The crunches are maybe not the best abs exercise but they are the most popular. They target the upper part of the abdominal muscles and performed correctly they can help you to build the base of your upper abs.
Lie flat on the floor with your knees bend and feet on the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head without locking your fingers and keep your elbows in. This is the starting position.
Take a deep breath and pull your abdominal muscles like you want to touch the floor with them. From this position by flexing your abs start lifting up and in until your shoulder blades and head are of the floor but your lower back is still on the floor. At this position hold the peak contraction for 2 seconds and breathe out. Than return back to the starting position in a controlled manner. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.
- Do not pull your head with your hands. That way you risk neck injury and also you decrease the amount of work performed by your abdominal muscles.
- During the movement don’t think only how to bring up your head and shoulder blades, think how to curl in your ribs toward your pelvis. Only when you do this you get maximum muscle contraction of the upper abs.
- Perform the crunches in the 12-15 rep range and don’t exceed this rep range to build strength and muscle mass.
- Perform the negative part of the movement for twice longer time than the positive
- As you get more advanced start doing crunches on a bench with additional weight.