4 movements you should avoid when doing crunches

The six-pack or “chocolate bar” of the abdominal area is one of the most sought-after goals by a large number of athletes and fans. Getting to mark the abdominal muscles requires a great deal of work and dedication, and for this reason, there are many who dedicate a significant part of their training time to these muscles. The most common exercise of all is the crunch, commonly called sit-ups. Performing it properly is not as simple as it may seem, and there are a series of movements and vices that should be avoided whenever you work.

Write down the mistakes you should NOT make in abdominal exercises

So that you can learn how to do abs from scratch correctly, we are going to reveal to you what are the movements or gestures that you should not perform under any circumstances:

1.don’t pull with your neck

When doing sit-ups, the effort should be concentrated below your navel, on the rectus abdominals. It is very common for beginners to grab the back of their neck with their hands and, when they are tired, begin to pull their head up with the strength of their arms. Doing this can end up leading to cervical injury, and should always be avoided. Also, if you do not perform the exercise with the muscle you intend to work, it will be useless. A good option to make sure this does not happen is to place your hands behind your ears, without supporting them.

If you feel like you need to relax your neck or it gets too heavyfocus on straining your abdominal muscle. If you think you are doing the exercise well and still feel pain in your neck, give yourself a break.

2.don’t swing your arms

When you’re not holding your head with your hands, you will probably find yourself swinging your arms on each rep. It is an almost instinctive impulse that the body makes to facilitate movement, but your goal is not to do the exercise easily but to do it well to work the abdominal muscles.

Leave your arms in a static position while you do your repetitions, and try not to push yourself with your elbows. Every little push that doesn’t come from your rectus abdominals makes the exercise less effective, wasting your time.

3.don’t climb too high

We have all seen in movies and series someone doing sit-ups and raising the abdomen to touch the knees. This is unnecessary and even discouraged for beginners. From 45º of trunk inclination, the incidence of the exercise on the rectus abdominals is less. This causes you to carry out a very long movement where it is easier for you to make mistakes for very little benefit.

To perform a proper crunch you do not need to go up more than 30º, in short, and controlled repetitions. You yourself will notice how the effort is more concentrated like this, and the muscle heats up quickly.

4.don’t arch your lower back

When you lie down with your legs drawn up, your back tends to arch away from your lower back off the floor. Try to correct this by moving your hips forward so that your entire lower back stays in contact with the mat. At first, it can be a bit difficult to combine this position with the effort of exercise, but it is very important that you do it to avoid low back pain.

If you have a lot of difficulty in achieving this, try raising your legs off the ground, bending your knees at about 90º. You can crisscross your ankles to make the position more comfortable. Performing an exercise like this will tire you out sooner, but it will also facilitate a better lumbar posture. In addition, by keeping your legs up, you will increase the incidence of exercise on the lower rectus abdominals area.

Our final tip 

Important: do not rush or despair. Defining your abdominal muscles is a long-term goal, and it is also influenced by factors such as diet. Do not perform abdominal exercises daily, or the muscles will not have time to recover and improve. It is also important that you try not to work the rectus abdominals for more than 15 minutes at a time, especially if you are a beginner, and that you get used to stretching your abs after each session. This way you will not exhaust your abdominal muscles, and you will be able to better control your exercises.