Any exercise does you good, but planks are a much better core exercise than crunches - easier on the back, and works a much broader range of core muscles.
Fitness Minutes: (36,883)
133 6/11/13 6:16 P
Crunches are good.
Fitness Minutes: (2,769)
80 6/11/13 8:22 A
There are two schools of thought on crunches....one for, and one against. I personally have had back issues in the past and my crunching regimen has no ill effect on my lumbar spine. I also do planks as well, leg lifts, side lifts, and a modified Russian twist to target the obliques.
As long as the person is schooled in the proper form, there should be no issues. There are countless instances of people who have had back issues doing crunches and their back issues improved. Of course, it also depends on the back problem involved.
Fitness Minutes: (18,507)
1,377 6/11/13 8:00 A
None, they are horrible on my back!
Fitness Minutes: (86,327)
6,900 6/10/13 4:39 P
I can't imagine why people would do LOTS of crunches when there are far better exercises for your core/trunk and that are far better for your back!
Crunches? Why bother they are or should be in the dustbin of abdominal exercises. Few if any do them correctly and even then they are minimally effective. Do core exercises such as planks, bird dogs, bridges and reverse blanks for an effective core workout. Crunches are a WOT, waste of time
Edited by: SERGEANTMAJOR at: 6/9/2013 (23:08)
Fitness Minutes: (81,524)
3,371 6/9/13 4:56 P
Core strengthening is essential for me as I am 57 yo therapist with long years of lifting too much load. I do about 200-240 or more with a varitey of types. I use a lot of the ideas from SP and magazine pages I have saved. I vary the amount depending on my time, if I am in a hurry I do the ones I know are the most effective. I start sitting on my stability ball and do regular crunches using a weight with 2 sets of 20, scissors at 2 sets of 20 or 40, then I do reciprical straight leg raises that are done just like scissors again 2 sets of 20 or 40, I do semi-recline with a weight taking it from side to side 2/20s or 40, knees to chest with hands pulling in and out (banana) 40 ea, reach up and tough my feet going side to side 40 and then legs crossed with elbow touching knees 40. I have many others but I trade them out for variety each day. I used to hate these more than any other exercises but now that I am lifting weights these are easy. I know the true value of keeping my abs strong as I still do a lot of lifting.
It's not the quantity of reps but the quality-keep safe form!
Edited by: BARBANNA at: 6/9/2013 (17:04)
Fitness Minutes: (46,290)
645 6/9/13 4:16 P
None. I don't see the point. There are other things that I can do that serve the same purpose.
I do a 20 minute core workout every other day and I'll do about 400 varied sit-ups along with other exercises. It has about 50 crunches in it, but also a wide variety of of other moves targeting the upper, lower abs and obliques. It works. At age 55, with a variety of exercises throughout the week (includes cardio, strength, and stretching) , and by watching what I eat, I have a flat belly.
Add plank, dolphin, and other moves to strengthen the core. You might consider taking a Pilates class to complement the crunches.
But don't think you can get a flat belly just by doing crunches. It takes losing fat all over your body with exercises to gain strength in all areas. Don't forget to stretch!
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