Strengthen and Define Your Abs by Doing Crunches

Ab workouts have become one of the most popular forms of exercise in recent times. For most people looking to get into shape, having a well defined and visible six pack is the ultimate goal from all the dieting and exercise. Not only does working out your abs help you to look sexy, but there are other numerous health benefits from having a strong core including improved performance in sports and for improvement of several chiropractic problems.

The most popular and basic way to exercise your abs are by doing “crunches”. There are also many different ways to perform a crunch and we will look into how to do several of these below.

1. Basic Crunch

I’m sure most of you have tried this one before, it involves laying on your back with your knees slightly bent with your feet on the floor, and with your hands either on your chest or placed behind your head, you slowly lift your upper body by contracting your abdominal muscles. There is no need to fully raise yourself as you will no longer be using your ab muscles but three quarters of upright position is good.

This is the perfect exercise to begin strengthening your ab muscles before moving on to more difficult and strenuous variations of the standard crunch. As the abdominal muscles are some of the quickest to recover, you may if you like, perform ab workouts daily.

You also need to remember to do them slowly, and make sure your ab muscles are doing all of the work, if you go too fast you will end up using your momentum to lift you rather than your abs.

2. Oblique Crunch

If you really want the visible results of an ab workout you should try oblique crunches. Your obliques are also known as your “love handles” and are found on the sides of your body from your waist down to your hips. This type of crunch also works your upper abs and will give you the quickest visual results.

To perform an oblique crunch, you get into the same position as a standard crunch but instead of raising your upper body straight up, you twist your torso to the left or right (remember to alternate to workout both sides of your body) to work out those other muscles. While doing oblique crunches, try to focus on your oblique muscles by contracting them as hard as you can as you lift yourself off the floor.

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