Looking to get those abs looking good? There are many different programs and workouts out there that are promising you the best abs of your life.
The fact is, it all boils down to two main exercises. Incorporating the two may be your best bet, but if you don’t want to take the heat of both, find out which may be your better option by reading below.
The crunch is one of the most common abdominal exercises people know about to get your six pack you are dying for.
To do the crunch, you lay on the floor with your face up looking towards the ceiling. The proper way to hold your hand is crossed over your chest, or behind your neck.
Pull yourself up, by curling your shoulders towards your pelvis. Be careful to use your core and not your hands to lift yourself, as you can cause injury to your neck if that’s where you decided to place your hands.
When you decide to do crunches, you will work out two major parts of your core:
- Rectus abdominal muscles
Needless to say, crunches will help you gain a flatter, more sculpted stomach. Knowing how to do a crunch correctly is going to be a plus, because according to Elizabeth Quinn, and expert in Sports Medicine, most people DO NOT do crunches correctly.
Doing incorrect crunches is going to leave less than desired results and can lead to painful back problems.
Some of the best tips for crunches are:
- Keep your chin off your chest. To make sure of this try putting your fist under your chin, to resist it dropping too low.
- As said before, never pull your neck when doing a crunch.
- Move slowly and in a continuous pattern as you do the crunch.
- Exhale as you bend, and inhale as you lower yourself back to your starting position.
There are also different variations of the crunch you may also try when the basic crunch becomes relatively easy for yourself. These include but are not limited to:
- Reverse crunches
- Single leg raise crunches
- Crunches with knees lifted
- Pelvic tilts
Planks are the ultimate challenge when it comes to pushing yourself, and one of the best ways to get the flat tummy you are looking for.
Traditional ab planks are the best ab exercises for getting a lithe midsection, a solid core, and a greater stance. To do this exercise you and the variations of this exercise check out this web page.
Unlike crunches that primarily work the rectus abdominal and oblique’s, planks work the transverse abdominals, which is the proper term for “inner abs”. The Transverse abdominals are the deepest gut layer and round horizontally about the midsection amid the hip bone and ribs. This muscle is invisible from the outside, unlike the rectus abdominals.
Working on building strong transverse abdominals will benefit you by sucking the midsection into a compact, slender and tight package, but won’t necessarily give you the sculpted abdominal six pack characteristics.
However, adding in different variations of the plank to your existing ab workout routine can provide you with the washboard abs you are looking for.
The five different variation plank exercises are:
- One arm ab plank reaches
- BOSU ball stability Planks (black side up)
- Swiss ball decline planks
- Knee to elbow planks
- Extended Ab V planks
A surprising benefit from using planks as your choice of ab workouts is a reduction in back pain. Strengthening your core is one reason. Another is because when you choose to do a plank you are limiting the amount of movement you are making. Therefore, helping your back.
You’ll also find a greater amount of flexibility in posterior muscle groups.
So, there you have it; The Crunch and The Plank. Which will you choose?