Why crunches aren’t the best way to get tones Abs – And what to do instead
Courtesy of Mindbodygreen, by Dr, Alicia Jones
We’ve all done our fair share of crunches over the years. They’ve been part of our core-strengthening and tummy-toning fitness routine at one point or another.
But they aren’t the best way to get toned abs! Need some convincing…..
1. They activate every ab muscle at once.
Your core is made up of the external abs (rectus abdominis) that create the six-pack look most associated with a strong abs, the internal abs (transverse abdominis) that pull in your stomach creating a flat appearance and the lateral muscles (obliques and transverse obliques) that suck in your sides and create svelte shadows for a trim waistline.
While regular crunches are effective at defining the very outer layer of your core (the rectus abdominis) that’s their only focus. If you don’t work all the other muscles, your stomach will never reach that six-pack ideal because the other muscles won’t be strong enough to pull everything in and give your stomach the toned shape you’re after.
Crunch-free exercises activate all core muscles in one motion, simultaneously working your abs, obliques and internal abs.
2. They prevent back injury while they tone.
If you suffer from back pain, then crunch-free abs are a safer alternative to standard crunches.
Your spine’s natural shape resembles the letter S. This shape keeps spinal disks in perfect alignment and reduces your risk of disk herniation, disk bulges and low back pain. When you perform a classic crunch, you round your lower back to allow a bend forward from the waist (spinal flexion). But that’s the exact movement that causes herniated discs in your lower back.
- The easiest way to achieve toned Abs
In two words – The Plank! Check out video on you tube for a full demonstration.