If you are someone familiar with the various kinds of exercises, you must be aware of the benefits of crunches as well! If not, fret not, we got you covered here! Crunches are exercises that target your abdominal muscles. Those chiseled 6-packs you see and adore are all a result of rigorous training that involves a variety of crunches along with other exercises. Crunches work on strengthening your core muscles with your own body weight. These work by flexing and releasing your core abdominal muscles helping lose fat and build lean muscle mass alongside. While they don’t need any specific equipment and can be done anywhere anytime, you can do some weighted variations as well! To know more about the benefits of crunches and how you should go about doing them, read on!
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.
Crunches are the best to strengthen your core muscles, lose fat in the abdomen, and get well-defined six-pack abs. You don’t require any equipment to do these exercises. So, you can do them wherever you wish to, be it at home or outdoors. However, the key here is to maintain a good posture and form to avoid getting injured. Also, start with fewer reps and gradually increase the number as you feel comfortable. Complement this workout plan with a good diet to see the results for yourself in a few months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it healthy to do crunches every day?
Yes. Doing crunches every day is healthy and safe if you perform just a few sets.
Do crunches slim your waist?
Yes. Crunches help tighten and tone the muscles around your abdomen, giving your stomach a flat look.
Which is better – plank or crunches?
Planks are better than crunches as they target a wider range of muscles and help build a stronger core from shoulders to glutes. Crunches are good for building ab muscles.
What is the best time to do crunches?
It is considered healthier to do crunches in the afternoon or early evening to avoid the risk of back pain.
Which is harder – sit-ups or crunches?
Sit-ups activate more muscles than crunches and have a wider range of motion, making them comparatively harder.