Stop doing crunches

Ever wonder why the 2000 situps you do every week isn't making you shredded like a Julienne salad? First off, we have discussed this before, you cannot spot reduce certain areas of your body. Meaning, just because you're doing an exercise for a specific body part does not mean you're going to burn body fat in that area.

If your overall goal is to strengthen your core we ask you to still stay far away from crunches, reason being is because if you're doing them without proper technique you greatly increase your chances of injury. Crunches involve a great deal of spinal flexion (rounding of the lower back), and according to studies that is the exact mechanism that may cause a herniated disk in your lower back.

I got together with Isaac Taylor, the founder of Taylor Made Performance and he recommends these 6 core exercises.

Top 6 core exercises

1. Plank

  • Place forearms on the ground with elbows aligned below shoulders, and arms parallel to the body about shoulder-width distance.
  • Hold
  • Repeat
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2. Side Planks

  • This is a great variation of the regular plank, but start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
  • While you raise your hips off the ground ensure you contract your core until your body is in a straight line from your head to feet. 
  • Do not let your hips drop!
  • When finished repeat on opposite side.
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3. Straight Leg Sit-ups

  • Lay down on the ground on the ground placing your feet and knees together.
  • Cross your arms over your chest OR, if you want to increase the difficulty have your arms lifted during the exercise (shown in picture).
  • Lift your upper body off of the floor.
  • Lower your upper body back to the floor.
  • Repeat
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4. Mcgill  sit-ups

  • Lie on the floor and bend one leg leaving the other flat.

  • Place palms underneath the natural arch of your lower back.

  • SLOWLY raise your chest, shoulders, and head as one unit off of the floor without bending your lower back! Yes, you are correct, the range of motion is short but don't think it's not effective without trying it first.

  • Keep this position at the top for a couple seconds while breathing deeply. Then slowly return to the starting position.

  • Switch legs on each set that you do.

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5.Medicine Balls Twists

  • Assume a seated position on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. If you want to increase the difficulty of the exercise raise your feet off of the floor.
  • Sit on a 45-degree angle whole contracting your abs.
  • Hold the medicine ball directly in front of you.
  • Make sure you're contracting your abs, begin to twist slowly from your torso to one side and touch the medicine ball to the floor beside you, give the position you are in a slight pause.
  • Smoothly contract your abs and resume to the starting position, then start twisting to the opposite direction.
  • Repeat
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6. Ab Wheel

  • Hold the ab roller in front of your with both hands, and kneel on the floor. 
  • Now that the ab roller is out in front of you place both your knees and the roller on the ground. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly roll the ab roller straight out in front of you, stretch your body into a straight position, when you have reached that position roll back up.
  • Repeat
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There it is! Make sure you reach out to me or Isaac if you have any questions! You can find him on Instagram with the handle @taylormadeperformance. Thanks for reading!