The mere mention of a fit and fab body brings to mind images of muscular arms, toned legs and of course, those sturdy, tough six-pack abs. And the foremost physical activity that has been recommended for the past several decades, by professional trainers and fitness freaks alike, to help build abdominal strength, are crunches.
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A gruelling movement that involves lying down flat on the back on a level surface and lifting the upper body or torso without any fixed props or supporting momentum, crunches offer magnificent fitness advantages. These include a slim, flat tummy, robust back and hip muscles, a reinforced abdominal core, as well as improved performance in sports and athletic events.
In addition to being a cost-effective workout that requires no elaborate setup or gym equipment, crunches assist in enhancing an important tissue cluster in the mid-section of the body – the rectus abdominis. Also known as the abdominal muscle, this is a paired tissue group, with one set of each situated vertically on either side of the front portion along the wall of the tummy. The rectus abdominis is usually visible as a six-pack and hence colloquially referred to in that manner.
Akin to the plank exercise, performing crunches, although a tiring task, actually involves a pretty straightforward technique and when done correctly, works wonders in promoting overall wellbeing. Foray through this feature, that provides insight on how to do basic crunches, as well as the amazing benefits of this workout for uplifted physical health.
Also Read: The Basic Plank Workout: Unbelievable Benefits Of This Popular Fitness Trend
How To Do Basic Crunches:
While doing crunches daily is not recommended, especially if you are just getting started with this intense exercise, incorporating it at least twice or thrice a week is highly beneficial for a vigorous and durable core. Just spread a comfortable mat in your local fitness centre or clear the floor in an open space at home and follow these simple steps to get going with your crunches routine.
First, lie flat on your back in an even surface, bending your knees and positioning yourself comfortably.
Join your hands behind at the top, to support your head, placing your elbows further away from your ears.
Exhale and compress your belly, so as to hold it in tightly. Simultaneously raise your head, neck and shoulders off the ground to a convenient height, all the while keeping the lower back fixed to the ground.
Hold the position for about 5 seconds, breathing normally and then inhale as your release your head, neck and shoulders almost but not entirely back to the surface.
Carry out this repetitive regime for 15 to 20 iterations.
Astounding Health Benefits Of Doing Crunches Regularly:
Burns Belly Fat
Several research studies have demonstrated that a mere 10 minutes of crunches burn more than 50 calories. Moreover, since crunches stretch the rectus abdominis quite extensively, the aid in shedding the rather harmful visceral fat that accumulates in the belly, thus ensuring a slim and toned physique.
Also Read: These Super Easy Workouts Melt Away Belly Fat, Much Faster Than You Think
Augments Spinal Structure
Performing crunches regularly not only builds a strong abdominal core and a trim torso, but also makes certain structural muscle groups in the spine more resilient. While lifting and relaxing the upper body in crunches, the spinal erector muscles that are located between the rib cage and the pelvis are stretched, thereby helping maintain posture and balance.
Improves Gut Health
Since crunches involve pushing and pulling the abdominal muscles, it aids in exerting positive pressure on the stomach, intestines and the gastrointestinal system. This workout, much like pelvic floor exercises, vastly improves bowel and bladder movements, facilitating the smooth digestion of food as well as the elimination of wastes and enhancing immunity, metabolism.
Develops Core Muscles
Crunches are a great way to sculpt the core muscles in the upper body. Though they focus solely on the abdominal area, they also extend the neck and shoulder muscles, helping relax any stiffness and strain in the region. In this manner, the upper body strength is immensely increased, for more stamina in sports and athletic activities.
Flexes The Hips
The hip muscles are very important for optimal movement of the body, as well as physical activities of jogging, running, lifting weights and bending effortlessly. Crunches are an ideal workout to extend hip muscles routinely, to keep them flexible and dynamic, so as to prevent rigidity, injuries and augment physical fitness.