Do you want a flatter belly? Crunches can help strengthen and develop abdominal muscles. Just 15 to 30 minutes of this exercise every other day can make a tremendous difference!
Just a few reminders: for best results, combine crunches with a good diet and cardio activity like running or a sport like badminton that gets your heart rate above 120 beats per minute. (Check the facts on losing belly fat.) That’s when your body starts burning fat. On the other hand, crunches (especially the ones on this list) will develop muscles which will increase metabolism so you burn fat even while you sleep.
1. Isometric Abdominal Contraction
Lie flat on the floor. Bend your knees to support your spine. Place your hand behind your neck. As you inhale, pull the stomach in. Release after 5 seconds. Do it for 12 repetitions.
2. Basic Crunches
This is a great exercise for people who have back problems. Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent. As you contract your abs, lift your shoulder blades off the floor do not lift your neck. You have 3 options for your hands: a) Cross your hands on your chest. b) Place your hands behind your ears. c) Place the arms at the sides.
Bring the knees towards the chest and both feet should be crossed together. Contract your abs as you bring the knees to your chest and exhale as you push your legs up. (12-16 repetitions)
After doing the basics, you can now challenge yourself to the different types of crunches.
3. Bicycle Crunch
Bring one knee close to the chest and place the hands behind the ears. Lift the shoulder off the ground without pulling the neck. Straighten the other leg at about 45 degrees while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, brig the left elbows towards the right knee. Continue alternating sides in a pedaling motion for 16-16 repetitions.
4. Exercise Ball Crunch
Rest your back on the ball. Cross your arms on the chest or place them behind your ears. Contract the abs to lift the torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward the hips. As you curl up, keep the ball stable. Do this for 12-16 repetitions.
5. Vertical Leg Crunch
Extend the legs up with feet crossed together. Keep the legs in a fixed position and imagine bringing your belly button towards your spine. Do this for 12-15 repetitions
6. Ball Glide Crunch
Place your forearms on the ball in kneeling position. Exhale and glide forward. If you collapse in the middle, you’ve gone too far. As you glide forwards, make sure that you keep your back straight. Contract the abs to pull body back to starting position.
7. Long Arm Crunch
Extend the arms straight out behind the head with hands clasped keeping the arms next to the ears. Contract the abs and lift the shoulder blade off the floor. Always keep the arms straight to avoid straining the neck. If you feel neck pain, take one hand behind the head while keeping the other arm extended.
8. Full vertical Crunch
Extend the legs up towards the ceiling. Place hands behind your hand and contract the abs. Lift the shoulder blades off the floor. At the same time, press the heels towards the ceiling creating a “u” shape. Lower down and repeat for 12-16 repetitions.
9. Plank on your elbows and toes
Instructions: Lie face down on the floor resting the forearms on the floor with hands clasped. Push off the floor raising up onto toes and resting on elbows. Keep your back flat in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abs to prevent your lower end from sticking up in the air. Hold for 20-60 seconds. Lower and repeat for 3-5 repetitions.