Flaunting a six-pack torso is the epitome of human aesthetics for many. More than often we see people working hard to train the coveted muscle with minimum results. Unlike popular belief, the reverse crunches and forward crunches do not target the upper and lower abs. Since a muscle works on the “all or none principle” i.e a muscle fibre will contract in totality and not in parts, the Rectus Abdominis muscles being vertically straight fibers running across the torso it becomes impossible to train only the lower abs or the upper.
Studies suggest that the path to a flatter stomach has just as much to do with cardio and diet as it does with working that midsection. Obviously, crunches alone won’t get rid of the layer of tummy fat and magically replace it with rock-hard muscle but other core workouts may help you achieve your goal.
For those who are new to this journey, the “spot reduction” technique will not help you get rid of belly fat. Targetting a specific area of body fat does not work because fat is broken down and transported to the bloodstream. This will then be used as energy to fuel your workouts and can originate from anywhere in the body. This could be the reason why you are not seeing any visible results despite doing hundreds of crunches.
For those who have already embarked on the path to get-six-pack abs and are looking to strengthen your abdominal muscles, crunches are just one of the few exercises you should be doing. For a truly strong core, apart from the ab muscles, you will also have to work your side, back, gluteal and psoas. Here is a core workout you need to add to your sessions: Jack Knife Crunches.
Lie down on your back with your hands stretched behind your head and your legs extended in front. Make sure your knees are not bent. Now in one smooth motion, lift your hands toward your legs and lift your legs toward your chest. In this position, your body will form a V-shaped profile. For beginners, it would be easier to bend the legs at the knee toward their chest, but you can leave them extended out if needed too.
What it does: This crunch targets the muscles that cross the middle of your stomach, or those six-packs, but most importantly, the obliques on the sides of your abdominals, as well as your inner thigh muscles. Your arms are also getting a solid workout if done right.
Source: Mobie Fit