Sure, you train well, but the real question is, do you train hard? When it comes to working out, there is a right way and a wrong way to work out—and goes double for your abs! Crunches are the classic abdominal exercise, but if you aren’t seeing the results you want, there may be a much better way to get your six pack! Here are four reasons why you should not do crunches (and save your back in the process!)
They Can Cause Neck and Back Pain
Think of crunches as the classic but outdated abdomen exercise. By ‘flattening’ your spine (which many instructors will tell you to do), you’re running the risk of staying in that ‘flattened’ position too often (your spine is in a curved position, so when you do too many crunches, you can cause injury to the spine and back).
Do you already have back pain even before you step foot in the weight room? Unless you’re working with a professional who can ensure you have the correct posture when doing crunches, there’s a good chance you’re not crunching correctly—which isn’t only dangerous for your spine, back and neck—but you’ll be stuck with little to no results (that you so desperately want).
They Don’t Target Deep Abdominal Muscles
Do you want strong abs on the surface, but a weak core? Of course you don’t. If you’ve ever had a friendly competition going between you and your workout buddy, and wondered why after beating her at hundreds of crunches, you’re still not developing a lean and toned mid-section, there could be a reason for that. The reason is, crunches simply don’t target the deep abdominal muscles—and if you aren’t targeting those, you aren’t going to ever see the results you want.
They Can Cause Poor Posture
While your intentions may be good (after all, enduring dozens of crunches a day isn’t for the faint of heart), they can be counterproductive. Every time you tighten your core muscles and tighten your butt, you’re disrupting your spinal’s natural curve. Do you want to have slumped over shoulders, or an exaggerated forward head stance? We didn’t think so—but those who make crunches a part of their daily life run that risk.
You probably know by now that if you want a workout to last (meaning, you’ll come back week after week to do it in order to achieve the results you want), it needs to be engaging. How engaging is repetitive exercise like crunches going to be? Let’s make exercise fun again by cranking up the abdominal exercise variation—which won’t just bring you an amazing 6-pack you’ll want to show off to everyone you know, but an exercise you’ll be excited to endure, day after day. Rotating between the elbow plank, lifting your core up from a medicine ball or lifting weights from a squat to a free press position are all great ways to get amazing benefits—without running the risk of spinal, neck or back injuries! There’s life after crunches, and we hope you enjoyed these four reasons as to why!