Crunches are a great exercise to target the abs and core. Here are three popular crunches that will use your body and your strength. The only thing you’ll need is a mat.
Lie on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head.
Bring the knees in towards the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.
Straighten the left leg out while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, taking the left elbow towards the right knee.
Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.
Continue alternating sides in a ‘pedaling’ motion for 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Exercise Ball Crunch
Lie on the ball, positioning it under the lower back.
Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head.
Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., the ball shouldn’t roll).
Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Vertical Leg Crunch
Lie on the floor and extend the legs straight up with knees crossed.
You can place your hands on the floor for support.
Contract the abs to lift the shoulder blades off the floor, as though reaching your chest towards your feet.
Keep the legs in a fixed position and imagine bringing your belly button towards your spine at the top of the movement.
Lower and repeat for 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps.
It may feel awkward the first time you perform these exercises, don’t worry. You’ll be stunned when you feel your stomach start to take shape. The more you incorporate crunches to your work out routine and the more reps you perform, the easier it becomes. If you’d like to see videos of each crunch, check out eHow.com.
Jason Yu is Partner and Director of Marketing for The Hardwicke Group in Richmond, VA. His company specializes in new media, PR and influence with an emphasis on digital marketing strategy and reputation management. Jason enjoys keeping active by biking, running and working out on a daily basis. Jason has ran in over twenty running races including the Marine Corps Marathon, Tough Mudder, Richmond Marathon, and Xterra races. Interesting facts about Jason is that he is a music fanatic, in search fro the best macaroni and cheese, and aspiring “mixologist.”