Abdominal Crunch and Plank-Which One is More Effective?
Both the abdominal crunch and the plank are fairly common exercises people do to strengthen their core. Although both are quality exercises, I believe that the plank is a little more effective than the crunch. Let’s go over technique on both, and I will explain why.
Abdominal crunch-Start off laying on your back with your fleet flat. Next put your hands either to your side, across your chest where your fingertips touch your collarbones, or behind your head(I prefer behind my head, because I find it easier to relax my neck that way). Next, imagine sucking your belly button through your spine so your core is fully engaged. After you are properly set up, lift your shoulder blades up off the ground as much as you can and crunch your abs. After you come up as much as you can, control yourself back down into starting position. Your core should stay tight the whole time, and you should breathe out going up, then breathe in going down while keeping your neck relaxed the whole time. The main muscles working are the abdominals.
Plank-Start off by putting your elbows on the ground below your shoulders. From there, put your toes on the ground and lift your knees up off the ground. There should be a straight line from your ears through your heels. If you are a beginner and the plank is too challenging, simply go to your knees. If you’re on your knees, imagine a straight line from your ears through your knee caps. During the plank, not only are all the muscles in your core involved, but your shoulders are engaged and having to stabilize, your butt should be squeezed tight, and your quadriceps(big muscle in the front of the leg between the knee and hip) should be flexed as well.
The reason I believe the plank is a little more effective than the abdominal crunch, is because not only are all the muscles in your core under tension and having to work, but your shoulders and lower body are engaged as well. Literally everything is engaged while doing a proper plank! Don’t take the crunch completely out of your routine however, but be sure you are adding the plank to your routine to strengthen your core.
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