The Problems With Crunches For Abs


Crunches are undoubtedly one of the most popular forms of exercise out there. It’s popular not only because they can be performed without any equipment, but also because people want flat stomachs and great abs! 

The things is, one of the biggest fitness myths out there is that you can spot reduce fat on your body. So, the people doing crunches in a bid to get rid of belly fat are wasting their time, and it could be argued that doing crunches, for most people is pretty pointless on the whole. 

Here are a few reasons why you might want to think twice about dedicating so much time to crunches in your workout regimen

Crunches Can Cause Problems 

If you’ve been taught how to do crunches the right way, then you’ll probably be fine, but a lot of people just start doing crunches without any direction, and this can and has caused a whole host of problems from slipped disks to pulled muscles. That’s why you should at least think very carefully before doing tons of crunches. 

They Aren’t Great for the Spine 

Even if you don’t get injured as such doing crunches, they can be bad for your spine. Why? Because they teach you to maintain a ‘flattened’ spine and a lot of people tend to keep this position even when they’ve moved on to other exercises. While you may think this would be more efficient and healthy to keep a neutral back, this can actually be dangerous - the spine has natural curves for a reason! 

They Can Promote Poor Posture 

Crunches are really great at getting us to flatten our spines and hunch our shoulders forward, which can result in the wizened old woman look if you do too many of them! 

They Don’t Deal with the Core Muscles

Crunches, if you do enough of them, will improve the way your abs look, but they will only improve the muscles that are on the surface. If you want to have a really strong core, then you need to workout those deeper core muscles too, and that means doing other exercises, such as Pilates. 

They Can Cause Neck Pain 

If you’ve ever spent a period of time doing a lot of crunches, then there’s a fair chance you will have experienced neck pain as a result. The movements involved in performing a crunch put a lot of tension on the neck, which could end up causing serious problems in the long-term. 

They Do Nothing For The Rest of the Body 

The thing about doing crunches is that they don’t really do much for the body outside of the surface abs area. Since the whole body is connected and you can’t spot reduce or build muscle all over by doing one single type of exercise, relying solely on crunches will be ineffective and a waste of time that could be spent doing overall body conditioning exercises like kettlebells, yoga or bodybuilding. If you only have a limited time to exercise, crunches are probably not for you. Although I’m not saying you should never do crunches if you really want to, it’s worth noting their limitations and potential problems before you do.

And don't forget, abs are made in the kitchen and not always in the gym.


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I hope you enjoyed this article about why crunches aren't always the best abdominal exercises and to keep you motivated on your quest to six pack abs.

Interested in more articles about trimming and toning? 

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