Abdominal crunches, partial sit-ups, curl-ups—-different names for the same exercise, a basic exercise that probably has more variations than any other single exercise. The purpose of this exercise (crunch) is to strengthen the abdominal muscles. At best, only two of the four layers of abdominal muscles can be effectively strengthened via this exercise. But when performed properly, it is a very good way to isolate and strengthen important trunk stabilizers.
Technique is the most important aspect of any exercise (quality versus quantity). Performed correctly, this exercise will strengthen the rectus abdominis (six-pack) muscle. By adding a rotational element, the oblique muscles (external and internal) are also strengthened.
The correct technique is as follows:
· Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor; DO NOT stabilize the feet
· Place fingertips on top of head or alongside your ears; DO NOT lace fingers
· Keep the elbows out, beyond the range of peripheral vision
· Point the chin towards the ceiling
· Tighten your stomach muscles, flattening your lower back against the floor
· Raise your head, neck and upper back off the floor until your shoulder blades are just off the floor
· Hold this position for 1 second
· Slowly return to the starting position and repeat
To activate the obliques, rotate as you raise up.
Our fitness training program ensures that all exercises are done safely and to maximum effect. You’ll be supervised by COAST Physical Therapy Services friendly and motivational staff of qualified fitness experts.