The first thing that comes to our mind when we think about how to exercise abs is crunches or sit-ups. This kind of exercise has been for years the most popular way to workout your abs. But as we know from experience, not always what is popular is what is best. As there are some levels in which crunches can be an appropriate exercise, there are also major problems with them.
Advantages Of Crunches
To include three or four series of crunches in your ab routine has its advantages. First, they are really easy to do and you do not need any special equipment; and because of this they are among the favourite exercises that people can do from home. Second, you can vary them and create several exercises in which each one will focus with more intensity in one specific part of your abs, that way you can work your upper, lower and obliques without much trouble. Finally, if you are a beginner or have spent a lot of time without exercising, crunches will be very effective the first few weeks, you will feel the difference!
But, unfortunately, this is as good as it gets. Despite that they are the most common ab exercise out there, they are also in many ways disadvantageous for you. The movement that you perform while doing crunches puts a significant strain on your back, and not only on the back in general, but on the back of the spine, the part that has more nerves, which is what you bend in the movement of the crunches. Added to that is the fact that exercising the abs this way requires a great number of repetitions (a minimum of 60 per routine) and that of course raise the probabilities of damaging your back.
I think this is enough reason to search for other healthier options of working out your abs, but if you are not convinced yet, read this! Crunches have proven to be quite ineffective in helping you get a flat stomach. As I said before, they are great for the first two weeks, but then, when the muscles adapt to them, they lose its power. The reason for this is that you are lying down when you perform them, hence, the muscles are constrained, they are not in a position where they can take full advantage of the exercise; besides that, crunches also leave aside the training of your core and your back sides which are fundamental elements to get a great six-pack.
But do not worry; it is never too late to find better options. To do some compound exercises in your routine with some abs with a vertical ab machine would be a solution if you go regularly to the gym. But if you are at home you also have a solution, the Swiss Ball. They are not expensive and are now the best way to work your abs and your core without any risk of injury. The number of exercises you can do with it is almost infinite and is a fun way to obtain that flat stomach you always wanted.
Kelvin wears many hats in the fitness and health industry. He believes in a practical, flexible and sustainable approach to bodybuilding. Initially Kelvin had started bodybuilding as a hobby which turned into passion and later, a successful career. He shares his expertise on strength training and body building to help the GFY community.
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