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How to Do Crunches

Bhakti Satalkar Feb 26, 2020
To get perfect and well toned abs, crunches are the weapon you should use. Let's see how to do crunches, effectively, so that you reach your goal of a flat tummy ...
All of us want to look good, hence, some of us indulge in dieting, whereas others follow vigorous exercise routines. It is observed that abdominal fat is the most difficult to shed off.
To get rid of this fat, it is necessary to have the right combination of abdominal exercises and cardiovascular exercises. Previously sit ups were considered the best weapon to shed off abdominal fat.
However, due to concerns about lower back injury and due to the fact that sit ups are not very effective, crunches have replaced sit ups as the best exercise to get rid of tummy fat. Crunches are very similar to sit ups. The difference lies in the fact that when you do crunches, you do not lift your entire back off the floor, you lift only the upper back.
Due to this, the abdominal muscles are isolated without engaging the hip muscles. The other advantage of doing crunches is that crunches do not compress the spine. When you are doing crunches, it is important that you know the right method of doing them, so as not to cause any injury. So now let's see the steps for doing crunches properly.

How to do Crunches Correctly

You do not have to visit the gym to do crunches. If you know the correct method of doing crunches, then you can easily do them at home as well. When you do crunches, it is recommended you use an exercise mat or a carpet surface
  • Lie with your back on the floor, bend your feet at the knees and place them flat on the floor. The other version is to be keep them suspended in the air. However, you should try the second version only after you have gotten used to the first one.
  • Entangle the fingers of your hands and place your hands behind your neck to support the neck. Avoid placing the hands behind the head, as a number of people have the tendency to pull their head during the exercise. When the neck is pulled it causes extra strain on the spine.
  • Slowly curl your back and lift towards the ceiling. Avoid pulling yourself towards the knees. You have to be sure that you are making use of your abdominal muscles only.
  • When you lift your shoulders, it is important not to lift your entire back above the floor as it can cause back strain.
  • When you are going up, make sure that your elbows do not come close to one another.
  • Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles as you go up.
  • Inhale and slowly get your shoulders towards the floor. Make sure your body does not come down as though you were to "plop" down. Controlling the muscles as you go down also places strain on the abdominal muscles.
  • Relax for a second and repeat the exercise again.

Doing Crunches on an Exercise Ball

Doing crunches on the exercise ball is also a good way to burn calories. It is an excellent way to strengthen the abdominal muscles. We will now see the steps to do crunches at home on an exercise ball
  • Lie facing the ceiling and the ball resting under the lower back. If you feel unstable with the ball, then you can place it under the mid back.
  • Like mentioned previously, place your hands behind your neck, so that your neck is supported.
  • Contract your abs and lift your torso off the ball. When you lift off the ball, try to pull the bottom of the ribcage down towards the hips.
  • When you come up, keep the ball stable and exhale.
  • Slowly lower your back onto the ball. Rest for a couple of seconds and repeat the exercise.
It is important to follow the instructions given in how to do crunches, so as to avoid any injury to the back. I will also recommend that you compliment the crunches with some cardiovascular activity for better results.
At the same time, do not forget to warm up. Crunches, when done correctly and consistently, is not only the best way to get rid of the excess fat that has accumulated around your middle, but also a safe option as compared to sit ups. All the best!