What if I told you that there is a style of crunch that exists, a unique crunch that can give you a six pack (with good eating) and get you more power on your squat! Would you want to learn it?
Why most crunches are bad for you
The crunch is a version of the sit-up, only it has a shortened range of motion to hopefully spare the spine and activate your abdominals more. But does it work?
Let me ask you another question before we go on. If you had a weight on the bar when learning how to squat, or after having mastered how to squat, that allowed you to do 100 reps, would you get stronger? Or even more toned?
The abdominal region of the body holds many myths, such as “it can be worked everyday” or the more you can do the stronger you are”, and unfortunately this is not the case.
What is true in this case is that abdominals are a part of learning how to squat and how to squat safely, as well as a component of doing a squat with proper technique. However, if this group of muscles is not activated properly or if it is over used, your chances of eperiencing low back pain will increase, and the likelyhood of you being able to remove that low back pain will be minimized until the training approach changes.
First things first; volume ( high reps) will not get you strength, rather it will help you get more endurance. Once you incorporate some smart ab workouts and add resistance or weight to them, then you can watch see how the six pack abs appear and your squat power increases!
What popular ab exercises will NOT get you a six pack and a killer squat:
1) Any form of crunch where the neck (cervical spine) is being pulled on or moved during the exercise
2) Any exaggerated rounding or hunching of the middle back
3) Any body weight plank
Let’s look at the first problem from above. Okay, so you’re doing crunches trying to get a rock hard stomach and while you move up and down, your head moves as well. You even go so far as to pull on it and curl it forward! But why?
Your head IS your resistance and when you do any form of ab exercises on your way to a six pack stomach, you do not move your head!
Keep it neutral and watch the abs carve themselves!
Now, problem number 2 is rounding your middle back. Let’s say you’re standing up and someone gives you a medicine ball to hold. It weighs a measly 8 pounds.
She asked you to hold it right at your lower chest/pec area. First off, would you round your middle back to hold it? Of course not!
She then asks you to extend your arms and move the ball away from your body while still keeping it in line with your lower chest.
Now tell me, while holding the ball in this position, would you round your middle back to help your abs contract.
Can you imagine holding that ball and then rounding your middle back! OUCH!
Now, think about how many times people do that while they do crunches and wonder why their back hurts or they are not getting the results they want.
The third problem is not a major one, however it still is worth mentioning. Planks (bridges) are a great way to get six pack abs and the best way to train the stomach for squats.
However, for most they don’t do anything but stay still, and while they think they are training their abs, many are actually putting undo pressure on their back.
If you would like to know if this is you, then have someone look at your low back curve standing up, then get down and hold a front plank. If your back is not the same as it was staning up, especially if the low back is curved more, then you will not get six pack abs and you will contribute to current or future low back pain.
The other aspect of the body weight bridge that doesn’t make it the best ab exercise is that it’s the shoulders that often fatigue long before the abs have a chance to get a good workout.
Three reasons for this are an improper shoulder position, the length of time you hold the bridge, and of course the lack of movement to challenge the abs.
Remember, you want to learn how to squat and get a great body as well, and in order to do that, the core has to be very strong! And if it is strong, it will be toned (provided eating is healthy).
So what AB exercise is the best when learning to squat and to get six pack abs?
Well, actually, there are many, and I am going to show you one great ab exercise to get more power when you squat.
All you have to do is have a look at the video and then get goin’!
Take note of that video, I didn’t catch her arm position as I spoke to the camera, however they moved up when she moved up, and they are not supposed to.
And she is a former top collegiate and national level athlete! Yes…this is a super ab exercise!