Ab exercises probably fall under the category of controversy. Part of it has to stem from television, especially those 'As seen on TV' infomercials. Every January, without fail, we are inundated with the latest ab devise. I did a quick search and discovered the "As Seen on TV" website. If you go to fitness, you will learn there are still a lot of devises that will sculpt the abs. The belief, we want the six pack definition. Although if you talk to people a lot will say they have a six pack, it's just they keep them well insulated. It has to be remembered, if you think all your problems will disappear when you use these devises then you are probably the right person to buy some of this stuff. I can tell you if you are that interested in buy any of them instead of calling the 1-800 phone number, just wait about six months to a year and check your local thrift store, they will end of there. Why because for the most part they don't do what they claim. There are two promises, 1) you will develop fantastic abs and 2) you will lose weight by simply working out 5 minutes, or 30 minutes a day or three times a week.
Yes that will happen. Happens all the time. Usually they get these models that are true athletes and they do look fantastic. Yes they use the devise, but then again, give them money they will pose them them. You want fantastic abs and show them off, it takes a great deal of effort, there are no short-cuts. In fact that holds true for all exercise. You want performance, you had better put the time and effort.
So, that's my soapbox moment. The purpose for today is not to give you the three steps for six pack abs. I want to consider the crunch. Let me say right off the bat, it's a very nice form of exercise. If anything it is useful for building and strengthening the core. For almost all parts of life, a strong core is important. It keeps everything in place. As well, it does bring some definition to the abs, which for the reason of the six pack, can't hurt.
To me, crunches are far better to me then the sit-up. The sit-up is a great exercise, but I find it is hard on the lower back, this is where the crunch is better. It is puts less strain on the lower back. If done well, the crunch is a relatively short exercise that brings the upper back and shoulder blades up and down, for the period of time you've decided. A quick guide for the Crunch can be found here. It is a simple exercise to do and with the right form and time, they can be done for a solid minute or more.
There is a 30 day challenge. Will help develop your core strength:
I should point out there is some negative news about Crunches. This article in the Globe and Mail gives you the points. Personally, I will keep doing crunches. They are a good form of exercise.
Understandably, the crunch may not be for everybody, fortunately there are some variations which should make it fine for people. Here's a list of them.
When all is said and done, I'll keep doing crunches.