Abdominal Crunch

Quote: "Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick." -  Bruce Lee

The Abdominal Crunch is a great bodyweight exercise to strengthen your abs and bring them out for summer.  Like most bodyweight exercises, the Abdominal Crunch does not require any equipment and can be performed anywhere.

Abdominal Crunch

Remember, that performing Abdominal Crunches alone will not bring out your abs.  Bringing out your abs so that they can be seen can be done by eating clean food and engaging in high intensity interval training.  This form of training combines cardiovascular training and strength training performed at a high level of intensity.

If you want a greater challenge, the Abdominal Crunch can be varied by placing a weight on the chest to increase resistance, a Swiss-ball to assist in stabilising the core and abdominals. Other variables that can be used are Reverse Crunches and Twisting Crunches.

Benefits of the Abdominal Crunch

There are many benefits to doing the Abdominal Crunch.  These are health related benefits and performance related benefits.

Health Related Benefits:

  • Having a stronger abdominals will help you stabilise the spine and core.
  • Improve your posture.
  • Decrease lower back pain.
  • Makes the spine less prone to injury.

Performance Related Benefits

  • Ability to lift more weight in exercises such as the squat, deadlift and power clean.
  • Makes the abdominal wall more resistance to injury in contact sports.

How to Perform an Abdominal Crunch

  • Lie on your feet with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground close to your buttocks.
  • Cross your hands on your chest.
  • Tilt your chin close to your chest.
  • Draw your abdominals inwards towards your spine.
  • Curl up into a forward motion so that your shoulders, neck and head come off the ground.
  • Breathe out.
  • Hold this position for one second.
  • Slowly lower your shoulders, neck and head back to the ground with control.
  • Breathe in.
  • Perform another repetition.

Abdominal Crunch Dos

  • Perform this exercise with small range of motion to place muscular stress on the abdominals.
  • Perform the movement with control to minimise the amount of momentum.
  • To bring out those abdominals for summer, eat clean food and engage in high intensity interval training.

Abdominal Crunch Don’ts

  • Going too fast and using momentum, this takes the stress off the abdominals you are trying to exercise.
  • Holding your breath throughout the whole movement, this will tire you out quicker not allowing you to perform additional repetitions.
  • Train your abdominals every day, like other muscles the abdominals need time to recover.
  • Don’t place your hands behind your head and pull on the back of the head and neck to perform the movement.
  • Using the hip flexors as opposed to the abdominals, this leads to lower back pain.
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