It’s not uncommon for people to start “working on their abs” with the goal of getting a “six pack” like Britney Spears. At Green Mountain, we like to remind everyone that the real benefit to doing abdominal strengthening exercises is building muscle to strengthen your core, which improves your balance and stability. Getting a six pack is a mighty lofty goal, but by just strength training twice a week, it’s very realistic to soon see a difference in your muscular strength and endurance.
As part of our upper and lower body strength training classes, we always incorporate abdominal exercises that include the upper, middle, lower and oblique muscle fibers. It’s about the time that we move on to “ab work” in each class that we hear the loudest groans. Yes, abdominal exercises should be challenging, but they should never be painful. When we help people make a few small modifications, especially to their abdominal crunches, they become a lot more comfortable.
While abdominal exercises can be performed on or with assistance from a Fitball®, Spri® tube, machine, chair or standing, one of the easiest and most effective ways is through crunches. While they may look like no-brainers, there are a few tricks to doing them right so you don’t hurt your back or neck and you get the most benefit. In our Fitness Friday video, LynnAnn Covell, senior fitness specialist, walks you through the right way to do a crunch. Take a look — even if you have been doing them for a while it can be easy to forget the details, and LynnAnn always has great suggestions to keep you safe.