The Benefits of Decline Crunches and Sit Ups
If you’re looking to build lean muscle and boost strength, knowing how to do decline crunches and decline sit ups correctly can be a great addition to your routine. These exercises target your abs in a different way than standard crunches and sit ups, focusing on the lower abdominal muscles which are often neglected in many workouts. You’ll also get the added benefit of toning your glutes, hips, and thighs as you work out. If you’re ready to add these new exercises to your routine, learn how with this guide on the benefits of decline crunches and decline sit ups!
The standard crunch strengthens your rectus abdominis, which runs vertically along your torso under your skin from ribs to pubic bone. But a simple tweak can boost your ab power: Do crunches on an exercise ball. Your belly will have to work harder to stabilize you against that big blob of a surface, so you’ll end up working more muscles—your core, hips, back, and even butt. And as long as you don’t let your lower back sag into a droopy posture, says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), you won’t be putting it at risk.
Neck, shoulder and spine movement
In a 2015 study published in The Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, researchers found that those who performed crunches with their necks at an angle, as opposed to parallel to their bodies, experienced greater activation in their neck flexors. They also discovered a link between increased neck flexor activity and improved performance on tests evaluating shoulder movement. In other words, crunching forward could not only help you build stronger abs but also better shoulders. It may be worth including these types of ab exercises into your workout routine! And if you already do decline sit ups (in which your feet are raised), make sure to perform them with straight legs so that you can target your abs—and not just your hip flexors.
How to add decline crunches into your workout routine
Many experts recommend that you perform decline crunches as an alternative to regular crunches if you are unable to do sit ups. The decline crunch involves your back, but is less strenuous than a full sit up. To do decline crunches, lie flat on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head or neck, fingers facing forward. Crunch forward without moving anything else (except for a slight bend in your hips). Keep repeating until failure. Do 10 sets of 15 repetitions, two times per week after working out to build muscle in upper body areas such as chest, back shoulders and arms while doing so.
Suggested workouts using decline crunches
Some workouts will have you performing repetitions on an incline, others on a decline. No matter what type of workout you’re doing, there’s one thing to remember when it comes to crunches: if at any point you begin to feel pain in your lower back, stop what you’re doing immediately. You could seriously injure yourself otherwise.
Ashmawi Sami has a Bachelor degree in Travel and Tourism Management from the University of Minnesota. He has his own travel vlogging channel. Besides being a fantastic yoga instructor he has travelled to 9 countries and planning his next trip soon. As the father of 3 dogs, he is well-trained in parenting, crowd control, and crisis situations.
Gillian is a freelance blogger, student, and full-time traveler. Each day she spends her time exploring something exciting to help people find the information they need while travelling to a new destination. Whether it be the place to enjoy holidays, or a spot to throw a party or hidden gems that you must visit in the city.