In 2001, ACE(American Council on Exercise) sponsored a study to find out the best and the worst abdominal exercise. According to the study, the Bicycle Crunch is the best exercise that you can do to train your abdominal region, ranking second only to the captain’s chair when it comes to oblique activation.
A strong core will help you with maintaining good posture and performing well at your daily tasks. It is also a key component of good performance in sports and physical activities. Doing a variety of ab and core exercises ensures you are engaging your muscles in different ways.
Learning The Bicycle Crunch
- Start out by lying flat on the ground, with your lower back sitting firmly on the floor and your head and shoulders slightly raised above.
- Now, place your hand on the side of your head without knitting the back of your head with your fingers. Knitting your fingers behind the back of your head can lead you to pull your head in front of its natural alignment which is not desirable.
- Now extend one leg on the ground and simultaneously lift the other leg, bend it from its knees and move it towards your chest.
- As you’re doing the above, your torso will twist in such a way that your elbow touches the leg that moves towards your chest. You don’t necessarily have to touch your elbow and knee together but you have to perform the movement in a stabilized manner. The distance between your elbow and your head shouldn’t change, whatever distance you cover towards the knee should come from you twisting your torso.
- Lower your leg and arm at the same time while bringing up the opposite two limbs to mirror the movement. Keep on alternating sides until you’ve managed the desired amount of reps on each.
- Hips taking over: Your hips shouldn’t be rotating while performing the movement. Your torso should be doing all the twists and your legs should be moving forward and backward in a straight line.
- Fast Forwarding Through The Movement: Doing the exercises in a slow and controlled manner is always a good thing and that is particularly true for abdominal exercises. Fast-forwarding through the movement can lead to the stronger muscles taking over and you’ll end up finishing the movement with the help of momentum rather than your core.
- Straining Your Neck: Remember I told you not to knit your fingers behind your neck above? Well, that’s pretty much it. The desire to touch your knee with your elbow can be disastrous to your neck if you’ve wrapped your fingers around the back of the neck.