The belief that punishing abdominal crunches is the most effective way to achieve a flat stomach is not entirely true. While crunches are effective to a certain extent, they cannot deliver a flat stomach on their own. And when not executed correctly crunches can injure your neck and back.
Why Crunches Alone do not Deliver a Flat Stomach?
To get a flat stomach and display your toned abs, the fat surrounding your midsection has to be burned. And crunches burn negligible or very few calories. To be effective, crunches need to be supplemented with resistance training that builds muscles and burns fats. A low-fat-high-protein diet helps to burn more calories and supplements the crunches in attaining a flat stomach.
So Are Crunches totally Ineffective for Flat Stomach?
The answer is no. Due to their nature, crunches do work the abdominal muscles and strengthen and tone them. And strong and toned abs are an essential component of ‘fit to display’ flat stomach.
Abdominal Crunches that are Effective
As you come up, the six pack muscle, the ‘rectus abdominus’ gets crunched and will eventually get strengthened and toned.
The twisting crunch tones the oblique muscles on the sides of the waist, commonly called love handles. You don’t want a flat tummy with flabby sides, do you?
It is important to twist the body from the sides. Just moving the arm will obviously not work the muscles.
It is exactly what it sounds like – a reverse of the basic crunch. While the basic crunch works the upper abdominals, the reverse crunch focuses on the lower abdominal muscles.
There are several other crunches that you can perform including the bicycle crunch, crunches with heel touches etc, which work the abdominal muscles. The crunches can be performed free style on the floor or on medicine ball or with weights to increase the effectiveness. So really with crunches for a flat stomach, the options are many.
Crunches alone may not guarantee a flat stomach. But when you perform the crunches in the right way and combine them with other flat stomach exercises and the right diet, they can definitely help you achieve a flat stomach.