Josh Saunders Dec 17, 2010 Exercises  Fitness 101  

You should know this, so I decided to write an article about crunches and why they are killing your goals to actually get visible abdominal muscles.

And here we go….

1) Have crunches ever worked for you in the past? If not, then why would they ever work for you in the future…Now I am not accusing anyone of doing abdominal crunches, but you know that old saying right? The one about insanity and the definition of insanity being the action of repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So try something new….bootcamp if you haven’t, here listen to some people that have attended a langley bootcamp.

2) Crunches are most dangerous when they are most effective. Seems counterintuitive, but when you are overweight, there can be a lot of resistance on the abs during a crunch – and technically that is good…HOWEVER, if your abdominal and lower back muscles are weak (and they probably are if you have led an inactive lifestyle and are overweight), then that’s when you use bad form and end up with neck pain or low back pain from crunches. So even though you may be feeling the burn during your abdominal crunches, they will end up doing more harm than good amd you’ll acquire faulty motor patterns and a tight neck.

If you are a beginner, the best way to work your abs is by full body exercises like pushups, rows, and squats

3) Or maybe you are leaner? Crunches get LESS effective as you get leaner and fitter, because there is less resistance on the muscles and you’re now too strong to get anything out of crunches.

Here’s an over the top dramatic demonstration of what I mean. (If you know me, you know I like to err to the extreme side of things….even safety)!

Extreme look at things: Take your left arm and extend it out to your side. Now clench your fist and do 20 biceps curls. Or maybe do it with 5lbs like other bootcamps (had to say it ;)).

Now you know that is not going to do anything and it definitely won’t make you leaner or sexier. So utilizing this same logic, why would this methodology work when applied to “the traditional crunch.”

4) Some years ago, fitness magazines made a big deal about a research study proving you would need to do 250,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of belly fat. Now go try 100 crunches and tell me how you feel! (By the way, you are .4% there.)

Repetition for emphasis: ab crunches are a HUGE waste of time when you are trying to lose belly fat.

5) Even those lean, mixed martial arts fighters don’t do crunches. The trainer of world champion fighter Georges St. Pierre explains that they don’t do crunches, but instead do rotation and extension exercises for the abs. Not sure what those are? Don’t worry, they’re in my bootcamp program 😉

6) Interval training defines your stomach better than crunches. Whether it is jump ropes or kettlebell swings, your abs will shape up faster with interval training than they will with crunches. Once again, huge portion of my bootcamp program.

So when you’re ready to give up crunches (I’ll assume this blog article was convincing and it is right now) and use proven ab exercises and workouts, then you’re ready to become a bootcamper (or cheer because you are one!)

Thanks, you’ve been grand,

Josh Saunders, BSC (Biology), CSCS, CPT
Founder The Bootcamp Effect
Head Trainer Boot Camp U

PS. Nutrition also beats crunches every time. And the fastest way to get lean is to focus on eating better quality foods.  Organic fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats should be the staples in your meals. Want a more personalized approach? The Bootcamp Effect has a dietician who will analyze your current dietary intake and set you on the path for long term success!

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