Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crunches suck

Trying to get the flat stomach? Starts with doing a lot more than crunches.  First of all, it starts in the kitchen.  Seeing your abs, or getting that "6 pack" starts with a low body fat percentage.  Quit dreaming of having that flat stomach if you're not willing to change your diet.  It is not gonna happen. 
What do I always say?  You cant out train a bad diet. 

1) Odds are crunches aren't working for you now, and didn't in the past, so why would they work in the future? It's time to give them up for good. You know the old saying about insanity? It's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Time to change it up!

2) Crunches are most dangerous when they are most effective. When you are overweight, there can be a lot of resistance on the abs when you do crunches - and technically that is good...HOWEVER, because your ab and low back muscles are weak, that's when you use bad form and end up with a pain-in-the-neck or low back pain from crunches.  So even though crunches can work your abs as a beginner, they end up causing more harm than good.

3) On the other hand, crunches get LESS effective as you get leaner and fitter, because there is less resistance on the muscle and you're now too strong to get anything out of crunches.
Here's a dramatic demonstration of what I mean. Take your left arm and extend it out to your side. Now clench your fist and do 20 biceps curls. Did that really work your biceps? And will that make your arms lean? Of course not, so why would the same high-rep method of crunches work for your abs?

4) Men's Health magazine made a big deal about a research study proving you would need to do 22,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of belly fat. Twenty thousand!
Even a "crunch fanatic" would need a few days to do 20,000 crunches.  Better off going with planks, side planks and even adding in a ball or a TRX to intensify the exercise. 

5) If you look at Olympic sprinters or MMA fighters I bet they don't do any crunches. They rely on rotational exercises and extensions(supermans). Along with stability exercises.  I was a high level sprinter, and I don't remember doing a lot if any crunches along the way. 

6) Back to Olympic sprinters, most of what they do is interval training.  Intense sprints done over and over again.  As a 110 hurdler, 200m, 400m sprinter my workouts varied throughout the year.  Some workouts tested my stamina (doing 400,500,600m intervals), some workouts tested speed or acceleration(100,150,200).  I probably hated every second of these workouts, but my times were great so who was I to complain.  I was in the sickest shape when I was sprinting every day, or doing plyos.  Man, I miss my days of track from my college years. 

7)  Want a better way to make your "abs" strong?  Do exercises with offset weight.  What I mean is, do lunges with weight in one hand, or farmers walks, squats, deadlifts.  Do it with a heavy enough weight and your abs will be working a lot.  Or better yet, find trainers that know how to use ViPR's and they can manipulate the ViPR in ways that will make your "abs" work overtime.

8) Lastly, crunches don't make your abs "pop."  Do a plank or a side plank and watch your abs pop out. 

Hope these tips help!!

Stay Active, Move More, Perform Your Best!!

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