Your core is one of the most important muscle groups in your body. Core strength helps you do a ton of common tasks throughout your day without pain or fatigue. So it’s no secret that strengthening your core is a must for any home workout.
But when it comes to core strength there’s a lot of exercise options to choose from. What’s the best exercise to build core strength? The simple answer is: crunches.
In this crunch guide, you’ll learn what crunches are, how to do the perfect crunch and some of the benefits of regular crunches.
What are crunches?
Crunches are an abdominal exercise that targets the ab and oblique muscles. They’re a simple and easy movement that can be done anywhere without the use of equipment.
Sit-ups and crunches are similar exercises, but they’re not the same. Sit-ups are a more complete workout that targets other areas of the lower body in addition to the core.
Crunches focus specifically on the abdominal and core muscles and are perfect for strengthening these areas in your daily home workouts.
Now that you know what they are, it’s time to learn how to do them...
How to do the perfect crunch in 5 steps
- Lie down flat on your back.
- Bend your knees so your feet are flat and stable on the floor.
- Cross your hands on your chest or behind your head.
- As you exhale, lift your shoulders and head off the ground. Try to press your shoulders towards your hips as you engage your abs and core.
- Lower your head and shoulders back down to the floor as you breathe in. Repeat steps 4-5.
Common crunch mistakes
Your lower back should never leave the floor as you perform your crunches. This will ensure that your exercise is targeting only the important abdominal and core muscles that crunches help.
Your arms should also stay neutral. Do not use them to pull your head or neck forwards.
Crunches are a perfect exercise for building abdominal and core strength, but if you have neck or back pain, or are new to exercises like crunches, consult your doctor before you add them to your workouts, and take it slow when you do.
The benefits of crunches
This exercise has tons of benefits, but some of the most obvious crunch benefits are:
Posture is all about core strength, and since crunches target your core, they indirectly help your posture too. So crunches today can lead to better posture tomorrow… and better posture helps you avoid painful back and neck pain.
Highly targeted core exercise
Unlike sit-ups, crunches target only your abdominal and core muscles making it a great exercise if you’re specifically looking for more defined abs or tightening the belly.
Everyday core strength
Core strength is essential for so many tasks we do during the day like lifting, standing, or even sitting properly. Crunches give you a laser focused way to target the core with a simple and easy exercise.
Adding crunches to your workout routine
If you’re new to crunches start slow. Keep your reps low at first and work your way up. One set of 10-15 is a good starting point.
Crunches are a perfect for rounding out a complete upper body workout and target important core muscles, so add them in wherever they fit.
A bunch of crunches
Crunches are a fast, easy and effective way to add core strengthening to your home workout.
Try adding some crunches and sit-ups to your workouts and enjoy the benefits of a tighter stronger core.