I have too many friends who wake up every morning and do like 100 crunches before they start their days. Or they do 100 crunches before they go to bed. All in the hope that they'd get better abs or at least a stronger core. I know I've said it before, but doing just crunches has not yet solved anyone's midsection problem.
So what can you do besides crunches? How can you lose the flab and get some abs? First of all, you have to work the entire midsection. Crunches usually work only one part of the core in a repetitive motion. So you have so many angles and areas in your core not being worked. Plus you have the sides (obliques), your lower back, and the top of your hips that need some love too to give you the perfect cut.
The way the body works, you have to remove the layer of fat all over the body before you can see the results of toning exercises. Cardio is what burns the fat. And then as you are cardio-ing it up, you also do the strength training exercises to tone the muscles underneath. So as the fat sheds, the muscles get defined. Cardio + Strength training. Got it?
Crunches are a type of strength training, but as I said earlier, they are very limited. So you should be incorporating other core exercises. Below are 3 of my favorite core exercises. I really believe to build a strong core (and consequently get better abs), you need exercises that force you to work on stability.
Plank Knee to Elbow
Don't forget that food is a major contributor to gaining fat all around the body, including your midsection. You must control what you eat to maintain a great core.
Additionally, (and annoyingly), the human body is very different for each person. Which means that you may do the same things that Halle Berry does day in and day out, and never get abs that look exactly like Halle's. You may need to work harder. And because your curves are different, your abs will be different as well. But rest assured that hard work ALWAYS yields results.
Cheers Eights & Weights!
Photo credit: buildmymuscle.blogspot.com