"I do 500 crunches and my abs aren't flat...what gives?" As a trainer I hear over and over "oh I ate a lot last night, can we do ab work?" My answer is always no. The abdominals are an area of the body that should be worked just like the biceps, quadriceps and even the back muscles - in conjunction with the whole body. For example, to get toned arms, its best to work the shoulders, triceps as well as the biceps....not just the biceps alone. Same goes for the abdominals. Crunches are fine as long as you are doing stabilizing exercises such as the plank, side plank and core holds. Planks can be done on your forearms, knees off the ground with your back and head in a neutral position. A good starting point is the hold 3 sets for 30 seconds long...advance from there. Side plank is the same position just on either forearm, with the other arm raised above head, hips are held high for a 30 second count each side. A core hold can be done best on the edge of a bench on your sits bone...lifting your feet and hands off the bench, chest is held high....extending legs straight for a more advance move...again 30 seconds long. Crunches are fine when wanting to work the core but remember to have a flat stomach, drink lots of water eat a balance diet and make sure you are getting 30-45 minutes of cardio 5 days a week!
AUTHOR: Christina Malizia
img source: https://www.pinterest.com/bassike/resort-swim-2015/