Undoubtedly, the most popular exercise for abdominal muscles is crunches. It turns out that they are not only ineffective but also often lead to injuries.
Crunches loaded more muscle, folding pelvis, than the belly itself. These muscles pull back, which in long period of time can lead to distortion. According to some professionals the large number of crunches is the surest way to cause injury to the lumber spine. According to them there are needed just over 20 000 repetitions of this type to cause irreversible damage to the vertebrae.
Crunches train folding, which is movement, while the main role of the belly is just the opposite – stability.
Because the stomach is not so loaded, crunches may be performed in a large number of repetitions. Some people reach hundreds of crunches a day. The huge number of repetitions of the same exercises leads to releasing of stress hormones and undue burden adrenal glands. A similar type of training stimulates the release of female sex hormones at the expense of males. And as we know, testosterone is among the key factors for high sport achievements.
The constant tension in the folded position is a prerequisite for “pulling” the chest down and curved.
If you wondering what to do if you are not making crunches here is the answer : the main principle is to make a progress from static to dynamic exercises. It is very important to keep the neutral position of the back – without bending or twisting. Maintaining proper posture in performing the exercises and ensure correct posture during the remaining 23 hours of the day (when you don’t make exercises). Stick to low reps (12) – when you can do more, go to the more difficult version of the exercise or change the exercises to more complicated one. Implementation of over 15 reps dramatically reduces the effect of a movement.
There are various types of crunches which are beneficial for your body.
Abdominal press with straight spine – this backbone is upright throughout the range of motion.
Abdominal press with prior abdominal contraction – the first folds the upper part of the spine, then lower. This option allows a safer and more intense exercises. Use this technique as a major.