Why You Shouldn’t Focus On Crunches
People often mainly perform crunches when working their abs but I will discuss why you shouldn’t focus on crunches in your ab routine. For years people did sit-ups. Then we were told crunches are way better than doing sit-ups. So this must be the best exercise right? Wrong!
The truth is, crunches are not that effective when it come to overall core and abdominal strength, and they also can lead to injuries. So in this post I will discuss the downside of doing crunches, and what is a better option.
The Different Types of Crunches
There are a few variation to the crunch exercise such as the basic sit up crunch to the more advanced bicycle crunch. These variations will have additional areas of the body involved to create more resistance, or target different areas.
Regardless of the type of crunch, crunches involve contracting your ab muscles to pull your shoulders and head off the ground, or keeping your back flat during the reverse crunch. True some of the variations of crunches can target the lower abdomen and are not completely worthless, they do have issues that limit their effectiveness.
Common Mistakes When Doing Crunches
A big mistake many people make when doing a crunch is the pulling of their head to raise up their torso. This movement can lead to strain of the neck or back and ends up doing nothing for your abs.
Another common mistakes that many people make when doing crunches is using the back to do the movement instead of the core. This completely takes away from what you are aiming to achieve as it will shift the focus to a different muscle group.
Also, many people have the problem of keeping their feet firmly planted as they often lift them up to decrease the distance the body needs to travel. These types of modifications will actually take away from the core muscles being engaged.
Understand The Core For Better Abs
Your core muscles are a group of muscles that work together to control how your body moves. The obliques, abdominals, hip flexors, and certain back muscles are muscles of the core.
When you walk or run, the core is responsible for keeping you stable and moving your legs more efficiently.
The core is also responsible for other movements such as sitting up straight, carrying objects, and bending over.
Since the core is such a vital part of our everyday life, it is best to train the entire core instead of specific regions.
You shouldn’t just focus on abdominal training. Doing sets of crunches, reverse crunches, bicycles crunches, to just target your abs not only will take a long time to do, it will also have your chances of getting hurt increased. Doing an exercises that can work several parts of your core at once would be a better option wouldn’t it?
Better Options: The Plank
One of the best exercise to work the entire core is the plank.
A standard static plank is done by lying face down parallel to the floor with your arms bent under your chest. You then raise your body off the ground while supporting yourself with your feet and underside of your arms.
This movement has you holding your core firm, as well as your arms and legs, to hold yourself up. The plank helps you get a stronger core with the resistance from your body and gravity. Their are also several variations of the plank that can make it more challenging if needed.
Add in some exercises like burpees and mountain climbers and you will find yourself with an awesome routine.
Having a strong core is an important part of any exercise routine as it can help increase performance and lower the injury risk. A strong core can also help you in everyday activities in your life. I hope this article has helped you realize why you shouldn’t focus on crunches when working your abs. With that being said, go do some planks!
Not sure how to do a plank? Here is a video on how to do a plank.