If you are planning to follow a strength routine, you must add core training to it. After all, there is no other workout that can improve your balance and stability better than core training. And you cant forget the biggest benefit here - getting ripped abs. One of the best exercises in core training is crunches. If you ask a gym trainer about the best exercises to get super ripped abs, the first name you might get is crunches. That said, it is important to do it the right way. If you do not focus on the form, you might get all the benefits of this exercise. In this guide, we are going to talk about all things related to crunches exercises. From a step-by-step guide on how to do it to some variations, we are going to cover it all. There is no prerequisite as this is a total beginners guide crunches exercise.

Crunches: How to Do It

Performing this exercise might take a little effort but learning how to do it is very easy. Here is how you can do crunches exercise:

  • Put a towel or yoga mat underneath your body as this is a floor exercise.
  • Lie down on the mat and keep your feet at hips width apart.
  • Raise your knees up and place hands on your chest (usually, people find crossed hands the most comfortable).
  • Now, inhale and try to contract your abs a bit.
  • Exhale gradually and lift both your shoulders and head off the ground. Your ab contraction will guide your bodys motion. Just make sure that your head and shoulders stay relaxed.
  • When you inhale again, release your body gradually back to the ground.

Safety and Precautions

  • If you have had a neck or back injury in the recent past, you should avoid doing crunches and other core exercises. Alternatively, you can consult a doctor or a physical therapist about whether doing the exercise is safe for you or not.
  • If you are pregnant, you should avoid doing crunches and lower body workouts as soon as your belly expands or after the first trimester.

Quick Tips:

  • Some people place hands behind their heads. Avoid doing that as it puts too much strain on your neck.
  • It is not going to benefit you in any way if you perform the exercise faster. Slow and controlled crunches give better results than jerky exercise.
  • Some people lock in their breath while they do the exercise. Never forget to inhale and exhale as this is a major part of engaging your core muscles.

FAQs

Can I do crunches exercise for belly fat?

Belly fat is usually very stubborn and hence you might need to take a holistic approach for burning it. Crunches exercises are best to provide definition to your body and strengthen your abs. The exercise can also help you support and balance by improving your core strength. However, you shouldn’t do crunches exercise for belly fat burn as the exercise has been found unable to flatten the stomach. To burn your belly fat, you need to do other exercises like cardio and make changes in your diet.

How many crunches are enough for beginners?

Most experts say that ten to 20 reps are good to start if you are doing crunches for beginners. While doing the exercise, you can listen to your body to ensure that you are not pushing the limits. Gradually, you can increase this count as your body gets comfortable from week to week. Always remember that jerky increases never maximize the effect of the workout. Instead of that, you should strive for measured and slow movements.

Can I do crunches at home?

Yes, you can perform crunches at home. As you can read in the step-by-step guide on how to do crunches, you only need a yoga mat or a towel to perform crunches. Other than that, there is no requirement for extra equipment that you can not find at home. Hence, you can easily do crunches at home.

Sit-ups or crunches, what should I choose as a beginner?

For beginners, crunches are considered better than sit-ups because the latter put too much strain on your shoulders, back, and neck. Crunches also put a strain on your shoulders and back but it is relatively lower than sit-ups. That said, sit-ups are great exercises to engage your core. You can try it once you have mastered crunches.

What benefits do I get by doing crunches for beginners?

As a part of your abs workout, crunches exercises can strengthen your core muscles. These muscles are essential to balance your body and prevent you from different kinds of internal injuries while you perform other exercises. As compared to other core-strengthening workouts like obliques workout, crunches are easier to perform and they also no do not need any special gym equipment. Some people want to do crunches for weight loss. If you are also planning to do crunches to shed some kilos, you should know that along with doing crunches for weight loss, you have to add several other exercises to your workout routine.

Is there any side effect or downside of doing crunches?

There are no downsides or side effects of doing crunches until you perform the exercise correctly. If you throw your form off, there are chances that you will put a strain on your shoulders and neck. Hence, it is recommended to you take the help of a gym trainer to learn the perfect form of the exercise if you are a beginner. If you are unable to go to the gym for some reason, you can also take online crunches classes and learn the correct form.

What are the types of crunches?

There are many types of crunches you can perform at your home or gym. Here are a few major ones that can help you sculpt six-packs:

  • Crunch on a ball
  • Twist and crunch
  • Russian crunch
  • Hip raise and leg raise
  • Woodchop
  • Jackknife
  • Wiper crunch
  • Reverse crunch
  • Side on crunch ball


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