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December 2, 2008 4:12 pm

How to do the perfect abdominal crunch / situp

Posted in: Exercise, Muscles
By:

You may not know this, but many people do not use good form when doing an ab crunch. Not only can this cause back problems, it will also make your ab workout less effective. Learn to do it right!

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 3 to 5 minutes
Here’s How:

  1. Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands behind your head or across your chest.
  2. Pull your belly button towards your spine, and flatten your lower back against the floor.
  3. Slowly contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about one or two inches off the floor.
  4. Exhale as you come up and keep your neck straight, chin up.
  5. Hold at the top of the movement for a few seconds, breathing continuously.
  6. Slowly lower back down, but don’t relax all the way.
  7. Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions with perfect form for each rep.
  8. To add variation, bring your knees in at the same time you lift your upper body off the floor (full body crunch)
  9. To make it more difficult, balance on an exercise ball.

Tips:

  • To keep your neck in proper alignment, place your fist under your chin to keep your head from moving.
  • Keep your back flat against the floor throughout the entire movement.
  • If your back arches, prop your feet on a step or platform to make it easier.

What You Need:

  • A carpeted floor or mat.
  • Abdominals
  • Exercise Ball (Optional)
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