Let us not talk about washboard abs today. It makes no sense to talk about sprinting when we've just managed to be consistent with our morning jog. Fitness is a gradual phenomenon; you don't get results overnight. It is a laborious process which bears fruits only after a while. The key lies in being consistent. Increase your stamina and lose weight with the correct technique to look the better version of you.
Crunches are among the most sought after fitness techniques to get rid of belly fat. However, their effectiveness is compromised when done in isolation. A flatter tummy is not the output of the rigorous working out of the abdominal muscles. It involves engaging your entire core, which includes the abdominal muscles, the obliques, pelvic area as well as the muscles located in your back, butt, thighs and hamstrings.
"Don't expect results only by working on your abs. It works similar to the tightening of a belt. You will achieve nothing if you keep pulling the front leaving out the backside. It will result in an imbalance. Train your core to get an overall result," says Vanita Randhwa, a Delhi-based yoga and aerobics expert.
Simply put, crunches are an indispensable tool that work towards a sculpted core. They train various muscles involved in increasing abdominal strength and melting that stubborn belly fat. As you get better with stamina and endurance, the many advanced forms of crunches will challenge you further and enhance the efficacy of your fitness regime.
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If you are a beginner, your focus should primarily be on getting the technique right. No amount of exercising will render any result if not done the correct way; rather, it may often lead to disabling injuries. Let's get into the nuances of standard crunches. What looks easy to pull off in the start actually requires a lot of practice and precision of movements.
1. Lie flat on your back with your knee folded so as to make a 90 degree angle.
2. Keep your hands under the sides of your head.
3. Your elbows should be turned out and not inwards.
4. Now lift your upper up to a 45 degree angle.
5. Keep looking straight instead of bending your neck.
6. Come back to lie on the ground, repeat as directed.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Never, ever crunch after having a meal or straight after you have had water
- Make sure you are not arching or drooping your back while crunching
- Do not stress your neck
- Your lower back should be flat
- Exhale as you go up, inhale while going down
- Chin up, always
- Always crunch slower for maximum benefit
- Never let your elbows turn in, they should always point sideways
- Always supplement your abs workout with other exercises to train your entire body
- Never begin with an abs routine, it will tire you down for other intensive exercises to follow
Play around with the reps and the speed of standard crunches to challenge your endurance level. One you get comfortable, experiment with the many variations to take your fitness level a notch higher.