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Exercise 101: Crunches

Exercise 101: Crunches

If you’re looking to improve, strengthen and define your abs, then the crunch is a great choice of exercise.

What will I need?

You basically need yourself and the floor. No equipment is necessary for this simple move. You might have seen those fancy rollers that claim to be abdominal exercisers, but really you just need your own bodyweight.

What are the benefits?

The abdominal muscle group, including the pectorals major, rectus abdominals, external obliques, internal obliques and transverse abdominals are all worked in a crunch exercise, which is mainly a core-strengthening move. Crunches can even help to improve your balance.

Who can do it?

Absolutely anyone can do at least some level of a crunch exercise. If you suffer from back pain then it might be better for you to perform the crunch on a gym ball, but it’s fairly straightforward move.

How do I do it?

Firstly lie flat on your back making sure your knees are bent and your feet are flat on the floor, hip width apart. Take your hands and place them either side of your head without locking your fingers or grabbing your head. Engage your abs by pushing the small of your back to the floor, then tilt your chin slightly and roll your shoulders off the floor, around 4 inches higher than the floor. Hold and then roll back down.

 

the author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

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