Get back to the basics with abdominal crunches

Every advanced or higher level exercise movement is derived from a very simple and basic move. Some people choose to keep their exercise regimen simple, easy and basic all the time. Then, there are others who are always looking for a bigger challenge.

If you are truly looking for success in your fitness journey, starting simple is always going to be a win. Besides, once you master the easy stuff you have plenty of room for growth.

Our move for the day is a basic abdominal crunch. All you need is a flat surface and a yoga mat or towel. This move will be working your core abdominals, and as long as you are able to lie down on the floor this move is for everyone.

To begin this basic crunch move, proceed to lie down on your back. Place your fingertips (gently) just behind your ears, being mindful not to add too much pressure to your neck. Continue on by bending in the knees and placing your feet flat on the ground. Keep a good space between your chin and chest, and press your back flat into the floor, you are ready to start this exercise.

Start this crunch by lifting your upper body off the floor. Keep a focal point with your eyes, elbows extended away from your body, and attempt to lift the shoulders completely off the mat. Make sure you engage your whole midsection on the lifting motion. You are using your abdominals to lift your upper body off the floor.

Once you reach your fullest contraction, proceed to your starting position. Keep this move controlled, on a one-two count, shoot for 10-15 crunches per set. Take a small break of a few seconds and continue on to your remainder sets, giving yourself three to five sets.

This is a great go-to abdominal move that can be performed anywhere and added to any routine. You can crunch in your living room, at the gym, or even on the go in your hotel.

That is the luxury of keeping some simple, attainable moves in your fitness plan.

Written by Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and a group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA. Photo by 123RF.

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