If you are like most people, chances are you’ve been trying forever to get that elusive six-pack: the holy grail of fitness goals. You’ve tried crunches, reverse crunches, twisting crunches, crunches with someone holding your feet, crunches in your sleep. All pain, But no six-pack.
“Everyone already has a six-pack. It’s just hidden under layers of body fat,” said personal trainer Lecia Whitlock, an instructor at the National Personal Training Institute. “The key to getting a lean midsection is to reduce your overall percentage of body fat. And crunches just aren’t a very effective way to do that.”
Crunches do tone a small portion of your abs, but you may get better results from moves engaging your entire core. Losing body fat is done by creating a daily caloric deficit so your body has to tap into stored energy, or body fat, to feed your muscles and keep you going.
Adding multiple bouts of intense cardiovascular work and incorporating a variety of different movements into your workout — 30-minute sessions three to four times per week — is a quick way to burn big chunks of calories in a short time. You’ll also make sure you’re strengthening your entire core.
Reasons why you should NOT do crunches
1. They can be dangerous.
It’s far too easy to pull a muscle, slip some disc in your spine, or create more subtle (but unpleasant) problems that won’t show up immediately. Also, they wreak havoc on your spine.
2. They can create poor posture.
Crunches reinforce bad habits that result in poor posture by disrupting the natural curves of the spinal. The end result to all this “ab strengthened” is a really bad posture.
3. They often create tension and restriction in the hips.
Most individuals tuck their butt under as they do crunches. This overworks surface muscles, disengages more core muscles, tightens hip flexors, and can create tension in the hips. The habit of tucking also produces unwanted results in the hip joint that can also manifest as lower back pain.
4. They can create tension and pain in the neck.
Ever watch someone do a lot of crunches? More often than not you’ve seen the strained look in their face and the taught tension in their neck. Another indication that crunches forget that the connection of the entire spine, doing more harm than good.
Here is a 5 Minute Core Workout – No crunches here!