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.
3. Vertical Leg Crunch:
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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