Fitness Coach Chris Freytag demonstrates ab crunches and shows you how to simplify the move or add a challenge
Read the full transcript »
Chris Freytag: Hi! I am Chris Freytag, Prevention's Fitness Expert. I am going to take some of the most effective exercises and show you how to make them easier if you are just beginning or a little harder if you would like an extra challenge. Let's talk about the abdominal. The basic crunch is a great exercise when performed properly. You are down on the ground, relax your hands, go ahead and inhale, exhale laying into the back of your neck, chin to your chest, belly to your spine, come up hold those abs then and well, back down focusing on those low abdominal. Now to make this a little easier if you are just beginning, lets start at the top. A half-roll back is a great beginner exercise. Draw your knees together, round your spine into a C-curve and pull that belly button in nice and tight and go ahead and roll back. Just like you are about to roll down, instead scoop those abs up and come all the way around. Again, roll back with a C-curve abs tight, pull your belly button to your spine and roll all the way forward. This is a great beginner sit-up. Now lets talk about making a little more challenging. Anytime you take your feet above the ground, it's going to add and extra challenge to the poor body, roll all the way down, keep your abs tight, slightly press your low back into the mat as you lift those feet up off the mat, that way you'll protect your low back. Go ahead and lengthen through the back of your neck, chin to your chest, belly to your spine and come up in a flex position. Hold those abs in tight and lets go ahead and do a single like stretch; alternating legs as you bicycle through point your toes, keep your hips steady, keep your abs pulling in and breath, inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale and breathe out good. And go ahead and do as many as are comfortable for you.