint movement.

While performing it, you are in the need to raise your shoulder blades just a few inches off the floor and your upper torso is slightly up almost in contact with the floor.

This is going to strengthen the abs which is the work of the crunch.

  1. 3
    CURVING YOUR BACK

Arching or curving your back literally translates to a weak core.

As you must know, it takes time to build strength on your core.

Hence, it is best to take the time to build this strength.

Instead, if you are arching your back and continuing with the crunch, it will ultimately lead to spinal injuries.

The spine is the essence of most of the ab exercise and therefore, you cannot afford to hurt it.

The fix:

An easy fix to avoid curving of the back would be to keep your back completely flat during the initial stages of the workout until you gain confidence on your core strength.

This is applicable only to the exercises that involve lower body movement like in some of the variations.

For traditional crunches, just focus on lifting only your shoulder blades and let the upper torso be in contact with the floor always for the early stages of practice.

  1. 4
    RELAXING ON THE WAY DOWN TO THE FLOOR

The biggest mistake that you cannot afford to commit during the crunch is to relax your shoulders while coming down to the floor when you are still in the exercise.

This spoils the effectiveness of the exercise.

You can see the results only when you maintain that tension in your abs while crunching.

The fix:

As a fix, you can place a yoga block underneath your neck area.

So as you perform the crunch and come back down to complete a rep, if you feel that you are touching the block, begin with the next rep.

A very easy fix indeed!

  1. 5
    PAYING LESS OR NO ATTENTION TO BREATHING

Breathing is very important to reap the complete benefits of the crunch.

Instead of exhaling, if you inhale while crunching, the contraction of your core muscles is restricted.

As a result, that is going to upset the efforts you put in by delaying or never offering the desired outcome.

The fix:

It is always good to pronounce the words - ‘Exhale’ and ‘Inhale’ or ‘Breathe in’ and ‘Breathe out’ to never lose your focus on breathing.

  1. 6
    CAREFREE WITH THE EXERCISE BALL

While performing crunches using the swiss ball, it is going to be difficult at the very beginning.

Performing the crunches on a stable floor and transferring the same thoughts to an unstable exercise ball is not easier.

THE FIX:

During the initial stages of the workout using the exercise ball, be very mindful.

Don’t start with the exercise, unless you feel that you are perfectly balanced on your sides.

  1. 7
    THINKING CRUNCHES WILL GIVE A SIX-PACK

Sorry, but yes, Crunches are not designed to give you those heroic six-pack abs.

Not at all.

Reaching your goal of owning six-pack abs has got to do with two things.

One, strengthening your core muscles.

And two, a lower body fat range.

Crunches help you by strengthening your abdominal muscles but has nothing to do with reducing your body fat.

The fix:

Workout, Workout, Workout!

There is no one magic exercise that can give you six-packs.

Workout regularly, control your diet and be patient - you will definitely see the development.

And this development is enough to motivate you to continue forever.


safety and precautions

Safety and Precautions

If you fall into any of the two categories, kindly avoid doing crunches:

  • People who have a back or a neck problem.
  • Women after their first trimester of pregnancy.

frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Can crunches give you a six pack?

Are crunches better than sit-ups?

How many crunches should a beginner do?

What type of crunches work best?

Will 100 crunches a day make a difference?

Is it good to do crunches every day?

Do Crunches make you poop?


the bottom line

The Bottom Line

A good amount of time and effort has been put to make this post on crunches an epic one.

Follow the crunch exercise and its variation in the proper way.

Also, completely avoid the common mistakes mentioned above to take only the positives out of the workout.



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