By the healthiergang writer , personal trainer.
There are many exercises to train the abdominal muscles, which can be performed both free body and with the use of machines, some more known others less but all aimed at the same goal that is
or to strengthen, tone, define and hypertrophy this area.
As mentioned in previous articles, talking about lower abdomen and upper abdomen is not entirely correct as the abdomen is a single muscle called the rectus abdominis.
On the other hand, we can speak of muscle emphasis in the upper or lower abdomen, depending on the exercise performed.
The main purpose of the rectus abdominis is to bring the ribs closer to the pelvis; this is in fact the main flexor muscle of the trunk.
The best way to train this zone, therefore, is to use exercises that involve bringing these two parts together (e.g. crunch, reverse crunch, sit up, kick frog, crunch lat machine, smith crunches, abdominal machine).
There are also other ways to train the abdominal area which do not necessarily involve any type of shortening movement; these exercises work in isometry and are for example: plank (and its variants), side plank (and its variants), scissors ...
Remember that in the execution of the various exercises for the rectus abdominis also the obliques of the abdomen participate synergistically; in addition, quadriceps and lumbar muscles work in part synergistically.
Let's now talk about the "Double Crunch" which is the theme of the article in question.
For a correct execution lie down on the floor on an exercise mat in the supine position, hands placed behind the head, elbows open, legs bent at an angle of approximately 90 °, feet flat on the ground.
Having assumed the correct position, bring your shoulders and knees together at the same time, being very careful to keep your elbows open to the outside, to take your upper back off the ground, and not to flex your legs during the execution.
At the point of maximum contraction, hold the position for one second and return to the starting point.
Breathe in when your back is resting on the ground and breathe out while performing the movement.
The muscles mainly involved in the execution of this exercise are all the abdominal muscles (highest fibers and lowest fibers), secondly the oblique muscles of the abdomen and partly the quadriceps.
The most common mistakes made during this exercise are:
? close the elbows during the ascent of the chest, consequently pulling on the neck and cervical;
? do not completely detach the upper back from the ground;
? do not bring the legs close enough to the shoulders;
? arching the lumbar spine to help the execution, an error that could lead to the onset of pathologies of the spine;
? perform the rebound movements
Variations to the classic exercise are:
? Double crunch with the use of cables: grab the triceps rope behind the neck, tie the legs with the anklets; perform the same movement as the basic exercise; the errors that can be made in this variant are the same as in the basic exercise, obviously using an excessive load can accentuate the risk of injury.
? Double crunch with the use of the upper abdominal machine.
Advice and Conclusions
The Double Crunch is a low difficulty exercise that can be performed by both professional and novice athletes.
In the case of a novice athlete we recommend 2/3 series of 10/20 repetitions, low execution times, paying the utmost attention to the correct positions and the correct execution method.
In the case, on the other hand, of advanced athletes, 3/6 series of 20/40 repetitions are recommended, low execution times; to increase the level of difficulty you can resort to the use of overloads (cables, anklets, dumbbells); moreover, to increase the level of difficulty even more, it is possible to perform this exercise in super series with others.
Do not forget that it is very important to work both ahead and behind; therefore, when training the abdominal area, remember to train the lumbar area as well.
This is to avoid the onset of imbalances that could lead to pathologies over time.
Do not forget as a last tip that, for this area, it is not necessary to stretch too much. To obtain excellent results it is important to plan and alternate the various exercises for the abdomen, in order to maximize the work; Finally, remember that doing too many abdominals does not reduce localized fat in this area!