How To Perform The Perfect Crunch, By The 4 D Trainer in Oxford

Crunches or sit ups as they are often referred to as are amongst the most common exercises performed incorrectly. I have seen all sorts of renditions of the ‘crunch’ from people yanking their heads forwards, to rounding their shoulders to simply not working their abdominals at all! For such a seemingly straight forward movement it’s amazing how detrimental to your posture it can become when not done correctly.

Take a look at the below coaching points to avoid the ugly pitfalls of the crunch…

Beginner basic floor abdominal crunch

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees
  • Place your hands on your thighs
  • Now, stick with me – swallow, you will notice the tongue lands perfectly on the roof of your mouth. This is where we want the tongue to remain throughout your set of crunches, the reason for this is that when the tongue is on the roof of your mouth all of the muscles of your cervical spine are engaged not just the two powerful muscles at the front (sternocleidomastoid), which when over used become over active and lead to poor posture and pain
  • Breathe slowly through your nose
  • Slowly crunch up (take two seconds up and two seconds down), lifting your shoulder blades off the ground, until your finger tips ideally reach your knee caps
  • Your eyes should be on the ceiling and not looking down at your legs, no hunching over – imagine a piece of string lifting you up from your chest
  • Slowly return to starting position

You may find when you first start doing crunches this way your neck muscles will burn a little, this is because in the past you probably were not using them at all and they are wondering why the sudden change of plan now. Take it gradual and progress slowly. We want your neck, adominals and hip flexors to work as one strong flexor chain.

Once you have mastered the basic crunch you can change your hand position to make it harder: place your hands on your chest, or even harder, finger tips on temples (do don’t pull your head forward, remember eyes on ceiling/sky), harder still, hands outstretched over your head and for the brave hold a medicine ball, weight plate or dumbbell for added resistance.

How To Perform The Perfect Crunch, By The 4 D Trainer in Oxford

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