To work on flattening our stomachs, we typically use the traditional crunch as the "go-to" core and ab exercise. If you are up for a challenge and want to target a variety of different midsection muscles, you should consider trying reverse crunches.
Many core exercises like crunches target the entire abdominal area, reverse crunches are an inverse crunch which uses the legs instead of the chest and focuses on the lower abdominal muscles and your hip flexors.
This reverse action will have you lifting your hips and legs off the floor and toward your torso. By doing this, the focus will be on the lower area, and that is where belly fat tends to accumulate.
Start out by lying on the floor with your knees bent and your palms at your sides with palms facing down.
After engaging your abs, lift your hips off the floor as you are raising your legs upward and your knees coming up towards your chest.
With your legs pointing straight up, pause for a count and bring your legs back down to your starting position.
For this exercise, I would try to do 3 sets of 15-20 reps. You can keep your feet together or you can cross them.
Kyle Demonstrating Reverse Crunches
Try not to swing your legs to lift your hips, you only need to move your hips an inch or two off of the ground.
Once you are comfortable doing reverse crunches, you can place a dumbbell between your ankles to add more resistance.
Will Crunches Burn my Belly Fat?
Doing an exhausting amount of crunches by themselves will not help you to burn belly fat. The only way to effectively lose belly fat and keep it off is to take in fewer calories during the day than you typically burn. This means eating less and working out more.
On the good side, while the crunches won't just make the belly fat disappear, the crunches will help you to develop leaner ab muscles that will burn extra calories.
By reducing the calories you consume daily, doing some form of cardio workout along with ab crunches, you will slowly start to see more muscle definition in your abs.
Strengthens and Tones Lower Ab Muscles: While the basic crunch strengthens all of your ab muscles, these crunches will target the muscles in your lower abs. This exercise reaches some of the deep ab muscles that are smaller and harder to get too. This can help to tone your stomach area faster than just doing other ab exercises.
Less Neck and Back Discomfort: There are a number of people who choose not to do crunch type exercises because of the pain and discomfort they feel. these crunches put less strain on the neck and back.
Improved Posture: By keeping your back flat on the ground and tilting your pelvis, you can slowly correct some spine curvature that many of us tend to acquire over time. The most important function of abdominal muscles is to stabilize the spine and keep it from flexing.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.
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