May 16, 2011

Correct Abdominal Crunch

The correct abdominal crunch or sit up is an exercise we can all benefit from. This muscle group is the key to good posture and overall strength. It all starts here.
But form is actually more important than reps.  Fewer repetitions, between 10 and 15, done perfectly and with attention can do more to get you to a trim tummy than doing 30 sloppy crunches.

How to do a correct abdominal crunch:

1. Lie down on your back on a mat placed on the floor.
2. Place your hands behind your head to support your neck.
3. Roll your shoulders blades up off the floor as far as you can.
4. Hold the contraction for a moment, and slowly lower your shoulders back down in a controlled fashion.
5. Do twenty repetitions before taking a rest, and repeat this a maximum of three times, depending on your fitness level.
6. This can be done three times over the next week for beginners and up to 5 times for more experienced individuals.


1. Your hands should only support the weight of your head. You should not try and pull yourself up with your arms.
2. Do not hold your breath while exercising - oxygen fuels the muscles.
3. If you can't finish the above-mentioned repetitions, do as many as you can the first time and work your way up from there.
4. Keep your belly button pulled in and your lower back pressed against the matt as you lift your shoulders toward the ceiling.  Also, take your time with each separate crunch.  Racing through will allow some momentum to take over for what your muscles should be doing.  Take time, between 1 and 2 seconds, to do each crunch.  Working a little slower will help you pay more attention to your form and will be a better workout for your abs.