Thursday, December 6, 2012
Article # 96. Long Arm Crunches
Long Arm Crunches
Exercise experts suggest that the long arm crunch is just as, or more, effective at activating your abdominal muscles as the classic exercise -- assuming you execute the proper technique. The exercise targets the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles, which cover the front and sides of your abdomen, respectively. Consult an exercise professional for advice about how to fit the long-arm crunch into your regular exercise routine.
Like the traditional crunch, the long-arm variation strengthens the abdominal muscles, enabling them to flex your torso and support your spine effectively. Additionally, performing the long arm crunch burns calories; this can help you manage your weight.
1. Lie on an exercise mat with your back flat against the mat and your legs outstretched with your feet flexed.
2. Extend your arms above your head and clasp your hands together forming a long arm lever that rests against the mat.
3. Inhale a deep breath as you start in the resting position.
4. Hold your neck in a straight line with your spine, imagining that there is an orange underneath your chin to prevent you from straining your neck. Resist the urge to bend your neck as you come up for the crunch.
5. Keep your back and heels pressed against the mat while you are preparing for and completing the crunch. This will create the proper resistance needed to perform the crunch effectively.
6. Use your upper abdominals to raise your shoulder blades and arms off the mat to come up into a basic crunch.
7. Exhale the air in your lungs as you come up into your crunch, taking another breath in as your return to the resting position. Continue to perform the long arm crunch exercises for 12 to 16 repetitions, building into multiple sets as you become more comfortable with the exercise.