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Health and Fitness Tips

The Perfect Crunch

Does the six-pack midsection you desire resemble something closer to a keg, despite your efforts to train your abs a couple of times a week, do cardio regularly and eat a pretty good diet? Can you perform hundreds of crunches without ever feeling your abs tire? It just doesn't make sense, does it? If these are the kinds of questions you ask yourself, let me pose a few to you - When you train abs, does your lower back, hip flexors or thighs feel like they get more work than your abs. When you perform your crunches, do you lock your legs or feet in place? Last, is the angle at your hips less than 90 degrees when you do crunches for your upper-abdominal region?

If you answered "yes" to even one of the above questions, your ab shortcomings are most likely the result of flaws in your ab training. Remember, just because your torso bends forward doesn't mean you've
worked your abs. Training your abs, or any muscle, takes a certain amount of know-how. If you can correct the flaws in your training now, you'll be on your way to developing those six-pack abs.

Perfecting the Crunch

Your internal and external obliques become involved whenever you crunch your torso forward, sideways, or in a twisting motion. Therefore, if you perform an oblique crunch and don't include both a crunching and twisting motion, you decrease the effectiveness of the exercise and muscular involvement. And by the way, simply flapping your shoulder and elbow toward your opposite knee, or twisting your neck, doesn't constitute torso rotation.

When performing an oblique crunch, simultaneously crunch and twist your torso to fully work your obliques. This is also necessary when you do lower-ab movements for your obliques, in which your upper and lower body rotate in opposite directions as they're drawn closer together by the contraction of your abs.

Working on your form is the best way to improve your abs. Remember that Form is Key to great abs!

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed