HomeChampion's TrainingFitness Secrets & TipsCrunches For Beginners | A Guide To Get Stronger Core
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Crunches For Beginners | A Guide To Get Stronger Core

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One of the key aspects of determining someone’s physical fitness is to check the strength of that particular person’s core. Ultimately core is perhaps the only body part that comes into action for every single movement of the body. That’s why there has been a tremendous emphasis on core strength. For beginners, crunches are a great way to build strength and muscle in the abs.

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Crunch is one of the basic, but highly effective exercises to build core strength. Though crunches exercise is a basic type of exercise, there are a few things to remember before performing the crunches. Crunches also put some stress on your neck and back. Thus, in this article, we will discuss how to do crunches, especially for beginners and other factors that are extremely necessary to know before incorporating crunches into your workout routine.

Which muscles do Crunches target?

Crunches For Beginners | A Guide To Get Stronger Core - KreedOn
Image Source- BODi

Crunches are a special type of movement that exclusively targets the core muscles. Obviously, exclusively targeting core muscles helps to strengthen the core rapidly as compared to other core-strengthening exercises. Along with the abdominal muscles, crunches also work the back and obliques which also helps to get a stronger core.

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How to do Crunches?

Crunches For Beginners | A Guide To Get Stronger Core - KreedOn
Image Source- HealthShots

Here are the steps to perform crunches: –

  1. Lie down on your back. Try to have a mat below your back.
  2. Bent your knees.
  3. Keep your arms on your chest in a crossed fashion. You can also place your hands behind your head. Make sure that the hands behind the head are not forcing the neck in an upward direction.
  4. Lift shoulder blades and head from the floor.
  5. Try to lift shoulder blades as much as you can provided the legs are in complete contact with the floor.
  6. Return to the initial position.

Precautions to Take while Performing Crunches

  • Make sure the entire moment is happening with the help of core only. Any moment of the neck or head can cause injuries.
  • Slow and steady movements must be preferred over fast repetition. Slow motion helps you to target the desired muscles.
  • It is recommended to not perform crunches daily. Try to have a gap of one day between the two crunch routines. Daily crunches will put unnecessary strain on your lower back and neck.

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How many sets are enough to get a stronger core?

Well, there isn’t any particular answer to this question. Someone may perform 10 crunches, while some others can do 50 crunches. It’s all up to the individual and his/her fitness levels.

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But to generalize the question, 3 sets of around 12 reps would be good. As said earlier, do not go for a 7-day crunch routine. 2-3 times a week and 3 sets of 12 reps would be sufficient. Obviously, the 12 repetitions are the bare minimum, you will get used to the exercise after a while and then you can ramp up the number keeping the number of sets the same.

Some Benefits of Doing Crunches

  • Crunches exclusively target the core muscles and hence you will get a toned belly in much less time as compared to the other core exercises.
  • It doesn’t need any kind of equipment. You just need a will to perform these, and you can perform this at any place.
  • Improving core strength through crunches can enhance overall athletic performance.
  • Although it isn’t the main objective, the movement involved in crunches can aid in enhancing flexibility in the spine and lower back.
  • Engaging the abdominal muscles through crunches can stimulate the digestive organs, potentially promoting healthy digestion.

Types of Crunches Exercise

The above-described crunch is the basic form of crunch. But as you advance in your fitness regime, you can raise the bar a bit higher by performing other types of crunches. Well, a thing to mention here is that these types are just extended versions of the basic crunches. The principle, targeted muscles remain the same. Just there is a slight increase in difficulty level by adding a few extra movements.

Following are the types of crunches: –

Basic Crunch

Crunches for beginners | KreedOn
Image Source: (fitmw.com)
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Position your hands behind your head or across your chest.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles and lift your head, shoulders, and upper back off the ground.
  • Lower back down to the starting position without fully relaxing your upper back.

Reverse Crunch

reverse crunch
(Image Source: Fit&Well)
  • Begin by lying on your back with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle and feet lifted in the air.
  • Place your hands either on the floor or under your hips to provide support.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles and lift your hips off the floor, bringing your knees toward your chest.
  • Gradually lower your legs back to the initial starting position.

Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle Crunches | KreedOn
Image Source: (Bodybuilding Wizard)
  • Start by lying on your back and positioning your knees in a tabletop position (hips and knees at a 90-degree angle).
  • Put your hands behind your head.
  • Move your elbows towards the opposite knee as you extend the other leg.
  • Alternate sides in a pedaling motion, resembling the movement of riding a bicycle.

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Russian Twist Crunch

Russian Twists
Image Source: (HIIT Academy)
  • Begin by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the ground.
  • Lean back slightly, lifting your feet off the ground to balance on your sit bones.
  • Hold your hands together or use a weight for added resistance.
  • Twist your torso to the left and then to the right, tapping the weight on the ground beside your hip with each twist.

Oblique Crunch

oblique crunches | KreedOn
Image Source: (Workout Trends)
  • Start by lying on your back and bending your knees, ensuring your feet are flat on the ground.
  • Choose to position your hands either behind your head or across your chest.
  • Lift your upper body and twist towards one side, aiming to bring your elbow towards the opposite knee.
  • Alternate sides with each repetition.

Vertical Leg Crunch

Vertical Leg Crunch | KreedOn
Image Source: (Bodybuilding Wizard)
  • Start by lying on your back and extending your legs straight up in the air.
  • Choose to place your hands either behind your head or reach towards your feet.
  • Lift your upper back off the ground, aiming to touch your toes or shins.

Conclusion

Crunches and their extended forms are great ways to build a strong core. This stronger core will help you in your 50s and 60s. But the bottom line is, that only doing crunches won’t serve any purpose. You need to have a full-body workout to enhance the effect of crunches. Eating healthy food, preferring home-cooked food, daily exercise, disciplined diet are the supplements you need along with the crunches to gain core strength and an overall better physical state.

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Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh’s love for Test cricket has no limits. He indulges himself in listening to experts talking about Test cricket. Saurabh absolutely loves the way Aussies play the game. He is quite new to football, but football fever has taken complete control of him. He is an ardent Bayern Munich fan. Saurabh loves to write about sports. Other than sports, he is a voracious reader, a fitness freak, loves physics, loves to stay away from social media, and a Mechanical Engineer too!

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