When first starting to workout your abs you go right for the crunches right? They are the exercise that most people do when they are on the rod to getting their ab muscles in shape. But, are these the best kind of exercises for you to get the flat tummy or the six-pack you are after?
The gym teachers of the past must have known something because crunches are one of the best exercises you can do for your abs. But, like most things in life, the basic crunches that we used to do in gym class have evolved into a better workout and one that is overall better for your body. Sitting on an exercise ball to perform your crunches is a great example of how crunches have changed over the years. The ball is aced under your mid or lower back. You can place your arms behind your back or cross them over your chest. Use your abs to pull the bottom of your ribcage down towards your hips. The goal is to keep the ball stable. This is part of the way that you are working more then your abs with this simple exercise. Another way crunches have improved is through the placement of your arms. In elementary school the ways we were taught crunches was to place your hands behind your head or cross them over your chest. This new and improved crunch specifically works your upper abs by keeping your arms extended straight behind the head. The goal is to use your abs to lift your shoulder blades off the floor while keeping your arms next to your ears. You do not have to sit all the way off of the floor as was done in the past. The reverse crunch has also proven to be one of the best ab exercises today.
Rather then bringing your torso up off the ground, you bring your knees in towards your chest keeping your feet together. The point of the exercise is to use your abs to left your hips off the floor rather then using your legs to create the momentum. And finally crunches have improved in one final way. It is called the full vertical crunch. This crunch involves the upper and lower abs. It is done by lying on your back with your legs extended towards the ceiling. You place your hands behind your head and lift the shoulder blades off of the floor. At the same time you create a ìuî shape with your torso by pressing your heels towards the ceiling.
While crunches are one of the best ab exercises, there are a few other exercises that work your abs just as well. The bicycle exercise has proven to target the rectus abdominis muscles which will give you that six-pack you have been after as well as the obliques which is your waist. For this exercise you lay face up on the floor with you hands laced behind your head. Bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Straighten your left leg while turning your upper body to the right bringing your left elbow towards the right knee. Then, switch sides continuing to alternate for 2 to 16 reps. This exercise plus several others like the captainís chair leg raise and the ab rocker will get you on the road to great abs.