2,000 Crunches Does a Belly Good?

Friday, May 29 2020 12:04 PM
By Genesis Genesis

"Doing 2,000 crunches will get me a six-pack."

Is this a fact or myth…?

If you guessed “fact” then, er, um, WRONG, nope, incorrect! Research has found that crunches have almost no effect on body shaping, which is shocking because we see people at the gym bobbing up and down all the time.

Your abdominals, actually comprised of four layers of muscles, all need to be targeted. And remember, the golden rule of ab-workouts is QUALITY over QUANTITY.

The four layers are...

  1. Rectus Abdominis
  2. External Obliques
  3. Internal Obliques
  4. Transverse Abdominis

 

Try doing an abdominal circuit, highlighting the four layers with unique exercises. Between each station, let your muscles stretch by holding a bridge pose.

 

Target All Layers of Your Abdomen

 

Rectus Abdominis

This single muscle referred to as the “six-pack”, is a sheet of muscle, running laterally from your pelvis to sternum.

 HANGING LEG LIFT – Hang on a chin-up bar with shoulders engaged. Slowly lift your knees to a 90-degree angle without rocking your hips.

YOGA BALL ROLLOUT – On your knees, put your hands on a large yoga ball, keeping your elbows straight. Keep your torso and thighs in one plane, move the ball forward and then back to starting position.

 

External Obliques

These muscles compress the abdomen and run diagonally down and toward the midline of the body to provide the "V" shape of the lower abs.

WINDSHIELD WIPERS – Lie on your back with hands out to either side, palms down. Lift your legs straight up (or bent), then rotate your hips from side to side, lowering your feet until they almost touch the ground. Perform sets of 10 or more reps.

CABLE ROTATION – Hold a cable up to your shoulder height and move it clockwise in 90 degrees. Do the same on the other side. This move is especially helpful for golfers, tennis players and batters.

 

Internal Obliques

These muscles lie below the external obliques and aid the rectus abdominis in flexing, allowing you to bend forward. Keeping your internal obliques strong can help you maintain a narrow waist also help keep your back healthy.

 

SIDE BEND WITH WEIGHTS – Begin with a light weight in your right hand, left hand on your hip and legs in a shoulder-width stance. Slowly lean to your right, keeping your torso from leaning back or forward. Go to the right as far as possible then exhale as you return to the upright position. Repeat the exercise to the left side.

 

 

 

Transverse Abdominis

This is the deepest layer of muscle and building it up really helps reduce (and even prevent) low back pain.

 

BUTTON TO SPINE – Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Exhale while bringing your belly button in towards your spine and hold for five seconds. The concept is subtle and the exact opposite of rectus abdominis training.

PLANK – Bring yourself into a “push-up” position with either palms or elbows on the ground. Draw the belly button up to the spine, keep the sway out of the low back, and hold for 20-60 seconds.

 

 

 

 

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