Fitness Blog by Mike Farho

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Get Crunching!

Wed, 7 Feb 2007 by Denise Austin

Stomach crunches are a great way to tone that common problem area, the lower-stomach pooch. But if you aren't doing them correctly, you won't get the rock-hard results you want! Here's how: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Beginners or those with neck problems can place a pillow under the head and neck. Press your lower back firmly to the floor, there should be no arch at all during the entire movement.

Rest your head in your hands, keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. Tighten your abdominals to slowly lift your shoulders off the floor about 6 inches. Exhale as you crunch up. Remember, squeeze your abs to do the lift. Don't rock in an effort to gain momentum or try to pull your head up with your arms. It helps to keep your elbows back and your chin up, as if you were holding an apple under it.

Slowly relax your stomach muscles to lower your shoulders back to the floor. Don't rush it. Focus on your form as you move through the crunch from start to finish. Do two sets of 8 to 12 crunches each. Fabulous!


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