Avoid Useless Ab Crunches with Kathleen Trotter
If you find yourself doing crunch after crunch, and not seeing any results, you’ve come to the right place! In this episode of The Marc and Mandy Show, Kathleen Trotter, author of Your Fittest Future Self: Making Choices Today for a Happier, Healthier, Fitter Future You, shares her expert opinion on how ab crunches can end up being a fools errand. She also shows a few alternative exercises you can do to work out your ab muscles and strengthen your core.
Why does the crunch suck as a core exercise?
- Crunches don’t effectively target all of your ab muscles, making them an ineffective use of your time
- When doing crunches, there is a tendency to pull on the back of the neck with the hands, which doesn’t work the right muscles and can be detrimental to your posture
- Crunches can be especially hard on your back and lead to disorders such as a herniated disc
What exercises should you be doing instead?
- V-sit with rotation. To perform this exercise, sit down on your mat and lean back slightly with your legs at the width of your shoulders. Bend your legs to about a 90-degree angle, so your legs are suspended in the air. Then rotate your hands from side to side of your body.
- Plank. A plank is a fantastic way to strengthen your entire core. Proper form for planking involves keeping your core and quads tight, your feet and arms (for high plank)/elbows (for low plank) shoulder-width apart, and your hips lifted off the ground. Avoid straining your neck or letting your body fall and try to hold your plank for 60 seconds.
- Mountain climbers. This move begins with a high plank. Then, alternate bringing one knee toward your chest at a time. Ensure your shoulders stay over your hands.
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Nice work on the core.